Sister Lise Brosseau
“I am always with you. . . I will never abandon you.” (Gen. 28: 15)
On September 1, 2021, Sister Lise Brosseau,
in religion M.-Pierre-Denis,
went home to God
She was 81 years old, with 62 years of religious profession.
Born in Sherbrooke, Québec, she was the only daughter and the third of
the six children of Auguste Brosseau and of Rita Binette.
As a very young child, Lise felt the call to give herself to Christ as his spouse. She grew up attracted to that ideal.
“Very early, I understood that ‘God loved me from all eternity and that God had created me out of love.’ He chose me and ‘made a covenant with me’. As for me, this is what I had desired from early childhood, because God had become my only love. I got to know him very early on through the daily prayer that was so much a part of my life.”
From grade 1 to grade 12, Lise attended École supérieure Immaculée Conception in Sherbrooke, a school run by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. At the same time, she took piano lessons and followed the SNJM music program at the provincial house of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) where she obtained her Laureate in Music. During her last two years at school, she even had the experience of teaching music. Then, once her studies were completed, at 17 years of age, she realized her ideal of becoming a religious by entering the SNJM congregation.
As a novice, Lise was given the name of two of her brothers: M. Pierre-Denis. Following her profession, while continuing her studies in piano and flute, she taught music first in East-Angus, then at Mont-Jésus-Marie, and finally at Vincent d’Indy Music School for 12 years, during the last five years of which she was part of the Willowdale small community. In 1975, she became part of a service community in Saint-Charles-Borromée Hospital, a weekly commitment to serve chronically disabled persons. This experience seems to have been a turning point in Lise’s life, helping her to discern her passion for serving the disadvantaged.
Missioned to Haiti in 1977, Sister Lise devoted herself wholeheartedly to the people there for the next 28 years, first at Gonaives, then during 22 years at Gros-Morne: supervising teachers, overseeing various constructions, coordinating liturgy, including preparation and animation of the weekly liturgies with youth and children, founding a service program and a choir for the disabled. . .
Looking back on her life, Sister Lise noted, “These commitments were occasions to give and receive life; they enhanced my personal growth and maturity. They found their inspiration in the needs of the poor – in their desire to be liberated, to work on projects that would better their social condition, permit them to move beyond their misery, develop a better life, and discover and express their values. With them, I experienced the joy of growing in my faith and love. They evangelized me by their faith in God, their hope for a better life, and their loving care in service to others.”
When she made a permanent move back to Québec in 2005, our missionary was greatly appreciated as local animator at Sainte-Émélie Residence. The quality of her listening, her presence to each sister, and her ability to make decisions were all highlighted. From 2014 to 2021, Lise participated in community life at the Congregation House, while ministering to the sisters at Maison Jésus-Marie. After receiving a cancer diagnosis, Lise moved into Saint-Charles Pavilion during the time of her treatments. Through this difficult time, she inspired those around her with her gracious and grateful presence. Even though her treatments seemed successful, Lise suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage, which brought her to her great encounter with her Lord. She answered her last call, her long-time desire for God completely fulfilled.