“Feed the hungry.” Mt 14:16
Sister Renée Brodeur,
her religious name, M.-Anna-Gilberte,
went home to the Father on October 8th, 2009.
She was 86 years old and had been professed for 65 years.
Born in Beloeil, Québec, she was the fourth child
of Jean-Baptiste Brodeur and Marie-Anna Blanchard.
Having lost her mother at the age of three months, Renée spent the first eight years of her life with an uncle and aunt who cherished her. Her father often visited her there. When he married his wife’s cousin, a new family was formed and three more children were added. As a boarder at the Grey Nuns’ Juniorate in Saint-Hyacinthe, she grew up happily until a health accident prevented her from finishing Grade 10.
Religious life attracted her since her eldest sisters were both in religious congregations: one, a Grey Nun and the other, a Sister of Saint-Joseph. Mother Marie-Rose, Beloeil’s beloved, captured her heart instead. She entered the SNJM's at the age of 18. She did not want to teach, preferring to do manual labour. It was at her persistence that she moved from the novitiate of the choir sisters to the novitiate of the lay sisters.
She was an excellent cook, welcoming, serious, discreet and responsible for 45 years. “I love my work and I do it for the Lord.” Despite her delicate health, she found the strength to help the poor and the sick. At the age of 68, she moved to Ste-Émélie Residence. Later while at the St-André Pavilion of Maison Jésus-Marie, she was assigned to the ministry of prayer and to the care of the sick. As a woman of prayer and care and a good listener, she would hold her rosary and welcome all with peace and simplicity.
A friend confides: “I was witness to her charity. There was never a negative word against anyone during the four years I lived with her at Durocher College.”
Our Blessed Mother who was precious to her came to get her during the month dedicated to the Rosary. Sister Renée asked that the Ave Maria be sung at her funeral.