Sister Marie-Luce Désy
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.” Mt. 7, 12
December 1, 2010, Sister Marie-Luce Désy,
in religion M.-François-Hector,
went home to God.
She was 89 years old and had been professed for 65 years.
Born in Saint-Barthélemy, Quebec, she was the 8th of 16 children
of François-Xavier Désy and Évelina Drainville.
At her birth, Marie-Luce was so tiny and fragile that the oven door was used as her incubator. Some children had already died at an early age and her parents were eager to save her! Actually, she would be the 2nd daughter and the 3rd child to survive. Her older sister Gertrude was her mother’s right hand and Marie-Luce had the good fortune and determination to follow her studies first at the convent in St-Barthélemy administered by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and then at the École Normale de Joliette, with the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame where she graduated with a “Brevet Supérieur” in Home Economics. A direction had already been chosen.
She entered our Congregation at the age of 21. Following her novitiate, Sister M.-François-Hector taught, family living, especially sewing and cooking, for a period of 38 years. At the same time she continued to specialize in this area by getting a B.A. in Family Living. The CECM (Montreal Catholic School Commission), where she had been teaching from the start, acknowledged her skills as a teacher and awarded her a scholarship. She obtained a Licentiate in “Sciences pédagogiques” and a certificate in cutting out patterns and sewing.
In 1984, Sister Marie-Luce arrived at the Marie-Rose-Durocher Residence where she would spend the last 26 years of her life. A quiet woman, discreet, active, unwavering, sociable, and always willing to learn, Marie-Luce, after a brief assessment of her new milieu, she set her sights on the “Patro Le Prévost” directed by the Religious of Saint Vincent de Paul.
With Brother Bernard Fortin, she started the program for seniors, a program with activities and courses which were diversified and improved over the years: arts, health, hobbies, culture, computer sciences, and pastoral…
“In painting, Sister Marie-Luce was our specialist in the mixing of colours… She was the model of a discreet presence. Always gentle, she reflected goodness continually. Throughout the years, I was a witness to her impressive quality as a religious who was present to others… “ stated Brother Fortin of Saint-Vincent. A senior from the group, speaking of Marie-Luce, confided: “She invited me to see external beauty and I discovered her inner beauty”.
It was in the midst of her activities that the Lord came for Sister Marie-Luce: She was sick for barely two weeks, when even at 89 years old, she remained interested in everything that involved her, cheerful, positive, steadfast, listening to what was said to her whether it was by a member of her family, of “Patro” or of our local community. We recall some typical answers: “Whatever works, works!” “When I sleep, I sleep well.” May her exuberance continue!