“I give my life for my sheep” (Jn 10:15)
On the 5th of July, 2018, Sister Monique Robitaille
in religion M.-Rose-de-Jésus
went home to God.
She was 86 years old and had been professed for 62 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the last of the 9 children
of Ovila Robitaille et de Rose Mireault.
Monique grew up in Montreal. She attended her parish school, St.-Anselme, where she met the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. After grade 9, and having the desire to become a teacher, she studied at Eulalie-Durocher Teachers’ College in St. Lambert. Subsequent to her graduation, she taught for two years in Georges-Etienne Cartier and St-Anselme schools before entering the SNJM novitiate.
“My vocation was discovered at the age of 12. My mother’s example influenced me: she was a contemplative, united with God and with His will. It is surely to her that I owe my vocation. She was a model of Christian life. In grade 7, I read Father Duchaussois’ ‘The Rose of Canada’. Deep within myself, I said : “One day, I too will be a rose for Jesus. I will become His bride”. When she became a novice and received her holy habit, her desire was partially filled by receiving the name Sister Rose-de-Jésus.
Sister Monique found the novitiate very difficult. – “I was sick without knowing the cause of my discomfort: a nonfunctioning kidney”. She left the novitiate for a period of time and then re-entered, proving her perseverance in face of difficulty! Following her first profession, she taught Grades 6 and 7 in the elementary school for a few years. Monique then moved to High School where apart from teaching, she was in charge of various groups: Sodality of Mary, choir students, the Young Catholic Students. She often changed her places of mission which she noted. “These numerous moves reduced my physical strength”. For two years, she was also responsible for the young women boarders at Regina Assumpta College.
After 20 years of teaching young people, Sister Monique consecrated her time and talents to pastoral ministry in both the school and the parish; as well as in social service to families in the South Centre part of Montreal. During that time she lived with the St. Anselme SNJM community. She was 61 years old when the Sisters of Albani residence welcomed her. Her availability and competence were then offered in service both to the Church and to the society of this popular milieu, in the following ways: literacy, collective kitchens, parenting education, Le Havre Listening Centre, faith education, support to the catechetical program and even community service as a member of the local leadership team.
In her 77th year Sister Monique retired to Maison Jésus-Marie where she received the health care that she needed.
“She will continue to share her profound relationship with the Lord, in the simplicity and fidelity to herself.” She often said: “My dear loving Jesus”. Indeed, she was ready to welcome the Love of her life.