Sister Rita Adam
“And whatever you do, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Col. 3, 17)
April 12, 2013, Sister Rita Adam,
in religion Léa-Marie
went home to God.
She was 87 years old and had been professed for 56 years.
Born in Saint-Mathieu de Beloeil, Quebec, she was the 8th of 13 children of
Omer Adam and Léa Lafontaine.
Rita grew up in Beloeil and attended the rural school and then the Boarding School in Beloeil where she received her 10th grade certificate. When she was 19, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
A year and a half later she returned home to her family and worked as a cashier for 2 years before deciding to study at “École Normale Marie-Rivier”, in Saint-Hyacinthe, the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. Having obtained her teaching diploma, Rita taught for 5 years in Beloeil and when she was 29 years old, she again entered the SNJM Novitiate.
After her religious profession, Sister Léa-Marie taught in Beauharnois for 3 years, and then taught at the convent in l’Épiphanie. Following this, she continued her studies which led her to become a nurses’ aide and an assistant medical archivist at the SNJM Motherhouse in Outremont.
Eight years later, Sister Rita once again returned to her studies, this time in hairdressing, and then in the techniques of secretarial services. Well-equipped to render multiple services to her community, Sister Rita responded to whatever needs, both from her Sisters and the community leadership, were asked of her. Always discreet, carefully prepared and almost an extreme perfectionist, Sister Rita carried out each of her tasks with exquisite politeness and great precision. She loved to work in a calm and orderly fashion.
A sensitive woman, close to her family, she maintained regular contact with those close to her. Sister Rita remembered the mission entrusted to her by her mother regarding Lise, the youngest child: “It is YOUR baby.”
When the health of her sister, also an SNJM, who was ten years younger, began to decline, Sister Rita watched over her with attention, concern, and affection, dedicating more and more of her time to her. Rita spent the last six years of Lise’s life close to her bedside.
Her own health was already beginning to decline both physically and mentally. Progressively, the contours of reality were fading and Sister Rita was growing away from involvement in daily life. In her brokenness, her Lord came to take her “home”.