“You also should do as I have done to you…You are blessed if you do them.” (Jn 13:14,17)
March 9, 2012, Sister Jeanne-D’Arc Bourgault,
in religion Marie-Yvonne- Alfréda went home to God.
She was 91 years old and had been professed for 73 years.
Born in Thetford-Mines, Quebec, she was one of 12 girls among 17 children of Alfred Bourgault and Mary Dubois
Mister Bourgault worked in the asbestos mine. His wife was gentle and a fervent Christian who died giving birth to her 17th child when Jeanne-d’Arc was only 9 years old. The oldest girl, Yvonne, took charge of the family until her father remarried the following year. When the stepmother, a widow, brought her 3 children with her, the family moved to a farm in Chartierville.
The 12 oldest children left home to go to work and the new family now consisted of eight children. Jeanne-d’Arc attended school for two years, and then had to help out at home with the domestic chores.
When she was 15 years old, having been inspired since the age of 10 by her SNJM teachers, Jeanne-d’Arc revealed her desire to become a Sister. Five weeks after entering the postulate, her stepmother died and her father urged her to come back home. Jeanne-d’Arc would not change her decision. Her choice was final.
Sister Yvonne-Alfréda spent her life at our Motherhouse. During her 65 years of active life, she served successively as nurse’s aide, including night duty, as cook and refectorian. She saw to the organization and stocking of the different kitchenettes, was responsible for the linens rooms on each floor. With a dedication that knew no limits, she gave with generosity never thinking of herself. Here is the testimony of a few of her sisters:
“Sister Jeanne-d’Arc had the patience of a saint, was a pleasant companion, loved to laugh, a woman of peace and very prayerful.” “Her life witnessed to the Lord’s presence, to her love for each one of her children.” “She especially liked to recite the prayer of the Holy Name of Jesus."
During the last months of her life, she experienced an inner intimacy through her constant prayer. The closed circuit television was for her, during her sojourn in the infirmary, a way of living in the presence of her Lord.”
We can summarize the life of Sister Jeanne-d’Arc:
“I was full of joy when I entered the house of the Lord."