Sister Stella Plante
“I will sing and make melody. Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn.” (Psalm 57, 9)
February 3, 2017, Sister Stella Plante,
in religion Marie-Aline-Marcelle
went home to God.
She was 95 years old and had been professed for 74 years.
Born in Disraeli, Quebec, she was the 2nd of the four daughters
of Napoléon Plante and Aline Pilon.
Stella grew up in Disraeli and attended the convent run by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Completing her studies there she received both a diploma from the Bureau Central and a 9th grade diploma in music. Her father was a doctor and her mother was a nurse. At home, she learned to love caring for the sick and planned to, one day, become a nurse.
When she was 18 years old, she entered the SNJM novitiate; everything seemed easy for her and she gave of herself wholeheartedly. With a tendency for music, Sister Aline-Marcelle pursued her studies (piano, organ, and harp) and obtained a Master’s Degree in Interpretation and a Bachelor’s Degree in Theoretical Subjects. She taught for 24 years at Marie-Rose, Hochelaga and Outremont boarding schools, as well as at the École Supérieure de Musique and the Vincent-d’Indy School of Music, where she succeeded Sister Marie-Stéphane as director. She would be there from 1967 to 1978.
“In Sister Plante, Providence provided the person capable of assuring Sister Marie-Stephane that her work would continue and flourish with vitality. Young, intelligent, an excellent musician, and gifted with social discretion and courage, she was qualified to head this burgeoning school.”
When she left Vincent-d’Indy, Sister Stella, at the request of the Director General of the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec, agreed to be director of the Conservatoire de musique de Rimouski, which she did for 7 years. During the following three years, she was also the Associate Director of the Conservatoire de Montréal.
When the time came for her to retire, Sister Stella assumed a variety of services within the community: local community leader, director of the Marie-Rose Center, whose mission is to promote the life and work of Marie-Rose Durocher and the early life of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. When she moved to Résidence Ste-Émélie, she accompanied those who were ill to clinics and hospitals.
At the age of 86, Sister Stella was welcomed into the Infirmary at Maison Jésus-Marie: a time of reflection, of abandonment. As her memory faded, she maintained her elegance, her exquisite graciousness, her great love of music, and her eagerness to beat time to the music whenever there was singing!
In recent years, music was the most important way for Sister Stella to express her deepest self. There is no doubt that celestial harmonies will gratify Sister Stella who joyfully and lovingly was on a constant quest for beauty.