Sister Marie-Claire Paquin
“The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.” Ps 23:1
July 28, 2010, Sister Marie-Claire Paquin
in religion, M.-Louise-Yvette
went home to God.
She was 87 years old and had been professed for 63 years.
Born in St. Adelphe de Champlain, Quebec
She was the eldest of 10 children of Georges Paquin and Aloysia Roberge.
Marie-Claire grew up on her parents’ dairy farm. The children were taught their first grade at home by their mother who was a former school teacher. Then Marie-Claire attended the local area school up to Grade 7. At a young age, she devoted herself to looking after her younger siblings, helping out in the kitchen and at the dairy, all the while learning to sew, embroider and knit.
Her two cousins, Sr. Louise-Andrée and Sr. Jeanne Hermance were both Holy Names Sisters. She followed them into the Novitiate at the age of 22 and devoted her life to manual labour. For 26 years she was the cook in our large and smaller convents.
In 1972, she became an aide at Berthiaume-du-Tremblay, a residence for the sick and elderly. For 20 years, she was a sign of hope and a woman of the Gospel. “What happiness I derive from being a source of happiness, enthusiasm and consolation to the sick. I worked with a wonderful group of lay people and was always respected as a Sister.”
During this time, Marie-Claire lived with another SNJM in the north end of the city of Montreal, close to her work. When she retired at the age of 70, she continued to be an apostolic presence in her milieu, and she writes, “I kept in contact with the people by accompanying the sick and volunteering in the Parish. I also continued sewing and knitting at home, always keeping an eye out for the needs around me. My happiness is in giving happiness to others.”
“I have lived with Sister Suzanne Morin for 24 years, a great friend who is devoted and understanding. I also had to learn to do the household accounts.” At the age of 82, she learned how to use the computer and eventually researched and wrote up her family history.
“When I was 9 years old, I said to myself, ‘If God permits each person to love the person beside her or him, there will never be any war.” Sr. Marie-Claire’s idea of peace was very simple: it came from the love shown by others. “You can’t buy happiness at the local store. It comes from the home.”
In 2009, Sister Marie-Claire moved to Ste-Émélie Residence and soon afterwards to the infirmary at Maison Jésus-Marie where the Lord came to bring her home.