"You are my disciples if you have love for one another." (John 13, 35)
December 17, 2017, Sister Pauline Labbé,
in religion Claude-Marie,
went home to God.
She was 82 years old and had been professed for 61 years.
Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, she was the oldest of the four children
of Roméo Labbé and Claudia Brault.
Following Pauline’s birth, three brothers were born. Her father, an electrician by trade, was also a violinist. Pauline attended École Immaculée-Conception directed by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame until the 9th grade. During this time, she was taking piano lessons at the SNJM Provincial House in Sherbrooke, where she obtained an 8th grade diploma in music. After a year studying commercial courses, also with the SNJMs, she worked for a year and then decided to enter the SNJM Novitiate in Outremont when she was 19 years old.
Sister Claude-Marie's career as a music teacher would last more than thirty-four years, mainly in Sherbrooke, St-Bruno, Longueuil, as well as in Saint-Lambert where she was both the director of the music department and organist.
"Sister Pauline knew how to convey to her students a taste for good music, to identify real talent and to encourage them to continue to make the necessary efforts. Her former students, who occasionally visited her, have enduring memories of her."
When Sister Pauline gave up teaching music, she helped with Nursing the elder Sisters at the Motherhouse for 4 years. She was then assigned to Chalet Jesus-Marie in Saint-Sauveur where she oversaw the hospitality and care of the guests along with being in charge of the liturgy preparation. Résidence Ste-Martine also benefitted from her dedication and expertise in a variety of community services: seamstress, receptionist, driver and hairdresser ... In July 2011, Sister Pauline arrived at Maison Jésus-Marie, first to help with community services and soon after to receive care herself.
"Sister Pauline proved to be a good collaborator in various organizations and was always ready to help anyone." "In simplicity while in the infirmary, she shared her deep relationship with the Lord, her hope and her faith. She remained true to self, was comforting and encouraging."
When the Lord called, Sister Pauline replied: "Ready!" In God she found the ultimate fulfillment of her hope.
“For where your treasure is, there will be your heart .” (Mt. 6 : 21)
November 26, 2017, Sister Jeannine Dargis,
in religion Marie-Lucie-de-l’Immaculée
went home to God.
She was 85 years old and had been professed for 61 years.
Born in St-Louis-de-France, Quebec, she was the 7th of the 13 children
of Ernest Dargis and Aldéa Buissières.
Jeannine grew up in a remarkably united family where piety and prayer ruled: "Family prayer - both morning and evening, rosary recited kneeling in the kitchen, way of the cross in the parents' room or at church, Mass every morning and reciting the Angelus before dinner.”
She attended the local school until Grade 4 and then, for a few years, attended a school directed by the Congregation of the Filles-de-Jésus. When she was 15 years old, Jeannine wanted to enter the community but she stayed at home to help her mother: five brothers were born after her! She also worked in a factory in Trois-Rivières for three or four years. At the age of 21, she entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, where her two older sisters had preceded her.
At the ceremony of the taking of the habit, Jeannine received the name Sister Lucie-de-l'Immaculée. She very quickly felt at home within the community. During the early years of her religious life, Sister Lucie served in the refectory at the Motherhouse. Following that, she was the cook for more than 25 years in various houses among which were Maskinongé, Beloeil, St-Louis-de-Gonzague, St-Chrysostome and Ste-Martine.
When she was about 45, Sister Jeannine began focusing on pastoral care for the sick and elderly Sisters. At the Motherhouse, she was assigned to maintaining the kitchenette in the infirmary and to accompanying patients to medical appointments, which she did until the house closed in 2005. She was then appointed to Résidence Marie-Rose-Durocher where she provided community services, while also volunteering outside the community. Three years later, she was welcomed into Maison Jésus-Marie where her two older sisters would later join her. As her strength weakened, she dedicated herself to a ministry of prayer.
