Sister Marie-Reine Bouchard
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!” Ps. 31, 25
August 2, 2011, Sister Marie-Reine Bouchard,
in religion Marie-Irénée,
went home to God.
She was 80 years old and had been professed for 60 years.
Born in Notre-Dame du Mont-Carmel, Lacolle, Québec,
she was the last of ten children of Émile Bouchard and Adécia Landrie.
Marie-Reine studied close to home where she was taught by the Sisters of Holy Cross in the village school. She then attended the “Institut familial de St-Lambert” where her preferred subject was, unquestionably, culinary arts. When she was about 16 years old, she heard the call to dedicate herself to the Lord. She was 18 years old when she entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Upon taking the habit, she received the name Marie-Irénée, the name of her brother who was a priest with the Religious of the Holy Cross .
Sister Marie-Irénée first taught elementary school for 6 years. She then had a 36-year career teaching culinary arts, particularly at the “Institut de pédagogie familiale”, Outremont, in St-Boniface, Manitoba, in Lesotho, South Africa as well as at the Saint-Lambert Convent. At the age of 62, she gave up teaching but stayed close to young people during her 8 years in the library at Collège Durocher in St-Lambert. Sister Marie-Reine spent a total of 50 years in education. This woman, a faithful friend, who was committed to being of service, left her mark on education. For the last 20 years of her life Sister Marie-Reine spent her time as “chauffeur”, accompanying the sick and as receptionist.
Blessed with what appeared to be robust health she often spoke of having felt great fatigue throughout her life. She not only gained knowledge but she delighted in new discoveries during her travels and work in Western Canada, the American West, Lesotho, South Africa, Europe…
Sister Marie-Reine who was rather reserved loved to read and listen to classical music. She kept her hands busy with needlework.
A companion witnesses:
“Marie-Reine proved herself to be courageous during her months of illness. She appreciated having visitors and accepted their encouragement with gratitude.”