Sister Jeannine Thifault
“Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your master.” (Mt 25:21)
On May 5, 2022, Sister Jeannine Thifault,
in religion Marie-Léonce,
went home to God
She was 99 years old, with 80 years of religious profession.
Born in Saint-Lin-des-Laurentides, she was the second of the 11 children
born to Raoul Thifault and Maria Clément.
After finishing school when she was 17, Jeannine entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. When she received the holy habit, she was given the name Marie-Léonce.
Sister Marie-Léonce taught various levels of primary and secondary school and had a beautiful and long career in education for approximately sixty years. She started out as a teacher in Beauharnois for five years, then at St. Clement School in Montreal. After two years of studies in teachers’ college, she went to De Lorimier and Cherrier Schools in Montréal, and then to Valleyfield for seven years.
Renowned for her integrity, foresight, organization, and social skills, Sister Jeannine was named principal at a school in St. Lambert, then at Gerard Filion Comprehensive High School, also in St. Lambert. She knew how to see the positive side of people and events, thereby helping both students and teachers to appreciate and live life to the fullest. After eight years as principal of Marie-de-Neuville in St. Lambert, the SNJM community named her assistant principal at Durocher College, as well as a member of the Longueuil provincial council. After nine years of service in administration at Durocher College, it was as registrar, then as technician in school organization, that Jeannine continued her excellent service in education. Meticulous by nature, she was completely devoted to any task.
“Whether it was in her community life or in her commitment to education, Sister Jeannine was an energetic woman of service, who listened to and welcomed all with great kindness. She even knew how to add humour to stressful situations.” “Being with her family on long weekends was her preferred form of relaxation as she joined five or six of her sisters. She also enjoyed reading and knitting.”
In 2003, Jeannine answered the call to become the animator for a group of SNJM Sisters living with the Sisters of Providence in Cartierville. At that time she also offered her services as a car-pool driver. In 2012, she arrived at Maison Jésus-Marie, where she consecrated her life to visiting the sick, then, in very little time, to the ministry of prayer, offering up her sufferings. Very close to her 100th birthday, Jeannine handed over her life to the One whom she had always desired to serve to the best of her ability throughout 80 years of consecrated life.