Sister Jeannine’s favorite pastime was practicing the piano thanks to a portable keyboard which her brother Prudent had loaned to her. Her wish was to be able to accompany the singing of the sick Sisters whom she visited. Sister Jeannine also loved reading spiritual biographies, which nurtured her prayer life.
Sister Jeannine is now with the One in whom she had such great hope.
During the day, the Lord sends his love to me.” (Psalm 42, 8)
October 31, 2017, Sister Monique Longpré,
in religion Marie-Agnès-d'Assise,
went home to God.
She was 86 years old and had been professed for 61 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the 4th of the 10 children
of Honoré Longpré and Agnès Pesant.
“Monique grew up in the Maisonneuve area of Montreal, in Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus Parish. The first four children arrived in quick succession with only a year between each of them. Her father, a dairy farmer and her mother, a musician, were both unfaltering. They valued family prayer and the rosary. Monique attended the parish school directed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. During her 5th and 6th grades at the primary level, her religious vocation was awakening through the influence of her teacher, Sister Adolphe-Marie.
Upon completing primary school Monique, who was attracted to family and social studies, followed an entire course offered by the Sisters of Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil (Our Lady of Good Counsel) and graduated when she was 18 years old. Well prepared, she taught culinary arts and sewing in two schools belonging to the Commission scolaire de Montréal (Montreal Catholic School Commission), Boucher-de-la-Bruère and Baril. She was 22 years old when she entered the SNJM Novitiate, in Outremont.
For 3 years after her religious profession, Sister Marie-Agnès-d'Assise taught culinary arts and sewing at Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours School. Subsequent to her Juniorate year, she taught at the Institut de pédagogie familial for 6 years, followed by 5 years at the l'Institut familial de Ste-Martine. Her attention to people and to the needs of the community motivated her to study nursing. For more than 30 years she would take care of her Sisters, first in the infirmaries at the Motherhouse, then in Valleyfield and at Residence Ste-Émélie.
"Discreet, sensitive and welcoming, she ensured a caring and generous presence to each one, despite her own fragile health." "Sister Monique attached great importance to being welcoming, to sharing and to community living."
“In her spare time, she was becoming more skilled at painting and accomplished works that expressed her love of nature and her attention to detail."
At Résidence Albani, Sister Monique, who was now 70 years old, was experiencing health problems and could no longer work full time; she provided services as a nurses’ aid and as a sacristan, contributing as a volunteer as much as she could. In 2013, she joined the small group Mélodie at Ste-Émélie. Her illness came as a shock and she was admitted to the Infirmary in Longueuil. When she recovered, she again helped her Sisters. For two years, her health would fluctuate between life-threatening issues and re-bound improvement in her health when once again, with so much compassion, she devoted herself to others. Sister Monique was fighting for her life, but the illness had taken over.
Then the Lord came to seek the one who had radiated so much of His love to those around her.
"We will make our home with them.” (John 14:23)
October 29, 2017, Sister Thérèse Laramée,
in religion Marie-Marguerite-de-Jésus
went home to God.
She was 92 years old and had been professed for 70 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the 12th of the 13 children
of Arthur Laramée and Hortense Desjardins.
Thérèse grew up in a very close-knit family with exceptional parents. She studied at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours School, directed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She confided that: "Due to poor health, I experienced prolonged absences from school every year so my mother stood in as a teacher." From the age of 10, Thérèse began studying piano. At the end of her 11th grade, she remained at home for three years, using this opportunity to study the organ.
When she was 20 years old, she entered the SNJM Novitiate. She was the eighth member of her family to dedicate herself to God: among her brothers, four were Jesuits and two were diocesan priests and one older sister had entered the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Now named Sister Marguerite-de-Jésus, Thérèse missed her family, especially her sister Marguerite, who was two years younger than she was and who would later join her as an SNJM. As a missionary novice, she remained at the novitiate and taught piano at Mont-Jésus-Marie, a small elementary school housed in the same building. It was her fist teaching assignment, and while she loved the children, she found teaching difficult. She was sustained by the motto: "Accomplish the will of God”. She continued to study the organ, leading her to attain a Master’s Degree.
