Sister Thérèse McKenzie
June 9, 2014, Sister Thérèse McKenzie,
in religion Marie- Rita-des-Anges
went home to God.
She was 86 years old and had been professed for 66 years.
Born in St-Chrysostome, (Châteauguay), Quebec, on October 21, 1927,
she was the ninth of the thirteen children
of John McKenzie and Rose-Blanche Gibeau.
In 1944, Thérèse finished elementary school, and then received her 9th grade certificate at the SNJM Boarding School in Saint-Chrysostome. Two years later, she obtained an Elementary II Teaching Diploma at the Normal School in Valleyfield, and then entered the SNJM Novitiate in Outremont.
While in community, she received her Brevet A in Teaching from the Normal School in Saint Lambert, and a Bachelor’s in Teaching from the Université de Montréal.
For 21 years, she taught at both the primary and secondary levels. She loved her students and the students also appreciated her joyful personality and her competence tinged with poetry. In 1975, due to health problems she was compelled to stop teaching and to rest.
In 1984, she became registrar at Pensionnat du St-Nom-de Marie, in Outremont. She worked there for 12 years until 1996 when she was forced to take early retirement, because of her health. She remained active: visiting the sick, volunteering outside, and providing services within the community.
In 2013, she was welcomed into the Infirmary at Maison Jésus-Marie in Longueuil where she carried out a ministry of prayer.
Thérèse leaves behind the memory “of a companion with whom life was good, a person who was sensitive, positive, willing to serve, and who had a good-humoured approach to life.”
Born into a large family, Thérèse always attended family gatherings and remained attached to the little village in which she had grown up. She happily returned there during her summer vacations. She had three relatives who were SNJM Sisters: Sisters Marie-Jean-de-la Paix, Marie-Raphaeldis and Isabella Mary.
With joy, the Lord welcomed her into his wonderful house.