"I am going to the Light, to Love, to Life!” (Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity)
February 12, 2015, Sister Monique Gougeon
in religion Sister Marie-Jean-Raynald
went home to God.
She was 87 years old and had been professed for 65 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, on August 19, 1927
she was the last of the seven children
of Émile Gougeon and Béatrice Reed.
Monique was born in Montreal East where, at that time, several schools were directed by the S.N.J.M.’s. She first studied at École du Saint-Nom-de-Jésus and then at École Stadacona. In 1944, she completed eleventh grade and received a certificate in commercial studies. At Hochelaga Convent, she continued her musical studies, achieving a 7th grade diploma for organ music in 1947 and a diploma for 7th grade piano in 1952.
Two of her brothers entered religious life with C.S.C. (Congregation of the Holy Cross): Pierre-Paul ( Brother Raynald) and Jean-Émile (Brother Jean-Émile). In turn, on the twenty-fourth of July 1947, Monique entered the SNJM Novitiate in Outremont. Her years of formation were happy ones: she saw them as an opportunity to learn more about the SNJM spirituality and their mission. Throughout her religious life, Sister Monique would always have this concern for bringing spirituality and action together.
For twenty-two years, she taught piano and choir in several of our boarding schools: Maskinongé, and the “Instituts familial” in Ste-Martine and Beloeil.
In July 1971, Sister Monique embarked on a second career: the world of secretarial work and finances. Bilingual and already equipped with a certificate in commercial studies, she was named to the General Administration finance office and worked as the treasurer’s assistant and secretary. The following year, during the General Council’s move to Pierrefonds, she became secretary to the General Treasurer, a post she held for eight years.
In 1980, she became a member of the Maisonneuve Province. There, for twenty-eight years, she assumed a variety of responsibilities, especially at the provincial level, as provincial treasurer, as a member of the Provincial Council and of the Provincial Chapter and as the immediate superior of Sisters living alone or in groups of two. Four houses benefitted from her presence: Maisonneuve, Rouen, Villeray and St-François d’Assise. She was also the Quebec SNJM’s representative at the RSE (Regroupement Responsabilité Sociale des Entreprises).
Sister Monique took advantage of the sessions offered by the Community: in 1986 she registered for a doctrinal year at Cap-Rouge, in Québec, in view of teaching Religious Education to adults. She also appreciated the sharing sessions on our Constitutions and SNJM spirituality. She wrote: “I see us as a part of the Church, rich in good will, talents, and a variety of charisms journeying towards a concrete commitment to the promotion of justice.” Following the Colloquium on Justice, she said: “This has had a positive impact on my reflection and has stimulated my action for the poor and disadvantaged”.
In 2009, Sister Monique was welcomed into Maison Jésus-Marie where she carried out a ministry of prayer. Friendly, open-minded, peaceful and always smiling, Sister Monique leaves behind the memory of a woman full of compassion and serenity, always ready to help the poor, those wounded by life, the sick and all those in need.
With Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, she says to us, with her broad smile:
“Up there, I will not forget you…”
...and neither will we! Thank you, Sister Monique.