Sister Juliette Lafortune
“Jesus increased in wisdom and in years,and in divine and human favour.” Lk:2:52
December 21, 2010, Sister Juliette Lafortune,
in religion Ulbald-Marie,
went home to God.
She was 94 years old and had been professed for 74 years.
Born in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan, Québec, she was the 4th of 10 children of Ulbald Lafortune and Clara Roy.
Juliette’s father who was a nature lover, chose to farm in Ruisseau St-Jean. He lived on the farm with his wife, a former postmaster. Seven daughters were born in turn…followed by three boys! We grew up helping each other and “every evening the family knelt in prayer; often they made a novena to the Way of the Cross”. Faith, as well as education, was a part of daily life. “The family history says that four of Juliette’s aunts and their sisters taught in the little school in Ruisseau St-Jean, near the family home”. It was here that Juliette began school, developed her faith and acquired a taste for teaching! At the age of 18, Juliette and her sister Claire, entered the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Three other girls would follow them into the same Congregation, while another became a Grey Nun of Montreal. After her religious profession, Sister Ulbald-Marie began 36 years of teaching children in primary grades in our different schools; followed by 4 years as a substitute teacher in Repentigny, totalling 40 years in education.
During her career, the school inspector came to see her two years in a row: “I have never seen anything so good!” he witnessed. “She had a lot of influence on the students, knowing how to adapt her teaching so as to assure their progress and their success”. She conveyed her great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary to the children.
Named to the Epiphany convent, Sister Juliette, in addition to being sacristan, rendered a variety of services because she got on easily with those around her. She was dedicated to this for 11 years.
1989, she lived in the Motherhouse, and although retired, she remained available according to need and in keeping with her strength. One could appreciate the gentleness of this kind, loving and sympathetic woman. She was 82 years old when she was admitted into our infirmary for good. “From the age of 10 and even in her sick room, she honoured the Holy Family and had a special attraction to pictures of Jesus as an adolescent.” “In fragile health, Sister Juliette was resigned in the face of trials and expressed her faith in the Lord Jesus”. “Always attached to her family”, she is now united with the Lord and with those who went before her.