St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario recently mounted a special exhibit honoring the life and legacy of Mother Ignatia Campbell. On October 15, 165 years ago she took her final vows and then, 135 years ago, also on October 15, she founded St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1888. This was just 20 years after she and four Sisters travelled from Toronto to London to establish a community on Dec. 11, 1858. The staff of the fledgling hospital was 2 Sisters and 4 doctors, with a capacity of 24 patients. Compare those numbers with today’s numerous programs and hundreds of staff.
The stirring Mother Ignatia exhibit is a collaboration between Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada Archives and St. Joseph’s Hospital. The display consists of a variety of artifacts including Mother Ignatia’s prayer book, rosary, and pocket watch. A beautiful, black Sister’s habit is also featured. Medical articles from both the hospital and Mount Hope across the street are of interest. On view is an 1870 coal oil lamp used at Mount Hope as well as a large brass bell, and chapel artifacts.