As I write this, I am sitting in my office within the former convent of Les Soeurs de la charité d'Evron who were responsible for the cooking, the upkeep and the infirmary of one of the oldest educational institutions in Edmonton - Saint-Jean. Why do we call it simply "Saint-Jean"? Because it was a Juniorate, then Collège, then Collège Universitaire, then Faculté before becoming Campus; but throughout it all, it was "Saint-Jean".
This building is called the Daridon Pavilion after the first and founding priest who first attempted this little start-up in Pincher Creek, Alberta (the same locale where Father Albert Lacombe retired) in 1908, the same year as the founding of the University of Alberta. However, the necessity to be where the recruits were, he chose to move the operation to its current location in 1910, in the French Quarter of Edmonton.
The two original buildings are still standing on the edge of Mill Creek Ravine. The first Albertan on the path towards Sainthood was Saint-Jean's handyman, Frère Antoine (Kowalczyk), whose humble stewardship of the institution over 40 years made him an institution within the institution. Over 110 years, stories from students from Edmonton and abroad who grew up in this Franco-Albertan pillar still circulate as the institution’s life blood.