“I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last" (John 15, 16)
August 27, 2016, Sister Julienne Lessard,
in religion Albertine-Marie,
went home to God.
She was 94 years old and had been professed for 73 years.
Born in Saint-Ludger, Quebec, she was the 9th of the 10 children of
Générée Lessard and Albertine Faucher.
Julienne, pampered by her older siblings, grew up happily. Their paternal home was near the parish church and her mother reminded the family about the times of the religious services. In school, Julienne did well and was admired by both her teachers and her companions. She was resilient, hard-working, cheerful, and energetic. As she matured, her religious vocation was also flourishing. She was 19 years old when she finished her schooling with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, and in January, entered their novitiate.
Throughout the novitiate and even during her early years of religious profession Julienne, now known as Sister Albertine-Marie, sorely missed her family and friends. Teaching, in which she would excel, enabled her to convey the extent of her dedication and demonstrate her competency as a teacher throughout 23 years and as principal for 16 years. Her career as an outstanding educator of students at the primary and secondary levels, took place in the Eastern Townships, where she was acknowledged and was deeply appreciated by both the parents and the students.
"A Sister, a dedicated, competent, happy, born educator, Sister Albertine gave a lot of herself and earned our trust".
During these years, she also served as local superior in the following locations: Cookshire, Chartierville, Garthby, and Disraéli.
When Sister Julienne was 60 years old, she benefitted from a sabbatical year, and then started a second career serving her community: provincial bursar for 9 years; local bookkeeper and a member of the leadership team at Résidence Ste-Émélie for 11 Years; delegate to two General Chapters; seamstress, hairdresser and driver for Résidence Marie-Rose-Durocher for 12 years, all while providing assistance as a volunteer at the Motherhouse or at Maison Jésus-Marie. She was also a warden at Paroisse Saint-Arsène in Montreal.
"Sister Julienne loved her community, and was happy to serve. Her work was done to perfection and carried out with joy.” "Easy to get along with, thoughtful, and refined, she appreciated humor and laughed heartily," as attested to by her companions.
During the last four years of her life, even though she was in the infirmary, Sister Julienne, an active and dedicated woman, continued to help out in the sewing room as often as her strength would allow.
Sister Julienne’s life can be described as a life of service, sustained by a profound and discreet faith. The Lord surely must have said to her: "Come faithful servant; enter into the joy of your master.” (Mt. 25, 23)