Throughout her active life, Sister Thérèse was said to have lived in only three houses apart from the Motherhouse: Outremont, Valleyfield and Longueuil, and she taught music for a total of nine years. Upon returning to the Motherhouse, she was named titular organist. This was her true vocation and would remain so right up until her final moments! She also assumed other responsibilities: assisting with the liturgy, animating groups and assisting the Provincial Animator.
In 2005, after the closing of the Motherhouse, Sister Thérèse became leader of an SNJM group living at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence in Cartierville, and continued to play the organ during the liturgies. Arriving at Maison Jésus-Marie in 2008, she again became titular organist and also provided a variety of community services.
Her presence elicited the following testimonies: Sister Thérèse "shared her faith and her hope always in a calm manner, with wisdom, patience, humility and sound judgment." "She was close to her Sisters, favoring those who needed help, and was also attentive, a good listener and eager to please."
Sister Thérèse herself summarized her religious life with these words: "seeking a constant relationship with Jesus and Mary" and my devotions: the Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin and Mother Marie-Rose". Faithful to her daily life, she concluded: "My profession as organist kept me close to the Lord".
On October 29, 2017, she went home to God, with whom she already had a close relationship. She is now singing, in the most melodious way possible, the praises of the One whom she had honored throughout her entire life.
"Whoever follows me will have the light of life." (John 8, 12)
October 16, 2017, Sister Marie-Thérèse Côté,
in religion Marie.-Hélène-Alma,
went home to God.
She was 93 years old and had been professed for 70 years.
Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, she was the 3rd of the 6 children
of Émile Côté and Alma Berthiaume.
Marie-Thérèse attended École Ste-Thérèse d'Avila in Sherbrooke, directed by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame for her primary grades. She then became a boarder at Couvent Maplewood in Waterloo for the Arts-Sciences Course. It was there that she became closely acquainted with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. After graduation, she took a commercial course and worked in a store for two years before entering the SNJM Novitiate when she was 22 years old.
Sister Hélène-Alma, an unassuming woman, offered little in terms of providing information about her own history: she attentively listened to others! As a teacher at the primary level, she quickly became familiar with several levels of education at several schools: seven in ten years. Following École familiale de Disraéli, where she taught in the 8th and 9th grades, she went to École Normale Notre-Dame-des-Anges in Viauville, where she taught and was also directress of discipline.
For several years, she was the Directress of Postulants at the Novitiate in the Motherhouse. Upon returning to teaching, she also became the principal at École de Garthby in the Eastern Townships.
Sister Marie-Thérèse assumed management of the Beloeil Retreat House, before being asked to become secretary for the General Leadership Team in Pierrefonds, where she would serve for nine years. During the last 17 years of her active life she shared community life at Ste-Émélie Convent, providing various support services: assisting the provincial administration, as a receptionist, accompaniment of the sick, as a sacristan, as a driver, taking charge of ‘Cercle Eulalie’, welcoming visitors ... Sister Marie-Thérèse spread joy with her smile, the quality of her welcome, her spirit of service and her discretion.
"In the service of education, with love and tenderness, Sister Marie-Thérèse worked hard to nurture minds and hearts." "A deeply spiritual woman, at Beloeil's Retreat House, she was able to create a climate conducive to prayer and contemplation." "Training the postulants, with kindness, she channeled their energy and transmitted the SNJM values."
When her illness progressed, Sister Marie-Thérèse at the age of 83 was welcomed into the infirmary in Longueuil. Ten years went by during which Sister Marie-Thérèse devoted herself to the ministry of prayer. Until the end, she took pleasure in reading and she dedicated " her heart and her arms to the evangelical message with benevolence and in a very personal way." She was ready to meet Jesus!