"You are precious in my sight." (Is. 43, 4)
March 20, 2017, Sister Gilberte Dargis,
in religion Marie-Rose-Aldéa,
went home to God.
She was 88 years old and had been professed for 68 years.
Born in St-Louis-de-France, Quebec, she was the 5th of the 13 children
of Ernest Dargis and Aldéa Buissières.
Gilberte was born into a close-knit and deeply religious family. Her father, a farmer, was hard working and her mother, a woman of prayer, edified her children by witnessing to her faith through her daily life. She placed emphasis on being grateful to God. While helping out at home, Gilberte attended the local school up until 7th grade. Her desire for religious life was intensifying as she got older.
"When I was small I prayed, and I remember always wanting to be a Sister. I liked to withdraw to be quiet without really knowing that I was meditating. When I was 16, I made a closed retreat and the retreat director affirmed my desire."
When she was 18 years old, after a few years of helping out at home, Gilberte entered the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She was joining her sister, Sister Germaine, who had entered the previous year.
From the beginning of her apostolic life, Sister Rose-Aldéa served as a cook, a service which she would provide for more than 46 years at Marie-Rose, Longueuil and Ste-Émélie boarding schools, as well as at the Motherhouse, St-Hilaire and the chalet in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts.
"She felt useful to the Sisters and students, putting all her strength and talent into varying the menus and presenting attractive dishes." "She was a pleasant, sensitive and generous companion, who put the words of Saint John Paul II into action: ‘Goodness works quietly, the power of love is expressed in the unassuming quietness of daily service.’ "Sister Gilberte was a woman of prayer and easily motivated others to pray."
When Sister Gilberte arrived at Résidence Ste-Émélie, her ministry became multifaceted: housekeeping, reception, supervision of large-scale cleanings, cafeteria, and linen room. She worked quietly, with a great sense of responsibility for 20 years! When she was 86, she was welcomed into the infirmary for the last two years of her life where she devoted herself to the ministry of prayer and frequently visited her sister Jeannine who was already bedridden in the infirmary.
"With her heart turned towards the Lord, Sister Gilberte was ready to meet the One to whom she had dedicated herself." She was re-united with her sister Germaine, also an SNJM, who had died in January.