Sister Yolande Laberge

“Our Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done.” (Mt 6: 9–10)


On February 28, 2024, Sister Yolande Laberge,

named Marie-Corona as a religious sister,

went home to God.


She was 99 years old, with 82 years of religious profession.

Born in St. Chrysostome, Quebec, she was the third of the eleven children

of Florian Laberge and Corona Morand.

Her father, a farmer, was a serene, devout and fervent Roman Catholic. Her mother was pious as well, a skillful housekeeper, and an excellent educator. Preceded by two boys, Yolande was the eldest of the girls. She, therefore, was the one who helped her mother take care of the younger children. Since their farm was far from the village, the children had to walk two miles morning and evening to attend the schools run by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and the Brothers of Christian Schools. After grade 5, Yolande crossed the river by rowboat each day to continue her studies in Sainte-Martine. Following that, she worked a year as a receptionist for a medical doctor. At the age of seventeen, she entered the SNJM novitiate and received her mother’s name, Marie-Corona.

As a postulant, Yolande was sent to Ormstown to teach a class of 44 boys and girls in grades 1, 2, and 3. It was a tough experience but she succeeded! After receiving the “holy habit,” she was missioned to Longueuil Boarding School to teach a grade 7 class of fifteen students. After her profession, Sister Corona taught for 21 years in the following schools: Sainte-Lucie, Boucher-de-la-Bruère, Marie-Immaculée, and Eulalie-Durocher Teachers’ College in Saint Lambert, while pursuing her studies in Coteau-Station and Montréal. Equipped with her university diploma, she was named Directress of Studies at Eulalie-Durocher Teachers’ College and then, from 1968 to 1981, General Director of College Durocher, which she described as “the best years of my career as an educator.”

At the age of 57, after a year-long sabbatical, Yolande was called to serve the Diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil as a committee member for the formation of future priests, as well as being co-director of the School of Formation for lay pastoral ministers and a resource person at the Faith Education Centre. After ministering in the diocese for six years, she was elected provincial superior of the SNJM province of Longueuil. At the end of her mandate, she continued her work of spiritual animation, as the director of our SNJM retreat centre in Beloeil. Retreats, sessions, and spiritual accompaniment would have taken all her time, but Sister Yolande always had her pen ready to write, thus taking part in the life of her society, her church, and her congregation by contributing articles to several newspapers, newsletters and revues, as well as parish bulletins, including a weekly chronicle on the life of our SNJM foundress, Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher.

Then, Sister Yolande continued to serve the community at Saint-André Residence, at the Motherhouse, at the Congregational House, and at Saint-André Pavilion where she ministered in the areas of hospitality and as a receptionist, while also working as a volunteer with homeless people, animating groups, catechumenate ministry, and writing chronicles… Yolande was named as a delegate to the General Chapter six times between 1972 and 2006.

In 2015, Yolande moved to the Maison Jésus-Marie infirmary, where she kept up her interest in community and world events and even intervened at times. She wrote: “My particular gifts were to speak and to write. I was a happy SNJM, wanting to live out my SNJM mission to the end of my life (Rule no. 1). I wanted to please God by growing in His love each day. I am eager to meet Mother Marie-Rose and the One to whom I vowed my life.” Sister Yolande has left the Congregation and society a legacy of fruitful longevity.