Sister Marcelle Leclerc
“From a simple and joyful heart, Lord, I have given my all.”(Ps. 131:1)
On the 23rd of August 2020,
Sister Marcelle Leclerc, in religion M.-Charles-Albert,
went home to God.
She was 92 years of age, with 69 years of religious profession.
Born in Isletville, Québec, she was the last of 20 children
born to Léonius (called Nilus) Leclerc and to Marie Deschênes.
Marcelle grew up in a family of industrial inventors. From fathers to sons, the manufacturing developed. Starting with a sawmill, they specialised successively in products for shoe factories, church furniture, hopper window hooks, sheep baths on wheels, and a new type of loom. At the time of Marcelle’s birth, the family lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors in front of a large factory by the train tracks of the town, a factory renowned for the production of looms.
All the brothers and sisters attended the local school organized and located in the family home. Marcelle was 10 when her mother died. The next year, when she finished the 5th grade, she went as a boarder to Maplewood Convent in Waterloo, in the Eastern Townships. Her oldest sister, Adèle, whom Marcelle never knew at home, was already a Sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and lived at Maplewood Convent. When Marcelle reached the age of 19 and had finished her High School, she went to study at the Home Economics Institute in Outremont. She was 21 when she entered the novitiate, following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, Adèle, (Sister Léonius-Marie) and Rachel (Sister M.-Annette-Marcelle.). At her reception of the religious habit, she received the name of M.-Charles-Albert.
Sr. Marcelle’s first ten years of teaching were devoted to elementary-school children, from grades 2 to 8, at Hochelaga Convert, Valleyfield and Outremont. She also worked with youth in the Eucharistic Crusade. Then, after three years of training in radiology and one year in charge of the pupils at Saint Nom de Marie Convent, Sister Marcelle was named Mission Director for the congregation. This ministry sent her to three continents, calling forth her gift of sisterly presence, as well as her clarity of vision, openness, flexibility, availability, adaptability, and faith. Sister Marcelle saw to the health needs of the Sisters on mission overseas as well as their ongoing formation. Her mandate lasted seven years. During the following years, she was attached to the Côte-des-Neiges Residence, and enjoyed her time as a student at the University of Montreal.
When she returned to the students at Saint Nom de Marie Boarding School, Sr. Marcelle taught home economics and pottery and was responsible for audio-visual services while participating in the community life of Isabella Residence, followed by Rose-Eulalie Residence. She excelled in this work for a total of 23 years. The year 2000 found her at the Motherhouse where she was responsible for maintenance and for audio-visual communications. Since she was easy to approach, skilled, and speedy, many people sought her help. When Maison Jésus-Marie opened in Longueuil, she served as chauffeur and was in charge of shopping for the offices and for the infirmary, all the while living in Boucherville before moving to St. André Residence in 2007. In 2017, it was Sr. Marcelle’s turn to be welcomed into the infirmary. Slowly her illness progressed but Sr. Marcelle remained “easy to live with, discreet about herself, reserved, respectful towards others, and generous.”
When the Lord gave her a sign, she was ready for the great reunion.