A Centenary Celebrated With Gratitude

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The atmosphere was festive on March 10, when a day of celebration was held to mark the 100th birthday of Sr. Rachel Leclerc. Surrounded by the residents of the 3rd floor of the Saint-Charles pavilion, and the lay staff, Sr. Rachel experienced some joyful moments.

The day began with a special blessing by the chaplain Fr. Serge Bélanger. The Mass began with a brief presentation of Sr. Rachel’s life journey. This journey was marked by her great and generous availability to serve in many capacities. In addition to her 25-year career in the world of education, she held positions as treasurer, accountant, secretary, print shop manager and driver-accompanist…

Sr. Rachel Leclerc with Sr. Beverley Wattling

Even though this last task was very demanding, as she had to respect other people’s schedules, Sr. Rachel was particularly fond of it. Sensitive and generous by nature, she knew how to listen and anticipate needs. It was not uncommon for her to offer to drive a companion to visit her family even before the latter had asked her to do so.

In recent years, her deafness had greatly impeded her ability to communicate with those around her. But it hadn’t made her lose her charming, welcoming smile. You could see the sparkle in her eyes and the teasing smile on her face as we celebrated and read out some of the messages she had received.

In short, those present felt they had experienced “a beautiful gift of life” in every sense of the word.

This woman who so loved Mary and the song “J’irai la voir un jour” (I’ll go and see her one day), while wishing that day would come soon, was granted her wish. On March 18, Sr. Rachel passed away not too long after receiving many expressions of gratitude and love on the occasion of her centenary.

The new centenarian is surrounded by Laurette Conombo, accompanist on the 3rd floor, and sisters Luce Boyer, Gabrielle Brunet and Beverley Wattling.

Photos Credit: Sr. Hélène Harvey