Jubilee on 2009 - Montreal - 70 years
Sister Rose-Hélène Massé
One day, two Sisters spent some time at her home in St-Ulric, leaving a brochure about their missionary life. As a result the teenager secretly fashioned a dream, and in 1938, with the blessing of her parents, she left to join the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Quebec City.
Happy in all activities concerning her formation, Sister Rose-Hélène felt no hesitation, and prayer time became her priority. If a need arose here and there, she ran to respond to it, whether it was in the garden, in the kitchen cooking, in the sacristy, in the binding. Very clever and methodical, she also learned shoemaking, producing white canvas shoes, then worn by the Franciscans. Sweet remembrance of those happy days!
One day Sr. Rose-Hélène was appointed provider for the missions by going door to door in various parishes in order to sell crafts and embroidery from India, the Philippines, etc.. She also used to listen to people ... who liked to confide in her and seek advice and prayers. She recalls with humor a man who followed her, claiming he was sick... and, it seems, was almost magically healed by her words of compassion and the gift of a banana!!
And what became of her dream to cross the seas? She was to live 20 years in the isolation of the mission of St. Laurent, Manitoba. She was like a big sister to all, sower of hope and peace; in charge of boarders she was loved and respected by all. The exertion needed did not intimidate her; she was an example of dedication, of respect for the family values of these young people and created a climate of mutual trust. Her other companions valiantly ran the primary school. At that time, it was a mission where isolated people struggled to live and the sisters even lived without running water, had no electricity, no telephone ... Sr. Rose Hélène shared the people’s poverty when she visited the most remote families, advising and encouraging mothers, teaching them to pray and to trust in the Lord.
When back in the East, she took a course in gerontology and is now dedicated to serving our elderly sisters. Always considerate and friendly, she draws her strength from the Lord, in whom she finds her primary provision of love.
Today, following a fracture, she is in the infirmary. She is always gentle and kind, grateful for all the little services she receives from the nurses and her sisters. She likes to be brought to the chapel where she can adore her beloved in the Blessed Sacrament exposed. When in May, the bells of her 70th Jubilee rang in our chapel she was jubilant and radiant in her wheel chair, all ready to celebrate as she entered the chapel to the sound of:
“N’entends-tu pas les Cithares et les Flûtes,
vois tes amis qui s’approchent en cortège. ”
Jubilee on 2009