Vice-Province of Edmonton (Canada)
Words of Remembrance of Ida Sheehan, d.j.
Ida Sheehan was born on August 14, 1921 in Morinville, Alberta. She was the fourth of 12 children: five brothers and six sisters. She entered the Congregation of Les Filles de Jésus in Trois-Rivières, QC, and made her first vows August 4, 1950. She pronounced her perpetual vows on August 3, 1955. August was a significant month for her.
Ida was an excellent English teacher. She received her Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta and a Masters of Religious Studies from Gonzaga University. She taught grades 3 and 4 in Picardville, and grades 9 to 12 in many different places: Pincher Creek, Morinville and Plamondon. She also taught catechism in Lac La Biche.
When Ida retired from teaching, she became the local bursar at Maison St. Joseph and then at Maple Tree and Villa St. Joseph. She retired to Villa St. Joseph in 2010.
In 2013, Ida, being in a wheelchair, recognized that she needed more help physically, so she began her three year journey at Extendicare Holyrood on May 16. She accepted the changes in her new home with a deep sense of peace and serenity. She was a humble and peaceful woman. This was so evident when she participated in nearly all of the activities, whether it was throwing a ball, playing bingo or jeopardy, folding towels or cutting out designs for the bulletin board. Whenever she played in an activity she waited patiently for her turn. She was a woman of wisdom and deep faith, and very spiritual, as well as patient, caring and compassionate. She lived her mission as the face of Christ with all she met. I was always touched by her positive attitude. Even the staff and nurses never heard her complain. She was a woman of few words yet when she did speak it was pearls of wisdom. A good part of her days was spent reading and working on crossword puzzles. She was creative and composed many blessings, songs, and poems. Community was very important to her and she always remained interested in what was happening with the sisters and the employees.
Now and then we experienced her sense of humor. When one of the staff wanted to put a black wig on her head she agreed to this only if she had her picture taken. On seeing the picture none of the staff could recognize who she was and this created an atmosphere of laughter and joy among them. The staff and residents had nothing but kind words to say about her. She was a blessing for them but they were also a blessing for her in for their compassionate care during Ida’s three years with them.
On Good Friday, Fr. Mitch came to give Ida the Sacrament of the Sick as she was not doing well. Since then her health gradually diminished. She passed away on Friday May 13, 2016. She will be greatly missed.