Thanksgiving for a centenarian

Today, May 22, 2022, a festive atmosphere reigns at the Daughters of Jesus in Rimouski, Canada. Our sister Alice Savard is celebrating her centenary! What a great opportunity to pause for a moment and give thanks to God for Alice’s life and at the same time underline her 80 years of religious life.

In his homily, Father Jacques Côté, our chaplain, states many reasons we have to give thanks.

“On this memorable day, as we look back on the life of Sister Alice, we can only marvel, praise the Lord and be filled with thanksgiving. We rejoice that Sr. Alice is still sufficiently alert to participate with us in the Eucharist during which we will give thanks to God who, faithful to his promises through the words of the prophet Isaiah, reassures Sr. Alice by saying tenderly to her: “Even to your old age, I am he and I will sustain you even when your hair turns gray”.(Isaiah 46.4)

We give thanks …

  • For her 100 years of age and for having consecrated her whole life in the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus
  • For sunny days and happy years.
  • For love received and given.
  • For all the attentions and cuddles manifested to hundreds and hundreds of young people in her care.
  • For those wardrobes filled with clothes she either fashioned or repaired thanks to her talents as a seamstress.
  • And we must not forget a thank you for all her broad smiles which certainly brought joy to hearts feeling either a hurt, a problem or a difficulty.

On a spiritual level

Yes, I like to believe that Sister Alice has gone through the years living her joys as well as her difficulties with the courage of a woman who felt and who still feels loved by the Lord (John 15), and who continues to allow herself to be led by Him as long as He desires because ‘He has cared for her since she was conceived and carried her since her birth.’ (Cf. Isaiah, 46, 3)

Being aware as we all are, that alone we will never be able to love like Jesus, Sister Alice chose, or rather «was chosen» by Jesus in order to take him as a model, to «honor him in his Sacred Humanity» (R.L. no.3), to observe his way of doing, to remain in him, connected to him like the branches on the vine (Jn 15, 4-5)… On the evening of our life “it is on love that we will be judged” (St. John of the Cross). “The main thing is the love we share, along with its risks and miseries.” (Benoit Lacroix)

Faced with this challenge, Sister Alice is a beacon for us. May the Lord who “…renews our youth like the eagle’s”(Ps 102, 5) continue to accompany our loving centenarian as well as each one of us on this day of joyful celebration and thanksgiving”.

We continue celebrating this event while enjoying a scrumptious meal with Alice`s family and the community, a meal interspersed with many beautiful tributes filled with gratitude and love… tributes that Alice receives with a broad smile and witty comments.

Jeannine d’Amours, Rimouski, France

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