Sister Marguerite Laramée
“I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.” (Psalm 117, 17)
May 3, 2012, Sister Marguerite Laramée,
in religion Marie-Rose,
went home to God.
She was 84 years old and had been professed for 61 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the last of 13 children of
Arthur Laramée and Hortense Desjardins.
“My father, a lawyer by profession – especially of the poor – named a juvenile court judge at 63 years old, was actively involved in the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. My mother, an extraordinary woman, devout, perceptive, teacher and perfect homemaker, would find time to help the needy. We always loved family life.”
Sister Marguerite described the milieu in which she grew up in this way. She added: “I had interesting teachers” – she attended Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours School – “We had nothing to be envious about towards our friends who attended the large convents.” Her decision to become a Sister was made gradually and in a reflective way.
Marguerite was 21 years old when she entered the SNJM Novitiate which she knew well. From the very beginning, as a music teacher, Sister Marie-Rose excelled in directing choirs, those of Pensionnat Sainte-Émélie, Collège Jésus-Marie and the Novitiate. She put in place the renewed liturgy required by the 2nd Vatican Council, easing the transition from Latin to the vernacular with respect and understanding of religious beauty.
Circumstances led her to the Jesuit Retreat House in Saint Jerome, where she was appreciated for being responsible for the liturgy for 4 years.
At 49 years old, Sister Marguerite returned to the Motherhouse first as directress of the infirmary, and then as general coordinator. In spite of the sick leave brought about by the serious Guillain-Barré syndrome, little by little she regained her strength, and resumed the responsibility for the liturgy, directing the choir, all services which were accomplished with spirit and competence.
“I liked being with the students but I was asked to direct the choir. Since that time, the apostolate of Liturgy, and that of directing the choir fulfilled me. What is more beautiful than being close to the Eucharist and helping to praise the Lord?”
The last years were difficult for Sister Marguerite: sickness was taking its course. This woman who gave her all, suffered deeply from inactivity. Willingly, she gladly provided a prayerful presence to our dying Sisters.
When her turn came, her great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her patron, Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, strengthened her hope.