Sister Thérèse Clouthier
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His steadfast love endures forever.” (Ps 136, 1)
December 18, 2015, Sister Thérèse Cloutier
in religion Marie.-Louise-Estelle
went home to God.
She was 99 years old and had been professed for 80 years.
Born in Quebec, she was the 2nd of the three children
of Joseph Cloutier and Marie Caron.
As with many of the Sisters of her era, Sister Thérèse reflected: “My parents lived a true Christian life which influenced their lives and ours. From the time I was six years old, I was accustomed to saying the the rosary and to family prayer. And she added: My vocation was a lifelong dream. While still very young, I was attracted to religious life.” Thérèse attended school at École Stadacona, with the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. When she was 17, with the reputation of being a studious and bright young girl, she entered the novitiate.
As a young professed, Sister Louise-Estelle taught Grade 2 at Écoles Marie-Immaculée and Baril. After her final profession, having obtained her teaching diploma and while continuing her university studies, she taught for 22 years at levels 1 and 11 at Collège Jésus-Marie d’Outremont for 22 years as a specialist in physics and later at École Normale Eulalie-Durocher in Saint Lambert. Sister Louise-Estelle taught for a total of 35 years. Attention to detail and intellectual rigor characterised her pedagogical approach.
“She loved teaching; having perfectly mastered her subject matter, she had numerous tricks to make evident that which seemed obscure.”
“I remember some riveting physics courses on the Apollo mission which made the scientific news of the era accessible to us,” noted a former college student.
The changes in the Quebec Education System during the years 1968-70 led to a career change for Sister Thérèse. From then on, she used her talents and energy in service to the SNJM Congregation, as well as the St-Jean-Longueuil Diocese: local treasurer, researcher for the diocese, parish secretary, archivist at the General Administration, driver, receptionist…
Looking back, Sister Thérèse confided: “In complete obedience, I loved and accepted God’s will. I always succeeded, occasionally with great difficulty, in the duties which were entrusted to me. When the task sometimes seemed impossible, I was able to overcome the obstacles through work sustained by a life of faith and of prayer.” “What brought me the greatest happiness was religious life itself which I always wanted to live with complete generosity.”
This testimony by Sister Thérèse was confirmed by those who had lived with her. And we add: “a pleasant companion, with whom it was wonderful to live. As a reserved, discreet woman, who was attentive and gifted with a sense of beauty, she also complemented the exact sciences with artistic creativity.”
Sister Thérèse’s last five years were spent in prayer ministry in our infirmary.
Thanks be to God for these many years during which we were gifted with Sister Thérèse’s presence!