Sr. Amanda Desharnais

March 28, 1932 – August 30, 2008

Sister Amanda Desharnais (Sr. Irène-Lucille) died peacefully, surrounded by SNJM companions and a long time friend, on August 30, 2008 at St. Boniface Hospital. She is survived by her brother, Armand (Claire); her sister-in-law, Gertrude, many nieces and nephews, as well as by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and numerous friends. Amanda was predeceased by her parents, her sisters, Lucille and Irène, and her brother, Henri.

Amanda, the youngest of five children, was born to Ovila Desharnais and Elisa Martin on March 28, 1932, in St-Pierre-Jolys, Manitoba. With her siblings, she grew up on the family farm in Carey. Amanda attended school in Carey for the first eight years and then went to the convent in St. Pierre to complete her high school education. On February 24, 1951, she entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Outremont, Quebec. Amanda, now known as Sister Irène-Lucille, made her final vows on August 5, 1957.

In February 1953, after two years spent at the Novitiate, Sister Irène-Lucille came back to Manitoba. She consecrated many years to education as a teacher, as a school principal and then as Director General of the Catholic Schools of Manitoba. Sister taught a few years at the elementary level in Waterloo, QC, and in Somerset. Then she taught at the secondary level in the following schools: Flin Flon, St. Mary’s Academy, St-Pierre-Jolys, Elie, Lorette and Holy Cross. During her teaching years, Sister Amanda pursued her studies and obtained a B.A. and a B.Ed. from the University of Manitoba.

In 1981, her teaching career came to a halt when she accepted to serve her religious community as General Councillor in Pierrefonds, QC, and then as local superior at St. Joseph’s Academy. She was a member of the formation team for Nathanaël, in St. Boniface and a board member for Presse Ouest as well as a member in La Chorale des Intrépides. In 1993, Sister Amanda was asked to initiate a new program for grieving persons at Desjardins Funeral Home where she devoted herself with compassion for five years. Then Sister served her religious community as Provincial Superior until 2003.

Sister Amanda, a woman gifted with numerous talents touched the lives of many people, young and old, throughout her life. In 2005, she moved to Résidence Despins where she lived until her admission at St. Boniface General Hospital on August 5. It is with great faith and courage that she accepted her sickness.