Sister Marie-Jeanne Bégin
I am not concerned with great things or things too sublime for me.
I hope in the Lord. Ps 130:1, 3
April 24, 2010, Sister Marie-Jeanne Bégin,
in religion, M.-Rose- Noëlla
went home to God.
She was 86 years old and had been professed for 59 years.
Born in East Angus, Quebec, she was the 4th of 6 children
of Cléophas Bégin and Zéphrine Lavigne.
Growing up on her parents’ farm, Marie-Jeanne was a happy and active child. Having completed elementary school in her area, she became a boarder at the convent in Disraéli. She later attended the CND École Normale (Teachers’ College) in Sherbrooke. At the age of 19, after having made a retreat during her final school year, her decision to pursue a religious vocation became very clear to her. She returned home and taught for 6 years at the elementary school she herself had attended. Each day while travelling back and forth to school, “she prayed her rosary, asking for the courage and the strength to enter the community.”
Sister Marie-Jeanne’s 30-year teaching career included 15 years at the co-educational comprehensive high school in Disraéli where she taught Mathematics. At her retirement party, a testimony of gratitude highlighted her qualities: “… instilled, in her students, the desire to work hard and to hand in well-done work…educate, form character, develop personality…help students find balance and interior harmony. Among her colleagues, she was a member of various committees, had a spirit of collaboration, got along well with everyone and had enriching conversations.”
After having retired from teaching, Sister Marie-Jeanne began a second career as an audio-visual technician for the 550 students at Marie-Rose School in Montreal: “Availability, patience, creativity…” Knowing her aptitude and knowledge of booking keeping, the authorities asked her to be the assistant bursar at both the local and provincial level. She lived at Bourget Residence for 13 years followed by the last 12 years at Albani Residence. Some of her Sisters wrote that: “she was a peaceful and serene companion, did not like to be contradicted, was a great housekeeper, and served in many ways.”
Sister Marie-Jeanne spoke of “her ability to adapt. I always felt at home. I was always happy: His loving plan for me often saw that I was given new responsibilities. His Providence always went before me. What a grace!” She enjoyed being in nature, walking in the woods, enjoying the flowers, the lake.
The few weeks in the infirmary at Maison Jésus-Marie before her death, Sister Marie-Jeanne was “peaceful, serene, even teased once in a while and was full of gratitude throughout her illness”…”an exceptional woman whom I wish I had known earlier in her life . . .” confided one of the infirmarians.