“It is your face, Lord, that I seek!”
February 20, 2012, Sister Marguerite Lafortune,
in religion Marie-Mechtilde-du-St-Sacrement
went home to God.
She was 93 years old and had been professed for 68 years.
Born in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Quebec, she was the 6th of 10 children of Ulbald Lafortune and Clara Roy.
Marguerite was the 5th of the girls to become a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, while another would become a Grey Nun... attesting to the fact that the parents lived very Christian lives; and that the family atmosphere was conducive to fostering vocations. Sister Marguerite related this story:
“My uncle went to get Holy Communion for someone from our village who was sick. Hearing him ringing a bell as he passed in front of our house, we opened the door and everyone in the house knelt down. We prayed to the Lord who was passing by and Mother told us what to ask for.”
After having studyied at the village school, Marguerite attended Pensionnat de St-Roch, and later taught at the village school for three years. “I specifically chose the SNJM’s because I wanted to teach...”
During the span of 38 years, Sister Mechtilde-du-St-Sacrement taught at both the primary level and the junior classes at the secondary level. She taught for many years at the Comprehensive High School in Disraéli. She was also in charge of the Eucharistic Crusade and the Jeunesse Étudiante Catholique (Young Catholic Students). At the end of one of those years, a student wrote to her:
“I spent a marvellous year with you and I saw that you were full of love for us. You are gentle, patient and good-humoured. I learned a lot, especially about the 'Saint Lawrence River', the most beautiful river in the world." Sister Marguerite was generous with her time and would often tutor young people who were having difficulty.
When Sister Marguerite left teaching at the age of 64, she responded to the need for a bookkeeper at Mont Jésus-Marie, a task which she carried out for 15 years. During her free time, she was a hairdresser and seamstress for her companions at Marie-Rose-Durocher Residence. After 7 years of travelling daily for her work, she went to live at the Motherhouse. Sister Marguerite accompanied our aged and sick sisters to clinics and hospitals until the age of 86.
“A pleasant companion, Sister Marguerite was a wonderful collaborator, always ready to help anyone. Reserved and efficient, she loved to see things that were well done, and had a taste for all that was beautiful and good.”
During her retirement she focused on the ministry of prayer and little acts of kindness for her sisters. She maintained her love for the Gospel and for sharing the Word. When the Lord came for her, she was still actively serving!