“Our hearts rejoice in him, because we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:32)
August 2, 2017, Sister Léonie Lamarche,
in religion Marie.-Reine-Cécile,
went home to God.
She was 103 years old and had been professed for 82 years.
Born in St-Lin-des-Laurentides, Quebec, she was
the 3rd of 5 children of Alphonse Lamarche and Maria Rochon.
Léonie was 9 years old when her mother died, and 17 at the time of her father’s death. Rooted in faith, she was always drawn towards God and, from a very young age, wanted to dedicate her life to him. She possessed a happy and appreciative temperament, and when invited to share about her family life she simply said: "Even though I was an orphan, I was pampered by my relatives." She grew up in St-Lin-des-Laurentides and attended the local school in the village as well as the boarding school, directed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. When she was 19, she responded to God’s call and entered the SNJM Novitiate in Outremont, Montreal.
Following her religious profession, Sister Reine-Cécile taught at the primary level, was in charge of the Eucharistic Crusade and Junior Naturalist Club for 35 years, mainly at Hudon and St-Jean-Eudes schools. During the next 25 years, she taught at Mont-Jésus-Marie, before becoming supervisor of the students, receptionist, and finally took on the responsibility of the library. Her welcoming attitude, her reliability and her spirit of service were greatly noticed and appreciated equally by parents, teachers and her Sisters.
"Sister Leonie responded with generosity to the many requests made of her." In retrospect, she would say: "I have always loved carrying out the duties assigned to me".
She eventually retired from active ministry and at the age of 100, she voiced her gratitude for the life she had lived and for how much she cherished her ministry of prayer.
She was ready to meet her God face to face, and to eternally express her "thank you!"