Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 10, 2000
Red Deer sister was teacher, leader
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Sister Paul-Marie du Sacr‚ Coeur, 98, who served as teacher, principal, mother superior and vice-provincial for the Daughters of Wisdom (Monfort Sisters) in Alberta, died Dec. 21 at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
Born Gabrielle Jenvrin in Normandy, France, Paul-Marie had a long career in education in Quebec, Ontario and the Edmonton Archdiocese.
"She always kept herself busy," said Sister Harriet Hermary, who was a student of Sister Paul-Marie's at St. Joseph's Convent in Red Deer. "She had to retire twice."
In 1971, she retired as vice-provincial of the congregation and in 1991, retired completely from administrative duties.
She was also active on the Sacred Heart Parish council, social justice committee, Catholic Women's League, Pro-Life Red Deer, and was an organizer for the Alberta Council on Aging and a founding member of the advisory council for Catholic Social Services in Red Deer.
"She was loved by everyone," Hermary said. "She was very enthusiastic. She was so dignified. I don't think she ever had any class control problems. Her students loved her.
"She was always bubbly, this was her character."
One of four children, the future Sister Paul-Marie immigrated with her family to Edmonton where she attended the University of Alberta and began her teaching career. She and her sister Anne Marie entered the convent and in 1924, she visited France where she made her profession of vows.
She returned to Canada and took on the principalship of the high school at St. Joseph's Convent. In 1946, she became mother superior.
She spent almost a decade in Eastern Canada before returning to Alberta in 1961, where she founded six houses for her congregation. The sisters have been active in education, health care, evangelization and social work.
"She did a lot of work," Hermary said. "A lot of people knew her and her work. She was a sister for 75 years. She was always a busy person."
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