My Vocation Story, Marie-Laure
I am Marie-Laure Beaudet. Born in 1906 in Deschaillons, I was the fourteenth of fifteen children born to my parents, who were descendants of ancestors who had come from Poitou and Orléans to settle in Canada in 1636. Real pioneers in the New World!
Six of my older sisters left home one after another to consecrate their lives to God; one joined the Ursulines, another the Good Shepherd Sisters, while the other four, followed by myself, became Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and travelled the world over with the same pioneer zeal and the same courageous fervour as our ancestors. Further and further... higher and higher!
An episode during my childhood seems to be a prophecy of what my life would be. Once when I was near our parish church, I noticed a ladder going right up to the roof. ¨ I had never climbed so high, and when I got to the top and looked down, I became dizzy. I was terrified I would fall and I felt very weak. So I held on to the rungs with all my might and quietly went down to level ground.¨
This eagerness to reach new heights, this courage to face difficulties and overcome myself would be characteristic of Marie-Laure's whole life. Leaning figuratively on the Church, I still scale the heights where my active temperament leads me...in search of God's Will!
The seeds of my religious vocation were sown in my heart at an early age. When I had successfully completed my studies with the Ursulines, I became a teacher for two years. Since I was not able to find the perfection I sought in my surroundings, I decided at the age of nineteen to respond to the call that the life of Mary of the Passion (Foundress of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary), the letters from Mother Lucienne in China and stories about Missionaries in India had awakened in me. These readings nourished and strengthened my vocation.
Having entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in my turn in 1925, I made my first Profession in 1927 and left for Morocco in 1928. ¨I would have liked to go among the people of Papua but I was destined to accomplish God's Will among the orphans in Morocco.¨; So, a Sister Beaudet in every continent formed a chain of love and dedication to the service of the poor that encircled the world. After a period of adaptation during which I encountered no problems, I sealed my commitment with Perpetual Vows in Casablanca in 1933, and would live out my daily offering in Moroccan territory for forty-three years.
When I returned to Canada in 1971, I was entrusted with Pastoral Care in a residence for the elderly in Val d'Or, after a time of rest and renewal. Six beautiful years of sharing in prayer and friendship!
In 1989, the Marthas (active Sisters) and the Marys (Sisters who were ill) welcomed me to Ste.-Anne-de- Beaupré. I spent many happy days there, always busy, always smiling, at the service of my Sisters... and philately! I had the joy of seeing my older sisters return from overseas and to accompany them to the very doorstep of the Father’s House. Two of them were in their ninetieth year.
Now, having reached one hundred years, in all serenity I am ascending the last rungs of the ladder with a smile on my lips, my eyes twinkling with mischief and joy, as I compose the poem of my life...; that I will go and sing to the Lord...when He chooses!
Marie Laure Beaudet passed away in Montreal, May 7 2008, at the age of 103 years old. She was in her 84th year of religious life.