Sister Rollande Lavoie
“I have chosen you that you might bear fruit.” (John15:16)
On August 11, 2022, Rollande Lavoie,
went home to God.
She was 98 years old, with 76 years of religious profession.
Born in Lacolle, Québec, she was the third of the seven children
of François Lavoie and Catherine Mailloux.
Rollande studied at Saint Polycarpe Boarding School, directed by the Sisters of Saint Ann. After grade 11, she attended Valleyfield Teachers’ College, administered by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. During her last two years there, she lived with Cardinal Paul-Émile Léger’s mother. From as early as the age of twelve, Rollande’s attraction to the mystery of God began to increase. At 19, after obtaining her superior teacher’s diploma, she entered the SNJM novitiate.
At the ceremony of reception of the holy habit, Rollande was given the name Sister Alda-Marie, the name of Cardianal Leger’s mother. Oriented towards teaching, Sister Alda began a beautiful forty-year career, mainly in high schools in Montreal, the Montérégie and the Estrie region. French was definitely her favourite subject. A perfectionist in the area of language, she communicated her passion to her students. For Rollande, reading and writing were leisure activities and improving her diction came naturally. In a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere, she inspired in her students not only a taste for learning, but also the satisfaction that followed a task well done. A group of her students, who were particularly marked by this teacher, reunited with her for a picnic regularly for many years.
When it came time for Rollande to retire from teaching, she devoted herself to community service: assistant provincial animator, provincial secretary for more than 20 years, and secretary for the general administration. She was also radiant as she served the homeless at La Casa, and as a member-secretary on the board of the South Shore Collectif de Psychothérapie Populaire.
Always very active, Sister Rollande participated generously in community life at the provincial and local levels. The residences Jésus-Marie in Beauharnois, Bellerive, Rosemont, Emmanuel… could all count on her presence and service for cleaning; cooking meals; enjoying hockey games; knitting; playing scrabble; and keeping up with her correspondence with family and former students, highlighting birthdays and other important events. Rollande loved nature, contemplating trees, sky, sun and flowers. An ever-grateful woman, she continually gave thanks to God. She spent a great deal of time in prayer, especially Marian prayer and prayer based on the Scriptures. During her last years, in the infirmary, Rollande remained articulate and communicative, warmly welcoming visitors, open to the afterlife, and ready to join the One to whom she had given her life.
For the last time on earth, at the age of 98, she proclaimed, “I will bless the Lord always and everywhere”.