December 7, 2016, Sister Gisèle Payette,
in religion Lucienne-Marie
went home to God.
She was 89 years old and had been professed for 65 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec,
she was the 5th of 11 children of
Albert Payette and Lucienne Bélair.
Gisele’s parents wanted a large family. After their marriage, a baby arrived every year, until the birth of Gisèle. In 1927, it was Gisèle who came to bring joy to the family. She was a small, fragile baby girl, with a fragility that would last throughout her adulthood. She attended Stadacona School from which she graduated at the end of seventh grade.
She wanted to continue on, but the arrival of a 9th child forced her to put her dreams on hold. So, for five years, she helped out at home and worked long hours, at minimum wage, in chocolate, cheese and sewing factories. Gisèle was happy and her leisure time was spent singing and practicing the piano.
She was gaining experience and getting older. She did not think about religious life at all. Moreover, according to her, one had to be "holy" to become a nun. Her grandmother was an invaluable help to her. She advised her to make a closed retreat during which the light dawned in her mind and in her heart.
In 1947, when she was 21, she entered the postulate. She made her first vows in 1951 and her final profession in 1955.
How did her years of religious life unfold? Gisèle started out in the boarding school in Outremont as a cook. She would also cook at the Motherhouse and convents in Pierrefonds, l’Épiphanie and at Chalet Jésus-Marie in Saint-Sauveur until the year 2000. In all she spent a total of 50 years cooking for the Sisters and the students. This was an exercise in love, and she enjoyed pleasing people and making sure that those she served were not lacking anything. In this way, she showed that God continues to work in the world through one’s service.
In 2001, still living in Saint-Sauveur but carrying out various other duties, Gisèle had time to marvel at the beauty of nature: lakes, brooks, birds and flowers. And what a joy it was for her to sing in the choir at the parish church!
Throughout her life, she always had frail health. Eventually, she moved to Sainte-Émélie Residence where she helped out where she could and in 2012, moved to Maison Jésus-Marie where she lived a ministry of prayer.
We recognize in Sister Gisèle a companion full of kindness, dedication and good humor. She was an enjoyable, peaceful person, full of reserve, discretion, restraint, and with whom it was a pleasure to live.