Sister Simone Tessier

Lord, I will thank you with all my heart.” (Ps. 9:1)


On February 23, 2024, Sister Simone Tessier,

named M.-Alphonse-Rodriguez as a religious sister,

went home to God.


She was 99 years old, with 75 years of religious profession.

Born in Saint-Casimir, Quebec, she was the second of the 15 children

of Alphonse Tessier and Aline Gravel.

“My future was influenced by the example of my parents: their deep faith, courage, and perseverance in raising and educating such a large family. We were not rich. We learned to share what we had and to help with the daily household chores.” The presence of six aunts who were religious sisters, three on her mother’s side and three on her father’s side, certainly influenced her choice of a vocation. She got to know the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary through her aunts Germaine, Berthe and Alice.

Simone attended the local school. Then, thanks to benefactors and supplemented by several odd jobs she got, she attended the Hull Teachers’ College, directed by the Grey Nuns of Ottawa. Equipped with her elementary school teacher’s certificate, she then taught in her home parish for three years. At the age of 21, she entered the SNJM novitiate and was soon given the name of her father: Sister Alphonse-Rodriguez.

During her first 16 years as a religious, Sister Alphonse served either as a teacher or as a “course mistress” (housemother) for elementary and high school students in the Hochelaga, Charlemagne, Sint-Lin and Mont-Jésus-Marie Boarding Schools.

Then came the call to be a missionary in Brazil. Simone wrote: “My twenty years in Brazil had a profound impact on me. Living with simple people, so happy to make do with very little, and counting on Divine Providence, taught me to simplify my life and to be responsible for the way I lived.”

One of her companions on mission, Sister Beatrice, noted: “As a pastoral minister, Simone took on all kinds of responsibilities: the base community, catechesis, visiting the sick and the poorest of the poor. She was greatly appreciated. She took on a large part of community responsibilities as well, such as the preparation of the contents for the base community meetings, and her contributions were always relevant. At home, she took her turn for the maintenance of the house, the shopping, the cooking, and going to market. It was also she who took care of the car, a tiny Volkswagen.”

Arriving back in Quebec from Brazil, Sister Simone shared community life with the Sisters in Albani Residence for more than 12 years. She was also in charge of finances for the Missions Sector and became a driver for Sainte-Émélie Residence. Then she became part of the service team at Val-Morin, helping with hospitality, driving, the upkeep of the refectory and the laundry, as well as animating prayer. When the house closed, she moved to Maison Jesus-Marie, where she received help adapted to her needs and where she eventually moved into Saint-Charles Pavilion. A woman of service, even-tempered and serene, she wrote: “With the passing of the years, I discovered more and more the gratuitous love of God and now I try to respond to it by living in hope and gratuitous self-giving.”