“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Mt. 5, 4)
June 1, 2013, Sister Laurette Leduc,
in religion Marie-René-de-Jésus,
went home to God.
She was 100 years and 11 months old, and had been professed for 80 years.
Born in Saint-Timothée, Quebec, she was the oldest of 8 children
of Candide Leduc and Laure Maher.
Laurette wrote that she and her sisters and brother received “an education based on prayer, reception of the sacraments and the virtues of: patience, self-forgetfulness, mutual aid, kindness...”.
As boarders at the convent in St-Timothée, Laurette and her sister Flore, were inspired by the devotion of the Sisters, and their love for the Lord. Wanting to follow in their footsteps they expressed their desire to enter the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary to their parents. On July 24, 1931, the two young girls left for the novitiate.
Sister René-de-Jésus taught for a total of 39 years, initially at the primary level and later, as a specialist in home economics, she taught for 30 years at the secondary level in CECM schools (Montreal Catholic School Commission): Stadacona, Marie-Immaculée and at the Institut de Pédagogie familiale, Outremont, in East Angus and Disraeli.
Along with this, she assisted with youth movements: Eucharistic Crusade, ‘Ligue missionnaire’ and the 'Jeunesse étudiante catholique' (Young Catholic Students). Always positive, Sister René witnessed in this way:
“These different movements helped me with my spiritual life and in my apostolate; the closer I was to the children, the more I could see their generosity, but also their sadness. The years of the Economic Crisis during which I lived with Sister Marie Ermélinde, in the school in Hudon, deeply affected me. This Sister was so gentle with those who had ‘difficult personalities’, giving her full attention to the poor and showing complete generosity towards everyone.” - It could be said that Sister Laurette, without realizing it, was describing herself!
When she was 60 years old, Sister Laurette left teaching. For the following 30 years, this highly responsible woman was provincial bursar, in charge of employees and maintenance, oversaw the restoration work in Valleyfield and later at the Motherhouse. At 90 years of age, Sister Laurette retired to our convent at Ste-Martine where, always open to creating links, she provided a variety of services, especially as a receptionist; she also strengthened her prayer ministry.
In 2006, Sister Laurette a centenarian, was welcomed into the St-André Residence at Maison Jésus-Marie. Recently, she was admitted to the infirmary where she lived for only two weeks.
What a valiant, gifted, noble woman!
“Sister Laurette was a woman who was present to her community, her family, her former students, the Church, the world and even sports. Inquisitive, she had a taste for learning. Her spirit of service and her kindness made her attentive to the needs of her companions, turning her attention to those who were disadvantaged and most in need. As a Sister, her example was both invaluable and energizing.”
Lord, we thank you for all the good that she accomplished!