Sister Mariette Payment

“The truth will make you free.” (John 8, 32)

May 18, 2015, Sister Mariette Payment,
in religion Marie-Lucie-de-la-Trinité,  
went home to God. 

She was 88 years old and had been professed for 64 years. 

Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the 3rd of 5 daughters  
of Euclide Payment and Diane Laurendeau.  

“I grew up in a home filled with love, music and faith”, declared Sister Mariette. “Participation in the life of the Church was an important value for our two parents. My father was the choir master, and my mother sang in the choir. The five girls all learned music. Often on Sunday evenings, we would prepare a family show in which each one took part and which always ended with a duet sung by our parents.  It was true happiness!”

Mariette studied from the primary level up until her B.A. with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary at: Ste-Émélie and Hochelaga Boarding Schools and, Collège Jésus-Marie. She was involved with the Eucharistic Crusade, the J.E.C. (Catholic Action Youth Group) and the student newspaper. Her vocation was rooted in her family and in her school milieu.

“It seems to me that I always knew that I wanted ‘to be a Sister’. At the age of twenty, I had the profound conviction that the Lord was the only one I could trust in my search for happiness and for the absolute. I have never regretted my response to my God’s call.”  At the age of 22, Mariette entered the Congregation of the Sisters whom she had known since her childhood.

Following her novitiate, Sister Lucie-de-la-Trinité taught for 16 years at École St-Germain d’Outremont, at Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie, at École Normale de Valleyfield, and after obtaining her doctorate from the Sorbonne, in Paris, taught at Saint-Lambert Convent.
She then became assistant secretary, responsible for education, for the Assembly of Quebec Bishops.  A year later, she was elected Assistant to the General Superior of the SNJM Congregation, a post which she held for 10 years.

When she was 55, Sister Mariette left for Haiti: Gros Morne, Papaye. In collaboration with the Little Sisters of Saint Theresa, an aboriginal community, she set up a school which focused on training teachers, home economics and life skills. “The work still continues thanks to the solid foundation and the energetic personality of Sister Mariette, a great educator with foresight, who was creative in a new apostolic field. The students said of her: ‘Sister Mariette was always smiling and she had a big heart, but she was firm.’ ”

The next stage in her life when she was close to 60 years old was being elected Superior General of the Congregation for a five-year mandate.

From her youth, Sister Mariette had stated: “attached to Jesus Christ and to his Church, I wanted to save the world!!!” The letter of recommendation to the community said:  “Miss Payment has received high praise for her right judgement, the essence of her work, and her success in her studies. She is also blessed with a spirit of initiative and a social sense which makes her kind to those around her. Added to this, there is strong piety and convictions which can be expressed in favour of good causes (…) and for charitable organizations which favour the poor.”  Sister Mariette’s journey confirmed these convictions.

During the last 12 years, in addition to being a local superior, Sister Mariette was involved in Carrefour Mousseau, an organization for education and social crime prevention.  She also held a number of positions in the Saint-Jean-Longueuil Diocese, and assisted with the archives of the Congregation.  When she became ill, her stay in the infirmary was short term.

Marked by the Words from Scripture: We are children of God (John 1:12), and another: You did it to me (Matthew 25:40), Sister Mariette lived with authenticity, uprightness, steadfastness, openness to others, deep faith, and fidelity to her initial gift. 

May the Lord be praised by the gratitude shown by the Congregation.