Memorable Moments for the Two Retired Sisters From Centre Marie-Rose

Return to news

A special recognition event was held at the Congregation House on August 25 to officially mark the retirement of Sisters Thérèse Laplante and Simone Perras from Centre Marie-Rose (CMR). In the presence of the Quebec Leadership Team and General Administration staff, members of the Congregation’s Leadership Team (CLT) warmly thanked the two retirees for their “loving presence” during more than 20 years at CMR.

“We pay tribute to you for your service to countless people here in Quebec and around the world,” said Sister Mary Haupt, General Councillor. “We pray that Blessed Marie-Rose will continue to inspire and guide you, as she did so faithfully throughout your ministry at Centre Marie-Rose.”

In a convivial atmosphere during dinner, everyone had the opportunity to appreciate the contribution of Sisters Thérèse and Simone. After hearing touching testimonials accompanied by generous gifts, Sister Simone thanked everyone for their presence and expressions of appreciation. She also emphasized the natural harmony that quickly developed between herself and Sister Thérèse: “Very spontaneously, we combined our aspirations and personal gifts.”

From left to right, Sisters Claudette Bastien, Provincial Councillor, Thérèse Laplante, Suzanne Brault (standing), Simone Perras, Susan Wells, General Councillor (standing) and Denise Riel, Provincial Animator.

Inspiring moments

At the end of the  the meal, the two retirees shared a few impressions and memories. “I especially enjoyed meeting small groups of visitors,” recalls Sister Simone. “The atmosphere was warm, and even more conducive to sharing stories. Some people told us that their grandmother or mother had studied in our convents, that they had appreciated the education they had received, and had been taught about Mother Marie-Rose.”  Names of specific Religious were sometimes mentioned.

Sister Thérèse agrees: “I loved meeting people.  I’ve always preferred directly meeting with visitors, not ‘conferences’, but little moments of privileged exchange with adults and children alike. What struck me most was people’s trust in and love for Mother Marie-Rose.  It was wonderful to see people in awe when they came into the chapel or the museum.”

A source of learning

The two new “retirees”, Sisters Thérèse Laplante and Simone Perras.

The time spent at the Centre Marie-Rose has also been a formative experience for those who have worked there throughout the years. Sister Simone points out that computers had not yet been introduced when they arrived. In addition to visits to the museum, there was also the day-to-day running of the Centre, correspondence with the ‘friends’ of Mother Marie-Rose, the recording of testimonials and favours obtained, not to mention our participation in commemorative events in parishes and collaboration with local historical and cultural societies. Needless to say, they both enjoyed getting to know and love their foundress and her spirituality even more.

After hearing General Councillor Sister Susan Wells tell them, “You have been the beacons of the community,” Sisters Simone and Thérèse acknowledged that Centre Marie-Rose is at the heart of the life of the Congregation. “We have maintained links with Sisters from around the world, especially our American Sisters, by welcoming them or sending them documentation. With admiration, I remember the visits of the Manitoba lay educators. They really had the spirit of Mother Marie-Rose,” says Sister Simone.

Simple retirement plans

Aware that they are embarking on a new stage in their lives, the two retirees still have a few aspirations. “As far as I’m concerned,” says Sister Simone, “I hope for a peaceful future, open to the world and to Eternity… I enjoy writing, and I continue to make myself useful by responding to community requests.”

Sister Thérèse intends to devote herself to reading with great pleasure. “I’d like to further develop my taste for the arts; there are some beautiful things being done today. I’d like to see the world, to keep myself active.” The two companions agree in expressing their gratitude for life: “Despite our frailties, we are fortunate to have access to all that we are offered here: the beauty of our environment, the community presence and the wealth of spiritual goods that sustain us.”

Sister Lisette Boulé has been a valuable member of the team for over 10 years. For the time being, she is taking over the running of the Centre Marie-Rose.