Sister Michelle Désormeau
“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility to serve one another” (1 Peter 5:5)
On the 28th of March 2020, Sister Michelle Désormeau,
in religion M.-Claude-du-Sauveur,
went home to God
She was 92 years of age, with 70 years of religious profession.
Born in Montreal, Québec, she was the 3rd of the 6 children
of Amédée Désormeau and Paula Damien.
Michelle was taught by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary at Ste-Rose School in Longueuil and in the commercial course at Saint Lambert Convent. At the age of 20, she entered the SNJM novitiate. She then received the name of Sister M.-Claude-du-Sauveur.
After her first vows, Sister Claude taught for 14 years, at elementary schools in the southern part of Montreal, in Saint-Bruno, Saint-Nom-de-Jésus, Saint-Clement and Boucher-de-la-Bruère. In 1966, after years of ongoing formation in accounting and commercial studies, she was initiated into the business department of the general council at the Motherhouse in Outremont. Lent to the province of Manitoba, she first served as local treasurer at St. Boniface, then at the province level. Upon returning to Quebec after 12 years, Sister Michelle served as general treasurer for 10 years, following which she served as provincial treasurer for the province of Mont-Royal.
At work, Sister Michelle was appreciated as a colleague: calm, welcoming, precise, just and rigorous. She knew how to create a climate of openness, confidence and mutual respect. As member of a community, she lived simply, showed sisterly love, developed lasting friendships, was open to others, and faithfully participated in the life of the group. Her relaxation was found in nature, in excursions to shopping centres, and in reading biographies.
When the provinces of Quebec restructured, Sister Michelle returned to the financial services of the Province of Quebec, and became part of a community group at the Motherhouse. When the latter closed, she was nominated to live at the Congregation House in Longueuil, and she offered to serve as part-time receptionist – it was very useful to be bilingual in that service. She still offered to serve as a tutor for young students.
At 91 years of age, aware of her state of health, Sister Michelle arrived at Maison Jésus-Marie. She accepted her illness and the solitude it entailed, but was always happy to receive visitors. She was ready for an unexpected visit when God, for whom she had worked all her life, came to take her home.