Sister Denise Brouard
“A valiant woman is far more precious than jewels” Prov. 31, 10
April 19, 2014, Sister Denise Brouard,
in religion Marie-Aline-de-Jésus
went home to God.
She was 86 years old and had been professed for 67 years.
Born in Disraéli, Quebec, on May 4, 1927, she was the oldest of the seven children
of Roméo Brouard and Joséphine Gouin.
Denise was a year old when she moved to “Three Rivers” with her family, and she lived there until entering the postulate.
Upon completing secondary school, she became secretary at the Annals Office, in Cap-de-la-Madeleine, during the last year before entering religious life. She was very close to her family and remained so during her entire religious life, always ready to support and encourage each one of them.
In community, Sister Denise’s career was very dynamic and diverse. For 23 years, she taught in both private and public schools. At the same time, she was completing studies at our École Normale Eulalie-Durocherin St-Lambert, to obtain a ‘Brevet Supérieur’ in teaching, at Collège Jésus-Marie for a B.A. and then at the Université de Montréal for a bachelor’s degree in education.
During all these years, she was always involved and knew how to get her students interested in social action, especially with the poor and those in missions.
In 1969, while in charge of students at École Normale Eulalie-Durocher, she committed herself, along with them, to the ‘Projet Antilles I’, for two consecutive years, during the summer holidays.
In 1973, she was a missionary in Gonaives, Haiti, and in 1979, she went back as secretary for the Diocese of Cap-Haïtien or, according to testimony from one of her collaborators, “she was understanding and dedicated to those in charge of the Church of the Cap and kind, sensitive and present to the poor who could always rely on her assistance.”
Her interest in Haiti remained vibrant throughout the rest of her life. “Her participation in this missionary project was among the most important experiences of her religious life.”
In 1991, she assumed the duties of Directress of Financial Services at the Motherhouse which she carried out for fourteen years. During these years, she also accepted the responsibility as animator of the local Group “Ma Maison”.
In 2005, at the time of the move from the Motherhouse, she began to lead a quieter life. Health problems brought her to the infirmary at Maison Jésus-Marie in Longueuil where she carried out a ministry of prayer with serenity and joy, always maintaining her spirit of service.
In a prayer which she left behind, she had written: “I can live joyfully forever in the Father’s house where he awaits me with open arms.”