Sister Georgette Perreault
“I will restore your health, and your wounds I will heal,” says the Lord. (Jer. 30:17)
On September 13, 2020, Sister Georgette Perreault,
in religion M.-Joseph-de-Sicile,
went home to God.
She was 99 years of age, with 77 years of religious profession.
Born in Montréal, Québec, she was the 13th of the 15 children
born to Joseph Perreault and Joséphine Trudel.
Georgette was baptized and grew up in the parish of St-Anselme in the Hochelaga district of Montreal. Her father was a fireman. “We were usually 12 at table. That means that our mother did a lot of cooking, besides also making our clothes for school! In September, we arrived at school with new suits and dresses. Mother also made our coats from my father’s old coats. She took apart all our clothes and washed the material to make something new. We helped her: the boys held the material while we refashioned everything. My mother did not throw out a single piece.” Even before going to school, Georgette was attracted to religious life.
Georgette attended the parish school until grade 6, and then went to grade 7 at Marie-Rose Boarding School, directed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She worked as a store clerk for six months before entering the novitiate when she was 20.
At her ceremony of reception of the holy habit, Sister Georgette received the name Sister M.-Joseph-de-Sicile, thus honoring both her parents. With her usual humour, she summarized her religious life in this way: “From the time of my novitiate I was in the infirmary 7 days a week, from 5 in the morning until 8 at night.” She wasn’t there as a patient, but as a nurse’s aide: 2 years at the Motherhouse, 13 years at Hochelaga, and another 48 years at the Motherhouse, mostly with the elderly. “Besides the work at the infirmary, we saw to the big cleaning of the novitiate: washing the walls, the blinds, etc.” For sure, Georgette was attentive to the needs of the community.
Concerning her work with the sick, she received this testimony: “How can we thank you enough for your untiring devotedness, your unwavering patience and your good humour throughout the confinement of our aunt, Sister Marie de Cana, in the 3rd floor infirmary. Your acts of kindness, your vigilant care, so intense during the last months of her life, all this filled us with admiration and gratitude”
Sister Georgette was happy in her vocation and a ray of sunshine for others. Joyful, devoted, responsible, hardworking, she loved the sick and knew how to ease their suffering. Wit and teasing marked her conversations. In 2018, on the day of her 75th anniversary of religious profession, she confided that she loved to recite the “Memorare” to the Virgin Mary and that “Jesus on the Cross” inspired her prayer life. To the question: “What would I like to say to God when I arrive in heaven?” she responded: “I will hug him and say ‘I love you!’” Sister Georgette was a lover, plain and simple, and she never lost the liveliness of a child. As such, she returned her life to God.