Sister Gervaise Roux
“Come, you are precious in my sight, and honoured,
and I love you.” Is. 43, 4
May 3, 2012, Sister Gervaise Roux,
in religion Marie Alexis-de-Rome
went home to God.
She was 99 years old and had been professed for 79 years.
Born in Kingsey Falls, Quebec, she was the 13th of 14 children of Alexandre Roux and Joséphine Desrochers.
Between her brothers’ teasing, treats from her father and her mother’s strictness which was tinged with kindness, Gervaise grew up happily in a comfortable home. As a student at St-Clément-de-Viauville School, she knew the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Encouraged by the mother of one of her friends: “I can see you as a Sister”, Gervaise decided to apply to enter the Congregation, when she was 20 years old.
Pampered and even spoiled at home, Gervaise had difficulty adapting to her new life. But her decision was final and Sister Alexis-de-Rome, as she became known upon receiving her habit, persevered to the surprise and great pride of her father!
For 39 years, Sister Alexis-de-Rome was a teacher and later a school principal at the primary level and at the secondary classical level, especially in our boarding schools: Outremont, Saint-Lambert, Sainte-Émélie, Collège Jésus-Marie, Valois, and Montréal-Est… She often served as an assistant for the Catholic Action Group and was in charge of the Ciné-club.
In community, she accepted to serve as a local superior and as a provincial councillor. Sister Gervaise was appreciated as a woman who was simple, distinguished, competent and an educator.
At the age of 64, she became involved with other ministries. During the next 24 years, Sister Gervaise shared the life and projects of a small local community at the Maisonneuve and Préfontaine residences. In daily life, whatever Sister Gervaise wanted, she wanted immediately, despite everything. She also maintained her gift of wonderment.
This new active phase of her life combined community and working life: parish pastoral work, service as a warden, school problem-solving at Centre Desjardins, ministry with immigrants, visiting the elderly and the disabled, meals on wheels, newspaper committee…
“The mission which meant a lot to me was my work with refugees from South Asia and Central America. I also deeply appreciated my participation in a small Christian community: the Fraternity of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption.”
Sister Gervaise spent the last 11 years of her life at Maison Jésus-Marie. Not being very talkative about her interior life, she had written: “There was always a connection between God’s love and my love for Him”: Indeed, testimony to a covenant!