Soeur Bibiane Ferland, MSC
1930 – 2017
Bibiane Ferland was born on July 21, 1930 in Nantes, Canada, a town near Lac-Megantic. She was one of ten children of Ferdinand Ferland and Marie Burque, who for the greater majority of their lives worked for religious of different Congregations.
At the young age of seventeen, Bibiane left her family for Princeton, New Jersey, filled with a deep faith and an ardent desire to give service to others. After several years of education and religious formation, she pronounced her first vows in the Congregation of the Marianites of Holy Cross on January 5, 1949. From this time until 1952, she cared for the sick in Lac-Megantic, Canada. On January 3, 1952, Bibiane professed perpetual vows and received her religious name, Sister Mary of Saint Agnes.
Following this major step in her life, Bibiane lived and studied in Montreal, Canada from 1952 until 1955. She completed her studies and was awarded a degree as a registered nurse. Well formed, and with a missionary spirit, she left for Haiti where she tended to the physical needs of many of the sick. Bibiane also brought a gift of her ability to listen and be present to the psychological and spiritual needs of people. She remained in Haiti from 1955 until 1968.
Upon her return to Canada, it was in the hospital of Mont-Laurier that Sr. Bibiane continued her ministry of caring for the sick from 1968 to 1973. For two years, she returned to the University of Montreal for further studies. Subsequently, she worked for the next twenty years for C.L.S.C., a home health care agency. She was undoubtedly a woman of great character, filled with compassion and charity desiring to serve the poorest of God’s people. Many people waited with great anticipation for her visits receiving her care, listening, tenderness and affection.
When the time came for Bibiane to retire as a full-time nurse, she began to volunteer as a Eucharistic Minister to residents who were home bound or living in nursing facilities. Bibiane accompanied her sister, Gisele Ferland, during several years of illness until the time of her death. She experienced a time of solitude after the death of her sister, and that of being the last Marianite Sister in Mont-Laurier. Bibiane’s closest friends provided her with moral support and calmed her fear of dying alone.
Sister Bibiane’s illness was diagnosed approximately a year prior to her death. She carried the cross of that illness with great courage and resignation to God’s Will, understanding very well that this malady would not go away, facing the end of her earthly life bravely as she began to diminish. No longer able to pray independently, Bibiane asked her friend to accompany her in prayer. Daily, Mrs. Gisele Lamoureux visited and prayed with Bibiane. Giles and Gisele attest that prayer and Bibiane’s deep faith gave them the strength to be present to her until her Eternal Father came to receive her home ten months later on March 14, 2017.
A special “Thank You” to the people of Mont Laurier, especially to Bibiane’s friends, medical personnel and the pastor of the church parish, Fr. Gilbert, who visited daily to bring the Eucharist to her.
“Thanks to you, Sr. Bibiane, to your Congregation of the Marianites of Holy Cross, for all that you have brought to Mont Laurier. Au revois, Sr. Bibiane.”
A mass of Christian Burial was held in the Mont-Laurier Cathedral and Sr. Bibiane’s remains were laid to rest in the Marianite burial place in the Mont-Laurier Cemetery.
Memoriam written by Gisele Lamoureux