Sister Germaine Baril
“Light will shine on your path.” (Job 22: 28)
On September 26, 2021, Sister Germaine Baril,
in religion M.-Louis-Ernest,
went home to God.
She was 97 years of age, with 75 years of religious profession.
Born in Saint-Adelphe, Québec, she was the 2nd
of the nine children born to Ernest Baril and Juliette Gervais.
Germaine grew up in Saint-Narcisse de Champlain, attended the local grade school, and ardently participated in the Eucharistic Crusade which was an extension of the religious fervour of her family. Already she dreamed of being a teacher. For her secondary education, a benefactor helped her attend Mont-Royal and then Sainte-Émélie, boarding schools run by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She returned home during the Christmas and summer vacations to help her mother with the housework and her father with the farm work.
At the age of 20, after a year of teaching, Germaine entered the SNJM novitiate. Given the name M.-Louis-Ernest, her dream of teaching became a reality. She was missioned to teach in elementary and high schools in Beauharnois and the boarding schools of Sainte-Émélie, Mont-Royal and Marie-Rose. She culminated her 38 years in education as assistant principal at Marie-Rose High School.
Germaine’s extra-curricular activities included the Crusades, YSA (Young Catholic Students), Young Naturalists, film and photography clubs.
She summarized her teaching years in this way:
“I accomplished my work while, at the same time, continuing my college and university studies. What happy years I passed with the students for whom I tried to give the best of myself. Demanding yet understanding, concerned about who they would become in ten years, I instilled in them an appreciation for work well done, a desire to surpass themselves in view of their future… For this, the students were grateful, as seen by their testimonies and their responses to the challenges.”
When Marie-Rose High School closed in 1990, Sister Germaine was named assistant provincial superior of Val-Mont province, and then major superior for the infirmary. “I lived ten beautiful years in the ‘school of essentials’: detachment, listening, compassion towards our sick sisters. This was the most enriching ministry experience of my life.”
The year 2000 marked a time to retire. After a sabbatical year at Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Sister Germaine ministered in the catechumenate and various services as a volunteer: liaison with a group of SNJM associates, secretary, and teaching French, while living at Édouard-Montpetit Residence. In 2015, she was welcomed into the Maison Jésus-Marie infirmary where she joyously led a life of contemplation, prayer, and thanksgiving. She was ready to welcome her Lord who invited her to cross the river into eternity.