“We say goodbye to you now dear friend and colleague.”
Sr Tarcienne (Tarcy) died on the 24th of February 2023, at the Mazankowski Heart Institute (University Hospital), Edmonton, Alberta, at the age of 86, and 64 years in religious life.
Her funeral took place on the 6th of March in the chapel of the Providence Center, Edmonton.
Good morning, I have the honor of sharing some highlights on the life story of Tarcienne Marie Etudienne Meunier, or as she is better known to all of us: “Tarcy”.
Tarcy was born in her parent’s farmhouse in Morinville, Alberta March 12, 1936, the 7th child of 11 children born to Edouard Meunier and Vitaline Boissonnault. The family moved to the village of Morinville. Their family was full of life and Tarcy would share how they gathered in the evenings to sing, and the house was filled with music. One year there were even 9 family members in the parish choir.
The Rosary was an important part of their daily life and even if they had a long day the Beads were said before going to bed.
Tarcy’s interests ranged from playing women’s softball to speed skating in her early life. She received her education from Les Filles de Jesus, and this left a deep impression on her. In 1955 after completing High School she entered the religious community of Les Filles de Jesus and on May 12, 1958, she pronounced her first vows in Three Rivers, Quebec. She took the name of Sister Marie Paul-Edouard.
Upon returning to Alberta, she worked and studied in Plamondon for a year then as a nurse’s aide in Lac La Biche for 3 years. Finally completing her R.N. at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton in 1966 she went to Pincher Creek, AB to work in our hospital there.
In 1970 she took her postgraduate course in Midwifery at the University of Alberta, and she was then called to the missions in the West Indies from 1971-1976. She loved this aspect of nursing helping new life into the world. Her love of the poor was evident in St. Kitts where she helped many ladies free of charge. She delivered babies and taught the young women how to take care of them.
Tarcy always listened to God who gave her many gifts to share with others. Once again God called her into another aspect of health care. That of pastoral care and counseling. She studied and worked as a hospital chaplain and pastoral counselor from 1981-1988 at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. She also completed her formation in spiritual leadership in Chicago. She worked at the Grey Nun’s Hospital in the early 2000s. She served many people in different hospitals.
Tarcy had a great love of the Associates of the Daughters of Jesus. She was very involved in their formation being one of the founders of the Associates in Alberta.
Her family was very important to her. On Saturday afternoons she would drive her sisters to mass and have supper with them afterward. She shared her love with nieces and nephews and was there for them. Accepting them as they were with no judgments.
God calls again and from 1989 – 1995 Tarcy was asked by the General leadership in France to be the Provincial Superior of the sisters in Alberta. With her generous heart, she said yes. She took the time to listen and be present to others. She was a joyous person full of energy and life. Hers was a holistic approach to leadership, never doubting her decisions and forging ahead. When the Congregation was downsizing its structures Tarcy was so generous she accepted another few years as Vice-Provincial. Her love of parties encouraged her to start the yearly Sisters’ Christmas gathering after Christmas. We continue this tradition today. And it was her way of sowing life among the sisters.
She was always ready and willing to help anyone in need. Any task that needed to be done from moving sisters around Alberta and all the goods they carried to fixing things up and cleaning out garages, houses, etc. She was always volunteering to help somewhere and as one sister put it, “she was a good sport” willing to try anything. She was attentive to the sisters even in small acts of kindness that touched the heart of the others.
Flowers and gardens were her specialties especially tomato plants, and vegetables. Her room was filled with plants and growing things. She nurtured nature at its best.
In her love of the poor, she crocheted toques by the hundreds for the shelters in Edmonton, and I am positive I saw one of her hats running around on T.V. one day.
There are many stories to tell that time does not allow.
In 2021 Tarcy came to live at Providence Center. Her health was failing, and she needed more help. Tarcy shared with one of the sisters that she was happy to be there. She would have more time to pray and deepen her prayer life. She could be found in the big chapel from 2:30 – 3:30 P.M. every day. She had a great devotion to St. Joseph that helped her in her life to trust in God’s ways. She was becoming more and more peaceful in her life.
She joined the choir at Providence Center and was committed to practices and happy to sing at mass. And of course, Tarcy was at the activities offered at Providence Center, especially the monthly birthday parties where she would sing her heart out knowing all the oldy goldies.
Entering the University Hospital on January 11, 2023, she had a procedure which she never recovered from. On February 24, 2023, she passed away. Many of us did not have a chance to say goodbye nor expect her not to return to Providence Center where she made her home. We say goodbye to you now dear friend and colleague. May you live your new life with a Joie de vivre in God’s home singing your heart out as you play the piano that you always wanted to learn.
Composed by Sr Marlene Tracy dj, with the help of the DJ sisters and the written witness of Tarcy herself.