Sister Marie Dubreuil
“May the glory of the Lord endure forever,
May the Lord rejoice in his works! Ps 104:31
April 11, 2010, Sister Marie (Mariette) Dubreuil,
in religion, Louis-de-Ste-Marie,
went home to God.
She was 101 years old and had been professed for 74 years.
Born in Montreal she was the only girl and the youngest
of the two children of Louis Dubreuil and Mary Maynard,
the daughter of an English immigrant
who had converted to Catholicism.
Marie took pride in having seen the construction of Marie-Immaculée Academy and the hoisting up of the statue on the dome of the school she had attended, before completing her studies and obtaining a teaching diploma from the Académie St-Edouard, which was under the direction of the Holy Cross Sisters. She was the niece of Sister Marie-Françoise SNJM who had entered in 1846 and who died in Portland, Oregon, USA in 1880.
While at home, she grew in faith and developed skills in art. Mrs. Dubreuil, a drawing and painting teacher introduced her daughter to the arts. From the age of 14 on, Marie, under the mentoring of her mother, taught the youngest students. Thus began the artistic career of our Sister.
Sister Louis-de-Ste-Marie continued her studies in this field, under the direction of Sister M.-Louise-de-Savoie and Sister Jerome-de-la-Croix. Throughout her 60-year career, she taught drawing and painting at the Motherhouse, at Hochelaga and Outremont boarding schools and especially at our Maplewood Convent in Waterloo, QC. She taught people of all ages, from the very young to those with white hair – both men and women. When she retired to Ste-Martine Convent, she continued to teach art. Throughout her life, this peaceful and serene Sister, was friendly toward her companions and was always interested in community life.
Here are some testimonies to her life: “Your smile always greeted us at the door of your studio and it lifted our spirits. You listened to our problems with our children and grandchildren. (…) even when you had the flu or when your legs were quite painful…for us, you were a doctor, psychologist, confessor, mother, sister, the best dear friend in the world…God really pampered us by giving us such a wonderful person as you!”
In the “Maison de la Culture” (cultural museum) in Waterloo, there is an exhibition room named ‘Soeur Louis’ “in honour of a pioneer, who for many years, taught painting in Waterloo, notably at Maplewood Convent. She transmitted her passion for painting to a great number of students.”
Five years after she left Waterloo, the Board of Directors of the “Maison de la Culture” honoured her once again. “By means of our exposition hall, we are striving to carry on the spirit of your work: encouragement of artistic expression and art appreciation. Your spirit lives within these walls and we are so proud of your work.”
At the age of 89, Sister Marie was admitted to the infirmary. She remained lucid, welcoming and full of gratitude. With great joy and thanksgiving she celebrated her 100th birthday April 3, 2009. At the end of her life, Sister Marie was ready to meet her God, the Creator of beauty.