Sr. Louise Granger
June 5, 1906 – October 15, 2003
After a few days of serious illness, Sister Louise Granger (Sr. Alfrid-Marie) passed away on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 in the infirmary at Résidence Jesus-Marie. Conscious and aware of the persons who were with her, Sister had a foreboding that the coming of the Lord was imminent and she prepared for it with her usual fervour.
Born in St.Jean-Baptiste in June 1906, daughter of Victorine (Vermette) and Arthur Granger, she is the sixth child of a beautiful and closely-knit Christian family of eleven children. Raised on a farm, far from neighbours, they were numerous enough, she said, that they could organize their own games and enjoy many family activities. When Louise was six years old, after having spent just two months in Grade one in the Convent of the Sisters of the Holy Names, she fell seriously ill with pneumonia. The doctor advised her parents that she would probably not survive. The local church Pastor, Fr. Clovis St-Amant and her mother had prepared her so well for the meeting with her Creator and described so vividly the heavenly beauties that when Louise learned she would pull through she was very disappointed that she could not go to Heaven right away! In fact, she had to wait for over 90 years before this final encounter with her Lord … but Sister has surely made good use of her time!
Louise was then able to pursue her studies as a resident student at the SNJM Convent. Much too soon however she must discontinue her schooling as her mother’s health is failing. Under the latter’s wise guidance, Louise, who is so young, continues to learn many skills as she attends to every housekeeping detail. She is a picture of the perfect woman described in the Book of Proverbs: “The truly capable woman – who can find her? She is far beyond the price of pearls. . .She puts her back into her work and shows how strong her arms can be.” (31, v.10, 17). When her younger sisters are able to relieve her and take over, Louise free to answer the call she has heard many years ago.
In 1927, she enterd the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names in Outremont. After her religious commitment in 1929, Sister Alfrid-Marie teaches two years in Quebec. When she returns to Manitoba, she specializes in the primary Grades and Kindergarten (her favourite level) in schools of her Order in Manitoba and, for 11 years, in Duluth, MN. She has many “tricks of the trade” with these youngsters that she loves so much and with whom she displays such creativity and ingenuity. After her lengthy career as an educator, one that spanned some 40 years, Sister embarks on a challenging and unique second mission: chauffeur for the sisters of Résidence Jesus-Marie. Whatever the weather, she was easily available, very punctual, always at attention and ready to drive her passengers safely to their destination. Throughout these lengthy assignments
Sister knows how to maintain her enthusiasm and her energy: every summer she spends a few weeks of vacation at the Holy Names cottage, Camp Morton on Lake Winnipeg. She enjoyed her meditation and prayer time; she loves the outdoors and she knows how to rest and relax in her beautiful surroundings. For over a year now, Sister Louise has been the senior member of our SNJM Manitoba province. But Sister engages in activities that surely do not reveal that she is in her late nineties. Her time in the infirmary is well spent. In addition to the time devoted to prayer and spiritual devotions such as listening to inspiring tapes, Sister also knows how to keep alert intellectually. So grateful to have recovered her eyesight after an operation, she reads a lot, does crossword and jigsaw puzzles. Her favourite leisure time is watching hockey games. One can easily bet that Sister would get top marks on a hockey quiz; she is familiar with the teams and the players; she does not miss any televised game or games that are broadcast. During the last Olympic competitions, whatever the hour at night, Sister was faithful to the hockey games on T.V.! Sister Louise was predeceased by her three brothers, David, a Dominican priest, Alfred and Joseph; her seven sisters, Helena Auger, Delia Girard, Adelina (Sister Bertheline, SNJM), Annette Fillion, Antoinette St-Vincent, Cecile Parent, Berthe Valcourt. She leaves to mourn her passing one sister-in-law, Elizabeth Granger; numerous nephews and nieces whom she deeply loved and many of whom visited her frequently.