“I found Him whom my soul loves; I will not let him go.” (Cant. 3, 4)
January 20. 2014, Sister Annette Lemay,
in religion Marie-Claire-Ida
went home to God.
She was 107 years old and had been professed for 82 years.
Born in Lowell, Mass, USA, she was the 2nd of the 5 children
of Alcide Lemay and Claire-Ida (Clorida) Roy.
Annette was 2½ when her family moved to Quebec. She attended the local school and, when she was in Grade 6, she helped the teacher with the first and second grade students. After completing elementary school, she worked at the Post Office in the village. The family moved to "Three Rivers" when she was 18. Annette worked in a sewing factory and was very busy.
However, her desire to enter religious life which had first surfaced when she made her Solemn Communion, returned. Annette decided to follow in the footsteps of one of her friends who had relatives in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She was 23 years old.
For 50 years, Sister Claire-Ida served as a cook and later as refectorian.
“Aware that I was doing God’s will, I was happy in my work and I did my best to provide good service.” When she was 78, she fulfilled a dream: that of tending the sick, a mission of kindness, care and concern which she carried out for 10 years.
“Sister Annette made her work an exercise of loving others. Throughout her entire life, she put her various gifts at the service of the community, with competence and determination.” Nearly blind, Sister Annette, upon her retirement, knitted for the missionaries. “Each stitch is a step for a missionary who is no longer able to do it.”
From the age of 91, she could no longer read and so the days seemed to be very long. Her 16 years of blindness provided her with such a wonderful opportunity to deepen her relationship with the Lord, leading her to write: “Today I abandon myself more lovingly to prayer while awaiting the final call.”
Sister Annette greatly desired the Lord throughout her life. She was 107 years old when her Beloved came for her!