“Leave your homeland for the land I will show you. You will be a blessing there.” (Gen. 12: 1-2)
March 22, 2017, Sister Rose-Alba Langevin,
in religion Marie-Lauriana
went home to God.
She was 97 years old and had been professed for 73 years.
Born in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, she was the 4th of the 11 children
of Lauréat Langevin and Rose-Alba Cantara.
Rose-Alba grew up in a close-knit family from the Lower Saint Lawrence Region. From her earliest years, she learned to think of others and to help her younger siblings, and for this family, the Gospel was often a topic of daily conversation.
"My parents were strict but happy. My mother was very devout and had great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin. My father, a CNR employee (Canadian National Railway), occasionally brought the family on an enjoyable train ride. Besides loving classical music, he also loved to gather us together to explain the Sunday Gospel.”
It was on one of these occasions, upon hearing the Gospel passage "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers few" that Rose-Alba heard the call to dedicate herself to God in religious life. As a young woman, she joined the (JOC) Young Christian Workers, and at the age of 22, she asked to enter the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Montreal.
After her first profession, Sister Marie-Lauriana spent two years as a cook at Hochelaga Convent. Following that, she was appointed to the SNJM Province of New York, in the United States, where she learned English in the midst of her everyday life. She remained there for 46 years, serving briefly in Albany but mainly in Key West and Tampa.
Summing up her life, she said unpretentiously: "The experiences were numerous, unique and funny.” She had a sense of humor and an ability to make things less dramatic. Sister Rose-Alba stated: “I was warmly welcomed upon my arrival and all my time there was a time of blessing for me. My first concern was to assure the well-being of the Sisters. I enjoyed 46 happy years!” Her main ministry was: cooking. Attentive to the needs of those around her, her dedication led to other tasks according to need: driver, hairdresser, hostess/receptionist, seamstress ... She had the rather exceptional quality of creating “a homey community atmosphere in the kitchen and the dining room.”
When she was 73, Sister Rose-Alba returned to Quebec and lived at Résidence Ste-Émélie, happy to be able to assist her family members who needed her help. For 18 years she was also of invaluable help to our sick Sisters in the infirmary.
"With great compassion, dedication and self-giving, she accompanied our sick Sisters to various hospitals and clinics for their appointments. Listening only to her generous heart, she counted neither her time, nor her trouble, nor her fatigue."
From the time she was 90 years old, Sister Rose-Alba, in turn, was cared for at the infirmary in Longueuil. With great gratitude she accepted the care and support she received. In the spirit of the "Our Father", the prayer that shaped her life, Sister Rose-Alba peacefully, in prayer, contemplated her Father, our Father.