Sister Claire Ainsley
“I will bless you as long as I live.” Ps 62, 4
September 27, 2012, Sister Claire Ainsley,
in religion Marie-Anne-Aimée
went home to God.
She was 88 years old and had been professed for 67 years.
Born in St-Antoine-de-Pontbriand, Mégantic, Quebec, she was the daughter of Arthur Ainsley and Anne-Aimée Grenier.
Claire graduated when she was 17 years old after having completed her elementary and secondary studies at the Boarding School in Valleyfield.
Being deeply committed to Catholic Action, she agreed to become diocesan director of the J.E.C. (Jeunesse étudiante catholique). A year later, she answered the call of her vocation and entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
For 40 years, as a specialist in the teaching of French, Sister Anne-Aimée taught in many areas far and wide: within Quebec in our boarding schools, Teachers’ College, Collèges Jésus-Marie and Durocher, and then in Michigan, U.S.A., in Gabon, Africa, as a cofounder of the Teachers’ College under the auspices of CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency), in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Niamey, Niger, Africa. Along with teaching she facilitated the Ciné-club and, in Niger, Gospel workshops at the University of Niamey.
During her travels in France, Sister Claire met Mrs. Marthe Durocher de Perpignan and her son, Jean-François Durocher de Bordeaux’s family who are related to some ancestors of Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher: This new information would further her research as a writer.
Returning to Quebec when she was 61 years old, Sister Claire collaborated in the preparation of a book for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the diocese of Montreal. She then immersed herself in writing a biography of Eulalie Durocher, “De l’histoire à l’imaginaire”, published by édition du Méridien on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of our Congregation. Along with her writing, Sister Claire led workshops in response to the needs of her local milieu: adult catechesis, “Bible-Café” courses and spiritual direction…
Her sisters and numerous other people who knew Sister Claire remember a woman who was “serene, peaceful, attentive to others, cheerful, poetic, distinguished, faithful in friendship, and truly grateful for services received…”
When Sister Claire was admitted to our infirmary in 1997, she continued to witness “to her deep relationship with the Lord, and to her hope and faith.”
Now she sees her Lord face to face.