Sister Simone Ducharme
When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast!” Jn. 21: 9, 12
October 10, 2011, Sister Simone Ducharme,
in religion M.-Maurice-Édouard,
went home to God.
She was 89 years old and had been professed for 65 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the 8th of 9 children
of Édouard Ducharme and Célina Perreault.
Simone grew up in a happy and hospitable family of modest means in the Parish of the Nativity. They spoke about God, recited the rosary and attended daily Mass. She admired the Sisters whom she saw on the way to Church and, even when very little, dreamed of becoming one of them. At the age of 13, after completing her 6th grade in elementary school with the SNJM’s, she went to work in a mill near home. She lasted there for five years in spite of the work that was much too hard for her delicate health. She then went to work for a shoe manufacturer. Involved in the J.O.C.(an organization for French-speaking youth in Quebec), she maintained her desire for religious life. Attending three closed retreats did not finalize her decision. A request to enter the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception was met with refusal: “Too frail…”.
Simone was now 22 years old; she entrusted herself to Sister Jeanne-Élisabeth, S.N.J.M., who helped her to enter the Congregation. From the postulancy onward, she loved her new life which was punctuated by work and prayer. Cheerful by nature Sister Maurice-Édouard would, for thirty years, prepare the daily bread as a cook for her Sisters in Quebec as well as in Florida in the SNJM New York Province. Sister Simone easily adapted to different milieus; she knew how to cultivate selflessness, kindness. “I had the immense grace of knowing how to accept everything.” she confided.
She accumulated many years of service as she made the transition from the kitchen to managing the refectory and then on to other domestic duties. At 78 years of age, our Sister moved permanently to the infirmary. Her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Trinity continued to nurture her prayer life which was filled with gratitude.
“Sister Simone was in her 65th year of religious life. Throughout her entire life she remained an attentive and faithful servant of the Gospel through her work and her availability.”