January 21, 2017, Sister Liliane Bourdeau,
in religion Marie.-Anne-Clothilde
went home to God.
She was 81 years old and had been professed for 61 years.
Born in Ste-Clotilde de Châteauguay, Québec,
she was the youngest of the 10 children
of Théodat Bourdeau and Marie-Anne Boyer.
Liliane came from a simple and modest family, as she liked to point out. When she was ten, she endured the painful experience of her mother’s death. Yet despite this ordeal, her family environment fostered her development and her love of life. As a young girl, she knew how to get her father's attention, taking advantage of her status as the youngest child and of her own determination. She attended primary school in Sainte-Clotilde, and continued her high school at the convent in Saint-Chrysostome. In 1952, she obtained her Teaching Certificate at the École Normale de Valleyfield, and began her teaching career the next day in St-Urbain, which was very close to her home.
The following year, when she was 19 years old, she realized her great dream of consecrating herself to the Lord. During her years of study, she had attended schools run by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary; so it was within this religious family that she chose to live out her dream. She left her family to enter the Postulate in 1953, and took the name of Sister Marie-Anne-Clotilde, a reminder of the place where she was born, and to which she would always enjoy returning to nurture her roots and savor the joy of family happiness. On August 22, 1955, she made her temporary vows.
During the next 22 years, Liliane became fully immersed in the world of teaching. Spontaneous, cheerful, and optimistic, she was able to convey to her students the values of autonomy, respect for others and a taste for study in a relaxed and caring environment. As a team worker, she was appreciated by her co-workers.
During the first 11 years she taught elementary school, both at l’Épiphanie and at Collège Anastase Forget in Saint-Lambert. Meanwhile, the year 58-59 was dedicated to preparation for her perpetual vows, which she would make on August 6, 1960, at the Motherhouse. Then, while teaching, she continued her studies part-time and obtained a Bachelor in Pedagogy and a Bachelor of Arts degrees.
After 10 years teaching high school in LaSalle, the time had come to go out of the country. For some time now, she had been asking to join our SNJM missionaries, and it was in Brazil that this dream would come to fruition. On July 22, 1979, after a long year of preparation and of deepening her understanding, she set out to respond to this urgent appeal where she felt that she was "called to play her small part for the advancement of the Kingdom." She had just completed a Certificate in Pastoral Studies at the Dominican College.
For almost 15 years, she used her talents as a communicator, at the pastoral level, and captivated the heart of every Brazilian man and woman, by her simplicity, her quick and contagious smile "always ready to help us" as a Brazilian woman recently emphasized. She was a friend to all there, and was deeply missed after she left.
In 1992, health problems brought her back to this country where she dedicated herself to working with immigrants at PROMIS and then CASA, thereby extending her mission which was always close to her heart. She went to Brazil a second time, around the year 2000 but then returned here permanently. In 2011, her health problems ultimately brought her to Maison Jésus-Marie, where she died on January 21, 2017.
Rest in Peace, Liliane!
The smiling look of your blue eyes will always inspire us!