Sister Monique Ducharme
“You are precious in my eyes and I love you” (Is. 43 : 4)
On the 8th of July 2019, Sister Monique Ducharme,
in religion M.Adélard-André,
went home to God.
She was 90 years of age, of which 69 years as a professed religious.
Born in St-Jean-de-Matha, Québec,
she was the 7th of 14 children
born to Adélard Ducharme and M.-Louise Archambault.
Monique grew up in a very united and happy family. They lived in the village. “We went to Mass almost every morning”. Monique attended the convent school in the village and studied under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She loved school and succeeded well in her studies. She also took advantage of the beauty of nature: the mountains, long walks in the summer, skiing and tobogganing in the winter. At home, she preferred reading and studying rather than taking care of the little ones. She boarded at a teacher’s college with the CND’s (Congregation of Notre Dame). Throughout her schooling, she was attracted to religious life. As early as grade three, she confided her desire to her teacher, Sister Paul-Marcel (Juliette Masson), and from that time on, “I asked for this grace from the Lord every time I received Holy Communion.”
Monique had just reached the age of 19 when she started her novitiate with the SNJM’s. “I entered for Jesus, had the intention of staying, and I wanted to do my best. We had a good relationship.” While teaching primary school, Sister M. Adelard-André pursued her studies. Equipped with a license in pedagogy, she taught at the teachers’ colleges of Disraéli and St. Lambert. After specializing in the religious education and pastoral ministry, she accepted the post of pastoral animator in Gerard-Filion School, while residing at St. Lambert convent. Sister Monique taught for a total of 20 years, giving her all to the young people.
When Father Jacques Custeau, SJ was named to the Gesu to accompany the prayer groups in the charismatic renewal, he invited Monique to be his secretary, knowing that she had excellent skills and was capable of leading the groups when needed. She did this work for 15 years with great devotion, attention and competence. Father Custeau spoke highly of her saying that she was “an extraordinary collaborator, who always found new reserves of energy, of creativity and invention”. During those years, Sister Monique resided at Outremont Convent, and later at Goyer residence.
In the 90’s, she did community service as local animator of Marie-Rose Durocher Residence, librarian at the Motherhouse, animator of the Jésus-Marie group, and receptionist at Ste-Émilie convent. Arriving at Maison Jésus-Marie, she continued her habit of long prayer periods and fast walks and also found ways to render service to her Sisters. A hip fracture combined with a heart attack put an end to her already diminishing activities. It was time for her face-to-face encounter with her Lord, the one whose words were her constant nourishment: “All day long, I turn my thoughts and my heart to Jesus.”