The Ukrainian Catholic congregation – Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, is an international apostolic community rooted in the Byzantine Eastern Catholic tradition, founded 1892 in Ukraine. By 1902, four Sisters were missioned to Canada and settled in Alberta. As vocations flourished, the Sisters opened missions across Canada, the United States and internationally. This led to the transfer of the Novitiate (School of Religious Formation) and Provincialate (Governing office) from Alberta to Ontario. In August of 1946 the Sisters purchased the Wynnstay Estate in Ancaster, Ontario and named it Mount Mary.
In the Spirit of our charism, the Sisters assisted in parishes and taught in schools in Hamilton, Ancaster and Kitchener, and in 1947 Sisters began summer schools for children and youth. Mount Mary in Ancaster has always been a place of prayer and pilgrimage. The first Marian pilgrimage took place September 5, 1948. On July 7, 1957, the Holy See designated Mount Mary as an indulgenced site for the Ukrainians in the Toronto Eparchy. This yearly pilgrimage now takes place on the 4th Sunday of June.
May 1952 saw the construction of Mount Mary Academy – a residential and day high school for young women. With the closing of the Academy in 1975, the Sisters began a new apostolate – Mount Mary Immaculate Retreat Centre, hosting many groups for retreats and conferences. Serving in this way, the Sisters continue to “Go where the need is the greatest,” embracing the needs of all who come to Mount Mary, following in the footsteps of their co-foundress Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska. Currently there are approximately 74 Sisters in Canada and 700 Sisters worldwide serving in 16 countries.