Sister Fernande Patry
“My mother, my brothers, my sisters are those who hear the word of God and do it.” Lk 8:21
November 30, 2011, Sister Fernande Patry
in religion Édouard-Marie
went home to God.
She was 88 years old and had been professed for 66 years.
Born in Weeden, Quebec, she was the 2nd of 11 children of Édouard Patry and Éva Blois.
Fernande grew up on the family farm and, while still very young, learned to help out her parents. She was only 5 years old when she began to milk a cow, “Petite Blanche”! In the family home faith blossomed, along with a spirit of mutual help and work in an atmosphere of joy and neighbourliness. Fernande was in the 7th grade when she had to leave school to fill in for her mother who was sick. Her religious vocation developed early and became clearer through the influence of a neighbour who had entered the SNJM novitiate for a period of time. Fernande was 20 years of age when her father, her uncle and their neighbour drove her to the Motherhouse.
Until the age of 70, Sister Édouard-Marie assumed a variety of community services for the greater good of her sisters and the students: helping out in the kitchen and refectory, doing housework and gardening. She lived in our boarding schools: Sainte-Martine, Écoles normales St-Lambert and Disraéli, Saint-Chrysostôme, Verchères…, as well as in smaller residences where she assumed many tasks.
“Sister Fernande was a generous woman. She knew how to add a touch of gaiety to community celebrations by playing the harmonica. She served and loved with her whole heart.”
Sister Fernande spent her last 16 years in the infirmary. “We can speak of her prayer life which greatly influenced how she lived out each day, quietly going about her tasks.”
The Lord was fashioning his spouse and she was collaborating. Indeed, she was ready to meet Him!