Sister Augustine Corriveau
“If you but knew the gift of God” Jn 2:10
January 11, 2010, Sister Augustine Corriveau,
in religion Mathilde-Marie,
went home to God at the age of 96.
She had been professed for 70 years.
Born in East Angus, Quebec,
she was the 8th of 12 children of
Joseph Corriveau and Mathilde Lepitre
Augustine had a happy childhood with her mother, a former teacher, and her father, an ardent violinist, who many evenings, enthusiastically entertained the family. The family lived near the parish Church, and at one point, Augustine became the sacristan. She loved going to school that was under the administration of the Holy Names Sisters. Since she was attracted to religious life at a very early age, choosing which Congregation to enter did not pose any problem for her. Unfortunately, due to a long convalescence after breaking her knee, she had to discontinue her studies. So she helped out around the house and looked after some of the neighbours’ children.
She entered the postulate at the age of 23: “At last my dream is realized!” After her religious profession, Augustine, known as Sr. Mathilde-Marie, devoted her time working in the refectory and laundry for 27 years. In 1967, when her health began to fail, she moved to the Motherhouse and worked as a helper in the infirmary, responsible for organizing the food trays for the sick, taking care of the linens and answering the phone. . . all of this part time.
Sister Augustine once wrote: “I value community life and our apostolic life. The Gospel is my source of living water. Jesus speaks to my heart and He gives me the desire to serve, to know him better, to work for the Church, the community and all souls. I have never regretted what I left behind.”
She added: “Lord, I thank you for all the years you have given to me; for all that I have received from your love. Help me each day to savour the freshness of your friendship and to prepare, with confidence, my coming home to you.”
Sister Augustine was admitted into the infirmary in 2004 and remained there for six years, putting the finishing touches onto her life through her suffering and her prayer. Indeed a life fully lived!