Yvonne Le Bihan, known in religious life as Mother Xavier, was an Ursuline in LeFaouet, France in the nineteenth century. Like Angela Merici, she experienced the Spirit’s voice calling her to a great adventure. She responded by making a treacherous transatlantic voyage, landing eventually in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. At the invitation of Father Jaffre, S.J., pastor of St. Joseph Church, and Mr. J. B. Williams, she came to Chatham, Ontario on May 9, 1860. This was the beginning of the Chatham Ursulines.
Mother Xavier was a woman of enthusiasm and ingenuity. She remained the leader of the group she established until 1879. During that time the community grew, modifying its lifestyle to meet new needs and increasing demands. From Chatham the group spread to neighbouring areas then father away, always attentive to the Spirit’s voice in the circumstances of daily living.
Eventually the Ursulines spread across Canada and beyond the Canadian borders to Michigan, Japan, Peru and the Caribbean.