“I was full of joy when I set out for the house of the Lord!”
December 6, 2012, Sister Irma Joubarne,
in religion Cécile-de-Marie
went home to God.
She was 98 years old and had been professed for 64 years.
Born in Sainte-Martine, Quebec, she was the 8th of the 11 children
of Joseph Jourbarne and Florina Payant.
After having completed her schooling at the parochial school in Sainte-Martine, Irma became a boarder at the École Normale in Valleyfied from which she graduated with a “Diplôme Supérieur” in teaching.
Before deciding to enter the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Irma entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Marie-Réparatrice in Ville St-Laurent where she stayed for 2 years and 4 months. After leaving the novitiate, she taught in Valleyfield for 9 years. When, at the age of 32, she decided to enter the SNJM’s, she had matured in her vocation.
Sister Cécile-de-Marie “loved all of the students whom she taught over a period of 23 years, both in private and public schools, especially in Melocheville and in the Eulalie-Durocher Secondary School.” At 57, when she retired from teaching, Sister Irma displayed her creative talents, especially in arts and crafts. “She was an artist who knew the meaning of beauty and of fine workmanship.”
Following Verchères, Sister Irma came to Longueuil, to the Marie-Rose Residence where she dedicated 6 years to an intensive life of prayer. The following years, while living in the convent in Valleyfield and at the Residence Sainte-Émélie, were marked by the quality of her presence and her missionary action.
In charge of crafts, she inspired and encouraged work in support of the missions and contributed to the joy of community celebrations.
Throughout the years, Sister Irma’s family received many proofs of joyful love, enthusiastic support and testimony to faith. We knew that we could rely on “ Aunt Irma”.
During her lengthy 9-year sojourn in the SNJM infirmary, Sister Irma, clear-minded until the end, was a spontaneous witness of gratitude, of yearning for heaven – about which she spoke with ease – and of sisterly love.
“Sister Irma was a very good listener and was very generous. She was a friendly, sensitive and sympathetic companion who was most grateful for the slightest service which she received. In conversations, she knew how to find what was positive in others; and she never complained. Sister Irma was a very prayerful person.”