Sister Mary Labouré

Doreen Elixene Lalonde
1923 - 2023

Sister Mary Labouré, baptized Doreen Elixene Lalonde, was born in Perkinsfield, Ontario on May 23, 1923 one of nine children of Paul Lalonde and Elizabeth Desjardens. She grew up on the family farm outside of Midland, Ontario and attended Sacred Heart School in Midland. Since her mother was in poor health, she and her siblings had to do their share of work especially during the summer when there was plenty of fruit to be picked. When she was a little older, she found work at the Midland Hospital as an assistant to the cook. When her older sisters went to Toronto to work, she went along with them and found work in a factory where she worked during the war years. In Toronto she boarded at Rosary Hall where she met Sister Mary Cecile who was kind to her and often spoke to her about a vocation to religious life. So, on February 2, 1943 she entered the novitiate in Kingston.

Following her First Profession she was assigned to Providence Manor to work with seniors. When St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital was returned to the Community in 1947 after it had been used by the military during the war, she helped clean the building. When patients were moved to the hospital, she was assigned to do night duty. In 1950 she was sent to Arnprior where she was sacristan at the parish church for a year. This was followed by three years at St. Michael’s Convent, Belleville where she was the housekeeper and cook for twenty-five Sisters. In 1954 she went to Tweed as housekeeper and cook for six Sisters. After 20 years she returned to St. Michael’s Convent in Belleville where there were only thirteen Sisters. Added to her duties was Pastoral work at the request of the pastor. She brought Communion to the sick in their homes, hospital and nursing homes.

After twenty-one years in Belleville, she retired to the Motherhouse where she enjoyed a six-month sabbatical during which she volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She then became Coordinator of Marian II infirmary for two years and then began looking after the decorating of the Motherhouse for special occasions.

When the Tuck shop was set up by Sister Diane Brennen, she was the first to volunteer when it opened in October 2004. She not only helped in the shop but also made some of the best-selling items; crocheted baby clothes, beautifully dressed dolls, delicious home-made candy and much more. In the month of November each year she, along with some staff members, held a pre-Christmas sale to raise money for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Kingston.

Throughout the years Sister developed and continued her many hobbies. Over the years she took courses in paper tole, quilting, macramé and gourmet cooking. One of her favourite past times was to make beautiful paper tole place cards for the jubilarians each year. She never sat down without a piece of work in her hands often crocheting outfits for dolls that were requested by Sisters and staff. She was an excellent cook and loved to try new recipes. She also obtained a certificate in Pastoral Care through Queen’s University.

Sister will be remembered for her kindness, generosity and her beautiful smile.

The Mass of Christian Burial, held in the Chapel of Mary, Mother of Compassion, Providence Motherhouse, on May 18, 2023 was presided over by Friar Ed Debono, OFM Conv. who also delivered the homily.