Sister Hélène Lafortune
“I will live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” (Ps 23:6)
January 29, 2010, Sister Hélène Lafortune,
in religion, M.-Marguerite-de-Savoie
went home to God.
She was 90 years old and had been professed for 67 years.
She was the 7th daughter of 10 children
of Ubald Lafortune and Clara Roy.
Hélène was the seventh daughter in a row born into this family. Once when her mother was asked what gift she would wish for her daughter she responded, “If I could have one gift for the little one, it would be the gift of holiness.”
This answer well expressed the Christian environment from which came many religious vocations: aunts, sisters, cousins in various religious congregation. At one point Sister Hélène counted 23 Lafortune’s. From an early age, she was attracted to religious life and to teaching.
Sister Marguerite-de-Savoie’s teaching career spanned 34 years in our elementary and high schools on the South Shore and in Montreal. Her greatest memories were those of being with the poor and with those she prepared for their First Communion.
Open-minded, curious and love for study, lead Sister Hélène to acquire several diplomas. When the time came to change careers, she became librarian at Collège Durocher and École Vincent D’Indy where she diligently worked for 13 years, “always happy to be of assistance to the young researchers. She would go to any length to find the necessary information being sought”, noted a friend.
At the age of 75, Sister Hélène shared: “I attribute the ease with which I adapted to religious life to the vast number of relatives who were in religious life. We often shared on topics that had to do with the spiritual life. In a word, my story is very simple: prayer and teaching the young ones gave me great joy, in spite of the inevitable difficulties I sometimes faced. He helped me to overcome them. I am a happy Sister.”
Named to the Motherhouse, Sister Hélène occasionally did some community service until the year 2000 when she began to lose touch with reality. She died at Maison Jésus-Marie as peacefully as she had lived.