Sister Rolande Coderre
“I am with you always, even to the end of time.” (Matthew 28: 20)
On April 9, 2023, Sister Rolande Coderre,
in religion M.-Claire-du-Rédempteur,
went home to God.
She was 93 years old, with 69 years of religious profession.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the 5th of the 7 children
of Omer Coderre and Claire Demers.
Rolande was still young when the family moved to Saint Hyacinthe for a period of seven to eight years. With her four older sisters, she attended a school directed by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The family returned to Montreal when she was 11. There, Rolande continued her studies at Sainte-Émélie de Viauville Boarding School, directed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM). Her intense desire to succeed led her to study social sciences at the University of Montréal. She also worked as an editor for three years and had a large circle of friends with whom she shared various leisure activities, such as reading, watching hockey, and dancing. Suddenly, at the age of 22, with no explanation of where her vocation came from, Rolande announced that she was entering the SNJM novitiate, joining the Sisters whom she had gotten to know so well during her studies.
After her first vows, Sister M.-Claire-du-Rédempteur was nominated to teach high school in Outremont, Mont-Royal, and Hochelaga Convents and at Collège Jésus-Marie, all of which were situated in Montreal. She demonstrated an aptitude for teaching and a passion for French. After studying for several years and attaining a few bachelors’ degrees, Sister Rolande worked as a pastoral animator in the public sector, at Mgr. Parent Comprehensive High School in Laflèche. Returning to the private sector, she became the Vice-Principal at Saint Lambert Convent where she used her management and educational skills to inspire cooperation and dedication. Her life demonstrated a balance between prayer, apostolate, and leisure.
After ten wonderful years, Rolande was called to be Principal of Saint-Nom-de-Marie Boarding School (PSNM) and Vincent-d’Indy Music School, both of which had shared the same building for the previous year. During the next twenty-five years, Sister Rolande, being a woman of action and vision, knew how to combine administrative constraints, profitability, and openness to innovation. She created the PSNM and Vincent-d’Indy Foundations; began the construction of a new wing for chemistry, physics, and computer laboratories; inaugurated summer day camps; and initiated an international education project as well as committees for scholarships and professional training. A Christian education project rallied the personnel and became part of the daily life of the school. Sister Rolande felt fulfilled in her mission as principal.
Rolande brought her dynamism to her community as well, as she served as provincial councillor for 30 years. She was always very close to her family who considered her as a mother and grandmother!
Her fruitful life exemplified her favourite slogan: “Live life to the full!” In her final years Rolande’s faithful prayer to the Virgin Mary confirmed the Word: “I keep you in my heart forever.” An unexpected fall accelerated her moment of meeting her God on Easter morning!