Sister Dolorès Riopel
“What is worth doing, is worth doing well.”
December 16, 2009, Sister Dolorès Riopel
in religion, M.-Paul-Albert
went home to God at the age of 93.
She had been professed for 69 years.
Born in St-Alexis-de-Montcalm, she was the 6th of 12 children
of Hormidas Riopel and Régina Cadieux.
Recalling memories of her childhood, Sister Dolorès noted: ”Since the family farm was 5 miles from the village, we did not have enough time to return home between the two Masses on Sunday. So therefore, we took turns attending Sunday Mass. When we walked to our catechism classes, we were given $.10 to buy a banana to eat with our buttered bread for lunch.”
Having completed teacher training at the CND “École Normale” in Joliette, Sister Dolorès worked, for a year, in a grocery store and then taught in the rural school in St-Alexis for two years.
Correspondence with her SNJM cousin, Sister Hélène-de-Rome as well as making a vocational discernment retreat led Sister Dolorès to enter the postulate at the age of 21. ”I was so happy and nothing frightened me. We prayed and that was what I desired.”
She devoted 11 years to teaching in our schools. “I was perfectly happy teaching, but the Lord had other ideas. . .our first infirmary needed some helpers…and I was then ‘transformed’ into an infirmarian in 1950 for the next 31 years – “What a task!” Prayer and good health helped me through those times. It was certainly a second career.” Sister Dolorès, a hard-working, responsible woman, learned her job well and was very devoted to the Sisters and students in our boarding schools.
In 1982, having arrived at the age of retirement, she was forced to makes some changes in her life. “I suffered greatly in accepting the limitations of my declining health.” Sister Dolorès, graciously and generously, devoted herself to working in the sewing room for the Motherhouse infirmary.
In 2002, she was admitted to the infirmary. “O Lord, by means of your grace, and throughout my remaining days, I will overcome all my difficulties. My soul, enriched by my life experiences, will glorify you at the hour of my death!” We thanked and praised God as Sister Dolorès had invited us to in November 2001: “Sing with me: I saw with my eyes and that was enough…I sing for joy!”