Sister Simone D’Astous

« I thank you, Lord, for all your wondrous works! » (Ps. 147)


On April 9, 2024, Sister Simone D’Astous,

in religion M.-Charles-Octave,

went home to God.


She was 93 years old, with 73 years as a vowed religious.

Born in Saint-Damas de Matane, Québec, she was the ninth of the eleven children

of William D’Astous and Clarina Corbin.

The last two children of the family died as babies, so Simone remained the youngest of the siblings. She wrote: “My parents were strong believers and close to nature. People loved to be around my mother for she was a joyful person who made them laugh. My father, a serious and reserved man, was an excellent singer.” As for Simone, she loved following her father and brothers into the fields, but her mother was concerned that she become a good housekeeper as well.

Simone grew up in a family that was hard-working, sociable, and open to the needs of their neighbours. After attending the country school for some years, Simone worked in a private home as well as at the saw mill. Two of her cousins were religious Sisters. During a visit from their mother, Simone told her aunt of her desire to become a religious as well. So, at 20 years of age, Simone, with complete trust, joined the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, without really knowing any of them. She noted, “From the time I entered, I felt at home. The time of adaptation was no problem for me; I always felt happy.”

Sister Simone received the name Charles-Octave. She ministered as a cook in large convents for 37 years: Saint-Lambert, Mont-Royal, Institut Jésus-Marie, Collège Durocher, Édouard-Montpetit. She was very appreciated by the Sisters, and she testified: “I love what I do; my work is very meaningful and through it I can bring others pleasure. Besides, my work allows me to live a life of prayer: ‘Contemplation in action’. What a grace! Since I want to know my community better, I love reading about our history and the lives of our first Sisters. I also enjoy making handicrafts.”

After a sabbatical year of spiritual renewal, Sister Simone was assigned to the cafeteria at the Motherhouse, and then at Sainte-Émilie. There, she continued to radiate her spirit of peace and of service. In 2017, she was welcomed into Maison Jésus-Marie and gave herself to community service. When she had to slow down due to problems with her heart, she was welcomed into the infirmary. Being a woman of prayer, Sister Simone still had time to knit and sew for the missions, all the while praising the Lord with her whole being and strength as a consecrated Sister, until the time for her total transformation into the glory of God.