Sister Marielle Lamoureux, MSC
Sister Marielle Lamoureux, MSC
1930 ~ 2013
Marielle Lamoureux was born on September 2, 1930, in Mont Laurier, Province of Quebec, Canada. One of six children of Alfred Lamoureux and Laurette Bélanger, Marielle grew up with a lively spirit and a pleasing personality that endeared her to all whom she met.
At the age of twenty-one, Marielle left Canada for France where, on January 3, 1952, she entered the novitiate of the Marianites of Holy Cross at the Congregation’s motherhouse in Le Mans. Years later, Marielle would recall the times in her novitiate when the girls would pray or play in “Sister Georgia’s garden.” Sister Georgia Froisy, a transplant from North America herself, was the mistress of novices and a holy woman whom the young women tried to emulate.
After a few months as a postulant, Marielle received the holy habit and was given the name Sister Mary Eugene. This formal reception took place on May 3, 1952, one year prior to Marielle’s profession of temporary vows on May 8, 1953.
It would be four years before Sister would pronounce her perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and that of foreign missions. This happy occasion occurred on June 23, 1957, in her home town of Mt. Laurier.
During her time in France, Marielle would study nursing at the hospital of Le Mans where she became a registered nurse in order to exercise the role of compassionate care for which she was born. Returning to Canada in 1955, Sister spent six years as a nurse at Frère André Clinic in Lac Mégantic.
She then became part of the group of Marianites who would go to Mont Laurier to take charge of the Mont Laurier hospital which had been founded in 1950. While there, she promoted the formation of nurses at St. Joseph Polyvalent School, a specialized nursing school which she both founded and directed from 1961 to 1970 at Our Lady of Holy Cross Hospital. Once she left the direction of the school, Marielle continued as an instructor at the Polyvalent until 1986.
Elected by her Marianite sisters, Marielle served as Provincial of the Vice-Province of Canada from 1982 to 1986. Following the restructuring of the Marianites’ congregational leadership (which had been mandated by the 1985 General Chapter), Marielle was appointed as continental assistant for North America in 1986. Resigning this position the following year, she returned to Mont Laurier for a year’s sabbatical after which she entered into pastoral health care. This was her ministry until shortly before her death.
Serving as a Communion minister for the parish and as pastoral agent at the hospital in Mont Laurier, Marielle was present to the needs and sufferings of others, and she encouraged the development of palliative care at the hospital. She also initiated commemorative celebrations and daily accompanied the patients.
She contributed to the spiritual growth of those she assisted, thanks to her initiative, her audacity, intuition, and compassion.
As always, Marielle did this in collaboration with the hospital’s medical staff. After she retired from active ministry in 2002, Sisters Marielle and Bibiane Ferland exercised a ministry of presence and remained close to their families and neighbors in Mont Laurier. In early 2013, Marielle became ill and was diagnosed with a brain tumor for which she was treated at the hospital of the Sacred Heart in Montreal. The removal of the tumor left Marielle in a semi-conscious state for several days, and on September 4, 2013, just two days after her eightieth birthday, Marielle went home to God
Preceded in death by her brother Maurice, Marielle leaves behind her siblings: Jean-Guy, Helene, Jacques, and Gilles, as well as many relatives and friends.
In early October, the diocese of Mont Laurier’s local newspaper published the news of her death in these words:
“. . . Sr. Marielle Lamoureux left us for the ultimate journey to the house of our Merciful Lord. . . . On the occasion of her funeral in the Cathedral of Mt. Laurier on September 11, the large assembly rendered vibrant homage to this woman who has been a sign of the tenderness and compassion of Christ. “I was ill and you cared for me . . .” None of us will ever forget her actions, her huge smile and her infectious laughter.”
Marielle is buried in the cemetery at Mont Laurier on September 8, 2013.
May her soul rest in peace.