Sister Claire Dupuis
“We are God’s children now. When He is revealed, we will be like Him,
for we will see him as He is.” 1 Jn 3:2
July 1, 2010, Sister Claire Dupuis,
in religion Jean-de-l’Immaculée
went home to God.
She was 92 years old and had been professed for 69 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the younger of two daughters
of Jean Dupuis and Oliva Provost.
Sister Claire Dupuis entered the SNJM Novitiate at the age of 21, after completing studies at the Pensionnat Mont-Royal, a Superior Diploma in Music and her Bachelor of Arts degree obtained at Collège Jésus-Marie. From her father she had inherited her cheerfulness, her humour, her musicality; from her mother, her level-headedness, initiative, tactfulness and generosity. Having a talent for studying, she obtained a certificate in Greek and Latin, followed by a Masters in Religious Studies and in French Literature from the University of Montreal, a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Catholic Institute in Paris which was obtained with Great Honours.
From the first year of her religious profession, at 23 years old, she began her career as a Philosophy Teacher which would last for 34 years, first at the Collège Jésus-Marie then at the Normal School in Saint-Lambert and at the Vincent-d’Indy School of Music. A former student testifies: “Everyone witnessed her great intelligence as a Teacher of Philosophy and her patience in answering our numerous questions”. Another of her students would confirm this: “With her, a complex question became simple, the answer was logical, clear, concise; also Sister Jean had remained, for me, a person to whom I could turn and whom I consulted many times during my life”.
Named Provincial Superior, she would serve from 1977 to 1983 at the Inter -provincial Center (the Motherhouse). We recall her warm unpretentious welcome and her attentiveness to people, traits inherent to her personality. Among her memories, Sister Claire mentions with emotion “the great honour of having been present in Rome in 1982 for the beatification of Mother Marie-Rose”, our foundress.
Sister Claire was 65 years old when she began another career. For 18 years she worked in parishes, especially in less fortunate areas of Montreal: St-Jacques, St-Jean de Pointe St-Charles and St-Henri parishes, assisting the pastors and responding to the needs of the poor, exercising her kindness and creativity with simplicity and good nature.
“What fascinated me most was her great kindness (…) She did every sort of job: cook, nurse, managing clothing rooms for the poor and for altar servers…; once a week, she would make spaghetti and invite a few people to eat with her. “
Sister Claire told us: “The poor have taught me what is fundamental to humanity. I tell myself that perhaps I am the poor one…They have taught me something about the heart. God is always found in my weaknesses and it is there that he encounters me… “
After 4 years of declining health, during which she helped our sick sisters, Sister Claire was admitted to the Infirmary for good. The last five years would see our sister’s capacities progressively diminish, though she always maintained her charm, her kind-heartedness. It was at the Maison Jésus-Marie in Longueuil that Mother Marie-Rose would present her to our God of Love and Truth!