Sr. Helene Chaput

October 26, 1913 – March 5, 2007

On March 5th, 2007, Sister Hélène Chaput (Sr. Louise-Gabrielle) passed away very peacefully, surrounded by members of her religious community and her sister, Thérèse, SGM, at Taché Centre, in St. Boniface.

Hélène, daughter of Arthur and Maria Baril, was born on October 26th, 1913, in St. Norbert, Manitoba. She was the fourth in a family of 15. As the family moved, Hélène did some of her schooling at home, at St. Alphonse, in Letellier and completed her Grade 12 with the Daughters of the Cross, in St. Adolphe. After obtaining her teaching certificate from the Winnipeg Normal School, Hélène first taught in the rural schools in St. Claude, South Junction and St. Adolphe.

On January 24th, 1940, Hélène entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Outremont, Québec. After her religious profession on February 5th, 1942, Hélène, now Sister Louise Gabrielle, came back to Manitoba. As a religious educator, Sister Louise-Gabrielle taught in St. Pierre, Sacré-Coeur, in Winnipeg, Kenora, St. Joseph’s Academy, in St. Boniface, and St. Jean Baptiste where she was also principal. During these years, while consecrating herself to teaching, she pursued her studies. Sister Louise-Gabrielle obtained her B.A. and her B.Ed from the University of Manitoba, her M.A. from the University of Montreal and her Doctorate from La Sorbonne, Paris. Upon her return from France, Sister Hélène taught at the Faculty of Education (University of Manitoba) and at l’Institut Pédagogique (St. Boniface College).
Sister wrote a number of books and she was awarded the Prix Champlain for: Donatien Frémont, journaliste de l’Ouest. Many of the articles composed for her community were signed Gemme Monpays. She was often called upon to proofread texts before publication. Sister Hélène was a precious collaborator at La Société Historique de St-Boniface and at Les Editions du Blé. While teaching night courses at the Faculty of Education, Sister Hélène prepared herself to be the archivist of her Congregation in Manitoba. She spent some 20 years serving in this capacity until she went to the infirmary because of failing health.

Sister Hélène was predeceased by her parents; her brothers, André, Norbert, Roland, 0MI, François-Xavier (Elie-Anne), Joseph; her sisters, Flavie, SDS, Blandine, SDS, and Lucie Rossier; her sisters-in-law, Emma, Elie-Anne and Marie-Ange; and her brothers-in-law, Marius Magnan and Lévis Courchaine. She leaves to mourn her passing her sisters, Héloise (Magnan), Thérèse, SGM, Germaine, Gabrielle Courchaine; her brothers, Camille (Alice) and Louis de Gonzague, a brother-in-law Paul Rossier; and many nieces and nephews and the members of her religious community.