"The Lord has done great things for me." (Luke 1:48)
December 19, 2018, Sister Claire Giroux,
in religion M.-Claire-de-la Croix,
went home to God.
She was 89 years of age and 62 years professed.
Born in Saint-Michel de Napierville, Québec,
she was the 2nd of the 5 children
of Émilien Giroux and of Gertrude Perras.
Claire grew up in a happy family. She appreciated what their farm produced and on Sundays she admired nature during the familly outings in the car. "My parents were fervent. At home, we recited the rosary on our knees as a family in the evening. We lived near the church so we were together at Mass every Sunday and sometimes during the week. There was always a part of our life reserved for the Lord." A solid worker, she was the right arm of her father. She studied with the Sisters of St. Anne at St-Michel, then at St. Rémie where she received her Grade 11 diploma at 17 years of age.
Regarding her vocation, Sister Claire tells us: "I was so happy every time my aunt on my mother’s side, Sister David-Marie, accompanied by my cousin, Sister Agathe-de-la-Croix, came to visit us. I was six when my aunt whispered in my ear, ‘Do you want to be a Sister like your aunt?' The idea stuck with me. I knew the ways of the world; I had a good boyfriend whom I had to leave behind because God voice was stronger." After 50 years of religious life, Sister Claire said: "I never regretted the choice I made.”
At 24, Claire entered the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Sister`s teaching career spanned 40 years, 25 were at Jeanne-Mance Comprehensive School, without missing a day. There she met the "league of nations", "receptive students who loved me a lot. It was reciprocal." Like her father, she seasoned her conversations with a sense of humour; she also expressed herself plainly and with clarity, without beating around the bush.
When she left teaching at the age of 65, Sister Claire who was already a 20-year volunteer as secretary and accountant for the periodical “Appoint”; she continued this work for another 25 years. For the SNJM community, Sister Claire helped at the secretariat office of the Province of Ville-Marie and was a driver for her Sisters, especially for those at the Motherhouse.
Discreet about her spiritual life, Sister Claire confided: "The Lord blessed me. I walk with the Lord." "In my life as a religious, I loved the life of prayer and the Eucharistic Celebrations. I was happy in the peace of the Lord. But I do not like to share about my intimacy with the Lord: I do not want to pass for a "saint" in this life. I’m saving the surprise for above!"
Following a few years at the infirmary, Sister Claire at last saw the Lord in whom she believed profoundly.