Sœur Antoinette AUDET (St. Joseph Maria) f.j., 1929-2016

Vice-province of Moncton (Canada)

Antoinette Audet (St. Joseph Maria) died on November 28th 2016.

Antoinette was born in Dundee, New Brunswick (Canada), on March 22nd 1929 in a family of eleven children. After a work experience in the world and at home (she was the eldest daughter), she entered the novitiate at Three Rivers (Canada) and became a Daughter of Jesus in 1949.

Antoinette began her apostolic religious life with a few years of teaching. Then she worked with the sick and elderly before beginning her nursing education in 1958. She then served for five years at the Cheticamp Hospital after which she was appointed Director of the Senior’s Home in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

In 1967, St. Anthony’s Home in Sydney closed and the residents moved to MacGillivray Guest Home. This event gave Antoinette the opportunity to fully exercise her sense of responsibility and her qualities as an organizer. She was able to accept the advantages of a more modern and better equipped residence and to face the tensions of the adaptation period to a new environment for employees, sisters and residents alike.

In 1971, Antoinette took a time of studies in preparation for a mission in the West Indies. There, she continued to serve as a nurse for twenty-five years, six years in Nevis and nineteen years in Haiti where she assumed responsibility for a dispensary, performed her midwifery duties, replaced the doctor as needed and trained young women as nursing assistants. She looked at this task of nursing as a mission, a vocation that gave her true happiness.

In 1998, Antoinette returned to the Moncton province. She recognized that this quarter of a century lived in the West Indies and especially her nineteen years in Haiti were a very enriching experience for her, that the poor evangelized her and taught her to live the essentials. So, although her health was already somewhat fragile, she willingly volunteered to the pastoral care of the sick and the elderly in Dalhousie. In 2006, she came to spend her retirement years in Moncton. In 2009 she was admitted to Canterbury Hall, Riverview and transferred in 2015 to Monarch Hall where she died peacefully in the palliative care section on November 28th 2016 at 2:15 am. She was 87 years old, and had celebrated 67 years of religious life.

Antoinette was a gentle, discreet person, a woman of prayer and wisdom. She loved order and cleanliness. Despite her apparent timidity, she knew how to forget herself to face the situation of the present moment. She did not shrink from the difficulties but was tenacious in the accomplishment of her mission. May the God whom she has served with devotion and generosity welcome her now in his peace and joy.

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