“Pray without ceasing” Lk 18:1
June 3, 2009, Sister Bernadette Mailhot,
her religious name, M.-Georges-Eugène,
went home to God at the age of 97,
having been professed for 75 years.
Born in Lotbinière, Quebec, she was the 5th of 14 children
of Eugène Mailhot and Georgianna Biron.
Bernadette learned fervor and generosity from her family: during Advent and Lent she attended the daily 6 o’clock morning Mass. She connects her desire for a religious vocation to her solemn communion during which she prayed especially to Our Lady of the Cape.
At the age of 19, having attended a ceremony for the departure of a missionary from Cap-de-la-Madeleine, she met Fr. Albert Lortie, OMI. Guided by his counsel, she responded to her call to the SNJM Community. A year later, she entered the postulate. Greatly missing her family, she found the next two years to be quite difficult.
During a span of 60 years, Sister Bernadette worked for the community in a variety of ways: cooking, working in the refectory, overseeing the laundry – always faithful to the voice which called her: “Come follow me.” She always had the desire to “save souls”.
She prayed as she worked and her acts of mortification were offered for the intentions confided to her.
She carried out her daily tasks with devotion and responsibility. She also spent long periods of time in the chapel where she could be heard singing hymns or praying the rosary aloud.
After she retired, Sister Bernadette continued to pray while knitting for the missions. When she went into the infirmary, her deep piety led her to frequently speak with Jesus, who for her was present in her “statue of Jesus made out of plaster”.
What a warm reception Sister Bernadette must have received from the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin Mary.