“…You must always be ready, for you do not know at
what time the Son of Man will come”. Mt. 24:44
May 19, 2010, Sister Elizabeth Bousquet
in religion, Mary of Loyola,
went home to God.
She was 101 years old and had been professed for 79 years.
Elizabeth Eva Bousquet was born in Worcester, Mass. U.S.A., April 18, 1909 and she was baptized in Assumption parish, Millbury, Mass. Her father, Louis Napoleon Bousquet was a mechanic. Her mother, Albina Elizabeth Mailhot, gave birth to two other children, Eleanor, in 1918, and Charles, in 1919.
Because of the premature death of her parents, Elizabeth Eva became an orphan at a very young age, so it was the love of her grandmother that surrounded her. This grandmother spent the winter in Florida and there she met Sister Marie Amédée, SNJM, who was the superior of the convent. They became very good friends. Step by step, this Sister directed the child to Quebec to our different convents of Saint Hilaire, Saint Barthélémy, Mount Royal and Epiphany so that she might learn the French language,
When Elizabeth was nine years old, she was confirmed in Saint Hilaire Church on June 18, 1918 by Monsignor A.X. Bernard, Bishop of Saint Hyacinthe. During her childhood and adolescence she boarded for nine years in these different convents. Later she would say: “I was usually first in my class and I won several prizes. I often had a major role in the plays.”
When she left the convent, where she studied, she was perfectly bilingual and she had obtained an 8th grade diploma, a teaching certificate and had completed nine years of musical studies. To this we must add a nursing certificate and a second course with the Red Cross. One can say that she was very gifted.
Elizabeth dreamed of becoming a nurse especially on a cruise ship. But God was calling her to religious life. At the age of twenty she answered this call and she writes that “Mother Marie-Marcienne, mistress of novices, a kind and well-balanced woman, was my grandmother’s great friend”. This made adaptation much easier.
In February 1929, she entered the Outremont postulate and in February 1931, she made temporary vows. In August 1935, her perpetual vows sealed her consecration.
She was entrusted with teaching and education of adults. From 1931 to 1970, her efforts were crowned with success in the following convents: Duluth, Minn., Winnipeg, Man., Saint Eulalie School, Hochelaga, Washington, D.C., Silver Spring, Rome, N.Y., Saint Aloysius School, Sherbrooke, Saint Dominic High School, Saint Lambert, Hochelaga, Outremont, Collège J.M., Oakland, Cal., and the Outremont Mother House
Sister Elizabeth loved study and research. After special studies at the “Scolasticat École Normale”, she obtained with Highest Honors, a bilingual Superior Diploma. This was followed by classical studies in the U.S.A.
After 40 years of teaching youth at the secondary level and adults at the University level, in both languages, Sister Elizabeth admitted having reached the summit, even though it had not always been easy to attain.
Along with teaching, Sister Elizabeth (Mary of Loyola), rendered service as an infirmarian and successfully continued her studies. These consisted in a bilingual teaching superior diploma, Magna Cum Laude, a B.A. at (N.Y.U.). – and in 1955 the University of Montreal granted her an M. A. in French Literature, Magna Cum Laude. The thesis was written on the nobility of Antoine de-St-Exupery. In 1962, the same University granted her a B.A. in “Mental Hygiene and Psychology”. The faculty of Arts, department of classical studies, required a thesis to obtain an M.A. The title of this thesis was: “The Twain Tradition: Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Hemmingway and Stephen Crane”.
To crown all these studies, Sister Elizabeth (Mary of Loyola) registered in the Faculty of Educational Sciences to obtain a Bilingual Doctorate in pedagogical sciences. Mr. Louis Audet directed her research and her doctorate was entitled “The Masters: Value and Formation”. This doctorate, obtained at 61 years of age, was granted in May 1970, by the Faculty of Science and Education of the University of Montreal.
Retired, she worked as a translator in both French and English. She mastered the both languages. She also worked as librarian and receptionist.
At the age of 94, she was admitted to the infirmary at Maison Jésus-Marie in Longueuil. She was a happy, grateful patient, she wrote “I accept my limitations, these are at times painful, and I am happy to belong entirely to God, spoiled by God”. She would say with a smile, “In a corner of one’s heart, one is always twenty years old. I am God’s little Pet Nun”.
Still at 101 years of age, she was a member of the Maison Jésus-Marie choir for the elderly sisters. But suddenly, a bad fall hastened her encounter with her loving God. “Sister Elizabeth lived in love and joy. One could see this in her daily life”, said Father Gilles Fontaine, chaplain, who celebrated her funeral Mass. “To live in love leads to joy.”