Sister Léontine Bellehumeur
“I was glad when they said to me,
let us go to the house of the Lord!”. Ps 121
August 23, 2014, Sister Léontine Bellehumeur,
in religion Marie.-Thérèse-du-Calvaire
went home to God.
She was 100 years old and had been professed for 77 years.
Born in Charlemagne (l’Assomption) in Quebec, she was the oldest of the five children
of Narcisse Bellehumeur and Zéphérina St-André.
Léontine was twelve years old when her father died, in January 1926. The following September, she became a boarder at the Sisters of Providence, in St-Henri-de-Mascouche, where she completed seventh grade. In June 1927, another move: the entire family went to live at her Grandfather St-André’s home in St-Roch-de-l’Achigan. She continued her studies at the boarding school in St-Roch, with the SNJM’s, where she encountered “very good teachers, one of whom left a particularly deep impression: Sister Marie-Emilia”. In 1932, having completed ninth grade, she obtained a teaching diploma.
Two years later, during a retreat, she decided to enter the SNJM’s at the Motherhouse in Outremont, on October 15, 1934. While teaching for thirty six years, in several schools in the Montreal School Commission, Sister Léontine was continuing her studies and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching and a Licence from the Université de Montréal. In 1969, Sister Léontine was already preparing for a second career geared towards health services and assisting the elderly: she enrolled in courses for a medical secretary at UQUAM, typewriting classes and courses in “Personality and Leadership”.
In 1972, upon retiring from teaching, she worked for twelve years as a secretary and medical archivist at the Motherhouse. Her sense of responsibility, her kindness and the accuracy of her work made her invaluable when the medical archives were being reorganized.
In 1990, following a heart attack, she was admitted permanently to the Groupe Jésus-Marie at the Motherhouse, where she continued her active retirement, while being grateful for the time granted to her to “deepen her understanding of the Mystery of Eternal Life”.
Having been admitted to the Infirmary at the Motherhouse in 2003, she “experienced” the move to Maison Jésus-Marie in Longueuil, in 2005. Sister Léontine expressed her faith and hope through poetry. In a prayer entitled JESUS, she wrote: “Jesus, you are waiting for me! I am waiting for you…What a magnificent reality!” After one hundred years of waiting, Sister Léontine was most certainly joyfully welcomed by Jesus and Mary!
Two members of Sister Léontine’s family who had entered religious life, have also died: Marie-Clémentine (Marie-de-Lorette) S.N.J.M. and Brother Albini Bellehumeur, C.S.V.