Elizabeth had 2 favorites Scripture passages: John 15:1 “He prunes away every barren branch, but the fruitful ones he trims clean to increase their yield.” And from John 15:16: “It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit.”
Marie Alvénise Elizabeth Royer was born on January 1st 1917 in Beaumont, her father was Omer Royer and her mother Josephine Beaudoin. At a young age, her parents moved to Villeneuve. Elizabeth then went to Notre Dame Convent in Morinville. In 1935 she joined the Congregation of les “Filles de Jesus” (Daughters of Jesus) in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. She made her religious profession in 1937. Immediately after, she went to Lewistown, Montana, to enroll in St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated as a registered nurse in 1940, and remained most of her religious life in Lewistown, 43 years in nursing and pastoral care… As supervisor she ran a well-organized floor – strict, pleasant, open with her patients and Staff. She worked her staff hard to obtain her GOAL to give her patients the best service and care possible to restore them back to health. She was very proud to tell us that she had been 43 years in Lewistown. She did spend a few years in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Pincher Creek, Alberta. In Lewistown, after retiring from nursing, she engaged in pastoral ministry. She visited the sick, had the liturgy and communion in the hospital and the homes. She was also ready to go the extra mile to help the shut-ins and others. She did keep in touch with the families. She also had special prayer groups. When she returned to Canada, Elizabeth kept on with her pastoral ministry in Calgary, Didsbury, Jasper and Edmonton. She retired in 1996. While she was in Calgary she had heart surgery in 1991 and she lived on for 25 years until Saturday when she had some warning of a heart problem. She had a heart attack on Sunday morning and died Monday morning, spending not even 24 hours in the hospital. We often said she lived on God’s time because when she was operated, doctors had said maybe some 5 to 6 years. Many of her family members died with heart disease. She outlived them all.
In relating her life story, Elizabeth desired to share a few thoughts on the significance of treasuring the past: “We are fed and nourished by a communion of life in which persons and events intersect in memory and merge into a common experience. Those who live without memories cannot communicate and fully appreciate the priceless gift of life. They have nothing worth keeping alive beyond the span of their lifetime.”
In community she was faithful to her commitment as F.J. and woman of the church. She always did her share of the community routine in cleaning, cooking, and participation in community prayers. Her prayers were prepared with depth and her sharing was profound and life giving. Her personal prayer always came first in her life. Our Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph were her models. In her later year she often was in prayer in chapel or in her room.
She had a gift for writing: she kept in contact with family, friends and sisters far away by her letters, cards and her prayers, one knew she was in touch with God through her prayer life. The telephone was important, as was going out to have a meal with her family. When her health diminished, they would come and visit with her. She enjoyed hearing about each one’s family.
Her hospitality was a joy for her and she loved to have people come to the community to visit, pray, and share a meal. A beautiful table and prepared dishes were part of her pride and joy. She was a gracious lady, delicate and friendly.
Her hobbies were: plants, gardens, flowers. She loved to grow and nourish house plants and she enjoyed gardening. Being in contact with people was very important, no matter who it was. She was interested in all the sisters, our employees, our associates and any one she met.
During her stay in Montana, she lived many years alone with Frances Schlemmer in Lewistown. Every time Frances went home to visit her relatives, Elizabeth was invited to go; she was part of the Schlemmer family. This is what Frances’ brother, Joe wrote about Elizabeth when learned that she had passed away. “I’m so sorry to hear about Elizabeth. She was such a standard for so many years and a high one at that. I never knew her not to smile and not to have a kind word. Indeed she was model of true faith and never failed to live it. I’m glad for her not lingering and for the long years of her life. I know she blessed many and interceded for countless numbers and we have all been honoured to be included in those prayers. We know that the first words she heard from her Savior were “well done good and faithful servant”. Thank you for sharing your dear friend with us.
In the last years Elizabeth became completely deaf. It was quiet a life for her. All the sisters took their turn to write for her what was going on. She would acknowledge by a nod, a smile, showed a facial expression according to what was written. When she first became completely deaf, she told Frances how difficult it was to not hear, see the sisters smile, laugh and not knowing what was being said. However, she accepted her loss of hearing, always trying to be a part of everything and not feeling sorry for herself. Her greatest pleasure was playing cards. She knew everything that was going on, what everyone played and if we did make a mistake she would make a small sound and show with her fingers who the culprit was
She was very generous with her time and in rendering services. She showed gratitude for the gift of life, for her health, for services done for her. She often would leave a little gift with a word of thanks and encouragement. THANK YOU ELIZABETH FOR BEING A TRUE FILLE DE JESUS, A ROLE MODEL, WE ASK YOU TO CONTINUE TO INTERCEDE FOR US AS YOU ARE ENJOYING YOUR NEW LIFE IN THE KINGDOM OF OUR CREATOR.