Sister Françoise Lanthier
“Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.” (Ps. 40, 7-8)
On February 21, 2021, Sister Françoise Lanthier,
in religion M.-Guy-Roger,
went home to God.
She was 89 years of age, with 64 years of religious profession.
Born in Mackayville, Québec, she was one of the seven children
born to Aurélien Lanthier and Eugénie Desnoyers.
Françoise grew up with three sisters and three brothers and went to Saint-Jean-Eudes School and Holy Angels Academy in Mackayville and Saint-Lambert respectively, where the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary taught. Attracted to teaching, she went to Jacques Cartier Normal School (Teachers’ College) in Montreal, under the direction of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. After receiving her diploma, she taught for three years before deciding, at the age of 23, to enter religious life with the Holy Names Sisters.
Following her novitiate, Sister Guy-Roger (her new religious name) was assigned to Beauharnois to teach grade 7 at Notre-Dame School. For 22 years, she thrived in her career as a high school teacher in Verchères, Sherbrooke, and Saint Lambert. Generous and active, tenacious and committed, she gifted her students with a love of the French language as well as with ways of effectively helping others. As a member of the diocesan commission of assistants in the YCSA (Young Catholic Students Association) for the diocese of Sherbrooke, her influence was felt beyond her immediate surroundings; she knew how to clearly articulate her convictions, expressing them forcefully yet respectfully.
Sister Françoise remained very attached to her family and very present to her brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. She was also faithful to her friends, calling them on the phone and meeting with them regularly. “Sister Françoise really had two families.” She lived her 64 years of community life at Benoit, Barthélemy, Diane, and Saint-Charles Residences as well as at the Congregational House. Although she never refused any service in her community, Sr. Françoise was also always ready to respond quickly to requests for help from outside the community since she was particularly concerned with supporting disadvantaged people.
She was secretary at the provincial house for seven years, after which she served as an assistant in the administration office of Durocher College for nine years. There she also accepted the responsibility for youth liturgies and animated Celebrations of the Word and small faith sharing groups. She extended her services to Saint Pius X Parish as a pastoral animator, with a mandate from Bishop Jacques Berthelet.
A people person and an exceptionally good listener, Sister Françoise continued animating faith sharing groups in two parishes and in her residence. Always of service, she gave of her time freely and generously to accompanying the sick, helping out in the provincial finance department, being a chauffeur when needed, and participating in various committees. As the years went by, Francoise remained just as involved. At the end of each day, usually late in the evening, Françoise could be seen in the choir loft of the chapel for a last visit with her Lord.
It was in the evening of a very ordinary day that Sister Françoise fell ill and went to the hospital. The next morning, the Lord came to take her home without any further notice. She had always given herself completely to God, so there is no doubt that she was ready to meet her Lord.