“Father, I thank you for having heard me.” (Jn. 11, 41
March 14, 2012, Sister Jeannette Paquin,
in religion Marie-Claire-Alice
went home to God.
She was 85 years old and had been professed for 60 years.
Born in Maskinongé, Quebec, she was the eldest of the 6 children of Jules Paquin and Alice Dupuis.
On the farm inherited from her grandparents who lived with them, Jeannette learned how to be welcoming and how to find joy in being sociable: the paternal home was a gathering place for numerous relatives.
After completing her studies at both the local school and as a boarder in the convent in Maskinongé, Jeannette pursued studies in piano. When she was 20, she entered the SNJM postulate but then had to return home. While waiting for the opportunity to fulfill her desired vocation, she taught piano. Three years later, she entered the convent again and this time she would stay.
For 34 years, Sister Claire-Alice taught piano in our boarding schools, and then at 59, she was named as the person in charge of the Sound Archives (Phonothèque) at the Vincent-d’Indy School of Music where, for 20 years, she rendered quality service. Here is a summary of some of the testimony about her:
“Understanding and dedicated, Sister Jeannette was appreciated for her competence, her unfailing cheerfulness, her spirit of service, and her warm welcome. For her, each day was a celebration.” “A pleasant companion and a woman full of tenderness, Sister Jeannette was always smiling.”
What brought her such joy? No doubt, the gratitude which she so easily showed: gratitude to her Lord and to the Congregation, an attitude which she had learned from her family.
“I give thanks to the Lord for the happiness and the joy which I have experienced throughout my whole life in the wonderful SNJM Community. I thank the Good Lord for everything and I place my trust in Him.”
Sister Jeannette was 83 years old when she was welcomed into the infirmary. In the face of her illness, ‘Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis’ (Lou Gehrig’s disease) she showed great courage, serenity, and generosity until the very end. She was ready to meet her God, the Source of her joy.