Sister Stella Downs
“I know that my Redeemer lives and I will see Him. “Job 19
March 9, 2009, Sister Stella Downs
her religious name, Maria-du-Sacré-Coeur,
went home to God at the age of 85.
She had been professed for 51 years.
Born in Sainte-Marthe, Vaudreuil, she was the 7th of 13 children.
Her parents were Thomas Downs and Clémentine Brabant.
After having taken care of her ailing mother for a long time, and all the while, having gained housekeeping experience, Sister Stella came to Montreal and followed courses in childcare work. During a period of 5 years, she worked with the Sœurs de la Miséricorde (Sisters of Mercy) in the Office for Adoptions. She also became the president of the Association of Daycare Workers.
At the age of 32, she entered the SNJM Congregation. As a temporary professed Sister, she studied nursing at the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal. Graduating from the Université de Montréal in 1963, she became the director of the Motherhouse infirmary in Outremont, a post she held for16 years. In 1979, she went to Valleyfield and held that same position for 11 years at the new infirmary.
Sister Stella continued to work in the area of health care from 1990 to 2005. Fully aware of the health issues of the Sisters, she became involved in their care and well being; and was greatly appreciated for this work.
Retiring from active life at the age of 81, she focussed on the ministry of prayer.
A responsible, competent, hard-working woman, who loved to study, was blessed with strong organizational skills. She was known to say, “Life is a gift!” Her life-long hunger for God helped her develop a great love for prayer and a deep desire for the Eucharist. She was ready to meet the Living God.