"Well done, good and trustworthy servant; enter into the joy of your master." (Mt 25, 21)
January 24, 2014, Sister Claire Laplante
in religion Marie-Léopold-de-la-Croix,
went home to God.
She was 93 years old and had been professed for 72 years.
Born in Valleyfield, Quebec, she was the 6th of the 8 children
of Léopold Laplante and Éveline Brodeur.
Claire grew up in a happy family which loved to sing. “Because of the economy, our parents succeeded in educating us. As did all of my sisters – Claire had five of them – I studied at the boarding school in Valleyfield where I learned music.”
"When I was about 14, I began to think about religious life. I wanted to be either a Poor Clare or a Missionary Sister. At the age of 18, after making a closed retreat, I decided to enter the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, where I was able to combine the apostolate and contemplation. I never regretted it. I entered when I was 20 years old. Three times, I offered to go to the far-off missions, but I did not succeed.”
For 30 years, Sister Léopold-de-la-Croix taught music in Viauville, Repentigny, St-Bruno, Longueuil and St-Lin where she was also the superior. She was the assistant director at the Vincent-d’Indy Superior School of Music for 4 years. Being creative, she developed methods for education in music.
When she was 57, after specialized studies, Sister Claire agreed to be in charge of the archives of the SNJM Congregation. “Under the auspices of RAR (Regroupement des Archivistes religieux), she organized introductory courses on the subject of archives. She advised and enlightened, without imposing her own ideas.”
“Sister Claire was also interested in genealogy. We are indebted to her, among other accomplishments, for researching Marie-Rose Durocher’s family tree.”
In the year 2000, her talent as a writer and researcher shed light on the spirituality of the SNJM foundress: ‘Retraite de 5 jours à l’école de Mère Marie-Rose', (5-Day Retreat with Mother Marie-Rose) ‘Femme de feu’, (Woman of Fire) ‘Comme une source’ (Like a Spring) ... She also further developed the biographies of some of the General Superiors of the SNJM Congregation.
An active, responsible, meticulous and creative woman, she dedicated more than 30 years to the General Administration. At the same time, with a concern to maintain contact with the most oppressed, for more than 10 years, she served as a volunteer at C.A.S.A. de Longueuil (a shelter for homeless people).
"Sister Claire exuded a quiet, distinctive presence: wise, calm, humble and blessed with sound judgment, she developed lasting relationships.”
In her notes, Sister Claire summarized the state of her soul in this way: “I move forward in old age with serenity and confident abandonment to Jesus and Mary.”