My mother (Irene Marie Currie)was in the St. Francis orphanage from about 1920-1930.Her half brother (Francis Ropp)was placed their in about 1925.
My mother told of painful punishments by the French-Canadian nuns because she only spoke English, and at the age of 4, was supposed to follow their commands spoken only in French. She didn't even know the sound of her own name in French, so was punished yet again when she didn't respond to the nuns calling her name, which sounded to her like "Eeerang", rather than Irene. She was punished with switches and sticks, no food, etc.
She told of having been most severely punished when she was caught at the age of 6 peering under the rubber "apron" she was required to wear during her bath - which she was permitted to take once every two weeks, using the same water as the older girls who bathed first(by my mother's turn, the water was cold and filmy with dirt.)
If anyone has any more information about the orphanage, or the treatment of orphan children by French Canadian nuns in the early 1900's, please respond.