Sister Thérèse Laramée
“We will make our home with them.” (John 14:23)
October 29, 2017, Sister Thérèse Laramée,
in religion Marie-Marguerite-de-Jésus
went home to God.
She was 92 years old and had been professed for 70 years.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, she was the 12th of the 13 children
of Arthur Laramée and Hortense Desjardins.
Thérèse grew up in a very close-knit family with exceptional parents. She studied at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours School, directed by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She confided that: “Due to poor health, I experienced prolonged absences from school every year so my mother stood in as a teacher.” From the age of 10, Thérèse began studying piano. At the end of her 11th grade, she remained at home for three years, using this opportunity to study the organ.
When she was 20 years old, she entered the SNJM Novitiate. She was the eighth member of her family to dedicate herself to God: among her brothers, four were Jesuits and two were diocesan priests and one older sister had entered the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Now named Sister Marguerite-de-Jésus, Thérèse missed her family, especially her sister Marguerite, who was two years younger than she was and who would later join her as an SNJM. As a missionary novice, she remained at the novitiate and taught piano at Mont-Jésus-Marie, a small elementary school housed in the same building. It was her fist teaching assignment, and while she loved the children, she found teaching difficult. She was sustained by the motto: “Accomplish the will of God”. She continued to study the organ, leading her to attain a Master’s Degree.
Throughout her active life, Sister Thérèse was said to have lived in only three houses apart from the Motherhouse: Outremont, Valleyfield and Longueuil, and she taught music for a total of nine years. Upon returning to the Motherhouse, she was named titular organist. This was her true vocation and would remain so right up until her final moments! She also assumed other responsibilities: assisting with the liturgy, animating groups and assisting the Provincial Animator.
In 2005, after the closing of the Motherhouse, Sister Thérèse became leader of an SNJM group living at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Providence in Cartierville, and continued to play the organ during the liturgies. Arriving at Maison Jésus-Marie in 2008, she again became titular organist and also provided a variety of community services.
Her presence elicited the following testimonies: Sister Thérèse “shared her faith and her hope always in a calm manner, with wisdom, patience, humility and sound judgment.” “She was close to her Sisters, favoring those who needed help, and was also attentive, a good listener and eager to please.”
Sister Thérèse herself summarized her religious life with these words: “seeking a constant relationship with Jesus and Mary” and my devotions: the Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin and Mother Marie-Rose”. Faithful to her daily life, she concluded: “My profession as organist kept me close to the Lord”.
On October 29, 2017, she went home to God, with whom she already had a close relationship. She is now singing, in the most melodious way possible, the praises of the One whom she had honored throughout her entire life.