Sister Beverley, who is now a member of our new Provincial Leadership Team, had worked for 25 years as a pastoral associate at St. Monica's Parish, in Montreal. On September 12, 2010, the Parish celebrated those many years during the 11 o'clock Sunday Eucharistic celebration. Her pastor, Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, spoke glowingly of her. “We must bid farewell to a woman of deep faith, one who has served St. Monica’s with love and generosity far above and beyond the call of duty.”
Sister Beverley began her ministry in 1985 with the responsibility of implementing the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in the parish. During her 25 years, she served with six pastors and countless volunteers, and her ministry expanded to touch virtually every aspect of parish life: accompanying grieving families, faithfully visiting many of our sick and elderly parishioners, at home or in hospital, bringing her listening ear, gentle smile, and Christ’s presence in Holy Communion.
Her deep commitment to social justice was manifest not only in raising awareness of the issues, but in rolling up her sleeves and organizing the parish bazaar, collecting countless “loonies” to help our twin parish in Zamoran, El Salvador, lovingly preparing baskets of fair trade products at Christmas and Easter, and helping in concrete ways, the poor, the hungry, the friendless in our parish and neighbourhood.
She proved herself a gifted and profound homilist, allowing God’s word to speak through the prism of her life experience. As the schools gradually withdrew from the catechetical formation of children, Sr. Beverley began the immense task of implementing and leading the Faith First program: training catechists, organizing retreats and movie nights, planning family-friendly liturgies and preparing the children and their parents for the celebration of the sacraments.
Patience, generosity, love, compassion, commitment: these were the marks of Sister Beverley’s presence in our midst. As she took on new tasks, she formed and mentored others to take on roles of leadership and service.
(excerpt from Saint Monica’s Parish bulletin, September 12, 2010
During Mass, the readings, songs, prayers and the homily given by Sister Beverley elicited from everyone gathered, a sense of great gratitude and joy.
After communion, special tributes were given by Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, the pastor and by Fr. Adelchi Bertoli who has lived in the rectory for over 40 years. Ranee Lee, parishoner and Montreal's very own jazz celebrity, read, via a CD, a beautiful tribute and also sang 2 very powerful songs. Several gifts, offered in the name of the parishoners, were then presented to Sister Beverley.
In her very creative way of thanking everyone, Sister Beverley invited the leaders of the many groups in the parish to come forward and receive a gift for their group. It was a very moving experience.
Following the closing song, the celebration continued in the parish hall with a delicious luncheon and three cakes to mark the moment. Parishoners then had the opportunity to personally offer their gratitude and wishes.