Sr. Alice Parent
September 24, 1908 – October 11, 2003
Sister Alice Parent (Sr. Luce-Marie) passed away most serenely in the St. Boniface Hospital on Saturday, October 11, 2003. She generously responded to the Lords final call, a call she yearned for and found too slow in coming.
Born in Dunrea, MB on September 24, 1908, Alice was the ninth child of Marie (Fortier) and Arthur Parent. She had four brothers and seven sisters. She went to schools in Dunrea, with the Missionary Oblates from Grades 1 to 7 and with English teachers for Grades 8 and 9. Then she was a resident student with the Sisters of Holy Names in St. Agathe High School and St. Josephs Academy. In 1928, Alice graduated from the former Normal School on William Avenue in Winnipeg. The following year she taught in Storthoaks, SK. Alice noted with immense gratitude how her remarkable mother, so prayerful and most unselfish, and the Holy Names Sisters, whom she remembered so vividly had made such an impact on her life.
Of her call to religious life she wrote “After having taught one year in Storthoaks, Sask., I answered the Lords call, a call that I had been hearing for several years, and I entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. It is not without grief that I gave up my freedom, a salary at my disposal, and trips that I had dreamt about. But the grace of God was powerful, worldly pleasures left a void in my life and a dislike for which I thank the Lord today as I recognize how privileged I was in being chosen, how blessed I have been throughout my religious life”.
When Alice (now Sister Luce-Marie) returned to Manitoba in 1931 she taught Junior and High School levels, for 30 years, either at St. Josephs Academy or in St. Jean-Baptiste where she was also Principal for eight years. Her students lovingly remembered Sister Luce-Marie and her cheerful and serene personality whatever the situation was. When her former students visited St. Josephs Academy, now Résidence Jesus-Marie, they made it a point of enquiring about Sister Luce-Marie and visited her when she was in the infirmary. Throughout her teaching career, Sister simultaneously pursued her studies after her hours of teaching, during weekends and summer holidays.
She received her Bachelor of Arts and of Education from the University of Manitoba and her Master of Arts from the University of Montreal where she studied during four long summers. In 1961, Sister Luce-Marie was elected member of the General Council of the Holy Names Sisters. Until 1971, she resided in the SNJM mother house in Outremont. One can venture to say that during that time Sister missed the activities and commotion of a regular school day. However, she was most happy to serve the needs of her Order and to become acquainted with its numerous members living in Canada, the United States and in Lesotho, South Africa. She appreciated the fact that her mandate provided enjoyable opportunities for beautiful trips. Upon her return to Manitoba, Sister Alice carried out various administrative tasks for the SNJMs, provincial secretary, infirmary director, superior in St. Pierre Convent and St. Josephs Academy (at the latter during the major 1980 to 1981 renovations).
During her less active retirement years, Sister Alice was always available for many tasks in some of Holy Names Convents, St. Pierre, St. Ignatius and Sacre-Coeur and Résidence Jesus-Marie. Thus she was frequently a substitute teacher, she visited the elderly and the sick, cooperated in parish activities, assumed her share of household tasks, was an active member of a Seniors club. She also treasured her free time for reading, crossword puzzles, playing cards, knitting, choice TV programs, etc. In 2001, Sister celebrated 70 years of religious life. Her companions expressed their admiration for such a lengthy period of generous dedication during which she was a vibrant witness of the Word of God among them and a source of inspiration inviting them to deepen their relationship with God. Sister Alice was predeceased by her four brothers, six sisters, among whom was Sister Alice-de-Jesus, SNJM, who died in 1980. She leaves to mourn her passing, one sister, Stella Beaudoin, St. Lambert, QC and numerous nephews and nieces, cousins and the members of her religious Order.