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Émilie Gamelin
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Sisters Give Witness
Young Adults Give Witness

Bibiane Crête, s.p. Noëlla Bélanger, s.p. Germaine Desrochers, s.p.
Mariette Proulx, s.p. Marie-Paule Levaque, s.p. Annette Boucher, s.p.


I teach in Vermont. I don't believe I'm making a mistake in saying that working with children keeps me young.

After 28 years in the classroom, I know young children pretty well. We get along very well together.

I teach religion, French and music in primary grades. When needed I also do substitute teaching in other classes.

Sometimes, I say to myself, "If I can teach them to pray, to respect themselves and others realizing that God is in each person, I will have accomplished a lot." Guiding children along the right path, is there anything more important?


My ministry is with a center called, RELAIS FAMILLE , whose purpose is to provide support to families in distress. Most of those who come to the center, are women who are are afflicted because a loved one: husband, brother, boyfriend, or friend is incarcerated.

In the footsteps of my foundress, Emilie Gamelin, I feel at ease with those who experience isolation, shame, rejection, and guilt feelings. Besides providing time and personnel to listen to them tell their story, the center organizes group outings and cultural visits. They do arts and crafts to help finance the organization.

Guylaine, the sister of an inmate freed after spending 17 years in prison, spoke of how shame filled her mind and how she avoided meeting people, wanting only to be alone, not having to talk to anyone, spending nights crying by herself, and how the wickedness of others overwelmed her. "What is left for me? RELAIS FAMILLE is there for people like us. Sharing has been so important for me. The advice I would give is that no one should live as I did, in silence, for silence is our worst enemy."


For 17 years I taught the deaf in Montreal
. Then I went to Nigeria as a missionary for 7 years where I taught French and religion. Following this, I helped found a school in Haiti where I was a member of the committee of direction. I spent 17 years in Haiti.

Since my return to Montreal, I participate in the activities of "Acceuil Émilie", an organization that weekly offers a gathering place for people with psychiatric problems. The program of these evening meetings offers a Eucharist, a meal and a recreational activity. I can assure you that the friends of "Accueil Émilie," give me joy and peace. I am energized by Emilie's charism, and the spirit of service found in the Gospel where Jesus says, "Insofar as you did it to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me." (Matt. 25). We are all part of one family, regardless of the group we belong to, our beliefs or our appearances. I try to evangelize by my smile. The "friends" evangelize me by their simplicity, their faith and their friendship. I receive more than I give.

In October 2003, I returned to the mission in Haiti. I felt I had to listen to the very strong interior call to go to continue what had been started four years ago. You can imagine that after 17 years of committed work in that beautiful country, I felt that I must return to finish what was started.


My training has made of me an "orthopedigogue". As a Sister of Providence, I taught the mentally retarded for 12 years in Montreal after which time I spent many years in foreign missions, 18 in Cameroon and 4 in Haiti. In the year 2000, I came back to Canada.

Since my return, one of my areas of ministry is with children. One day a week I work with children 3 to 5 years old at "Le Phare", a community center in Rivières-des-Prairies. Because of my formation, I am entrusted with children who have learning difficulties. It's a very stimulating work and I love children.

My involvement with "popote roulante", (preparing meals for the home bound) gives me the opportunity to be in contact with people whose autonomy is diminished due to Alzheimer or strokes, even as I do manual work. The fact that so many of the volunteers are widows provides added opportunities to listen with compassion to their experience of loneliness and solitude.

What motivates me in all of this is the joy I feel in living out Emilie Gamelin's charism, to be her daughter and to speak of her to many people. I can truly say that I am very happy to be a member of the community of the Sisters of Providence.


At 91 years old, I can still be of service, thanks to the grace of God which keeps me in good health and maintains my lucidity as I go about my daily chores. Since 1957, I've always worked in the general administration in my community and in other organizations.

I am often asked to reveal the secret of my serenity. I answer that, after prayer, work is the secret of my longevity. Besides, I live my life one day at a time, each evening entrusting to God my day with its difficulties sure that God will give them back to me the next day but often with a solution. I have often used that recipe and I recommend it to you.


After 25 years of service as a nurse at Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal, my superior proposed that I go to Africa to help our sisters there ; the needs are so great and there are women who wish to become Sisters of Providence. I was left free to go or not to go, but after praying about it, I felt the Lord had something new in mind for me. Confident in God's Providence, I accepted the challenge.

Since my arrival on the black continent in 1997, I work as a nurse in the interior of the country of Cameroon, in Koudangdeng to be more precise. I love and admire the people. Poor in material goods they continually enrich me with their spiritual treasures by offering me their hospitality, their kindness and their courage in the fact that they have to work very hard to improve their quality of life.

Each day, my heart is touched by the tender love of God and his Providence.. The Good News I announce is often the most harmonious instrument for a people who thirst for the Absolute.


"What I find most touching in the Sisters of Providence is to feel their happiness and joy. They appear to have made the right choice and to not regret anything of their past. When they explained how they felt called by God, we can see in their eyes how that moment was really a new beginning filled with hope and change.”

"What I admire in the Sisters of Providence, is their love for their vocation. Even after sad events like fires, deaths and sickness, they continue to do their best in all they undertake To have contributed to the happiness of people by helping them is their greatest reward. Even if these women are like us physically, it is from the interior that they are remarkable with their ability to listen and their will to succeed. They are absolutely wonderful."

"The Sisters of Providence followed their vocation with courage. They persevered in a choice that was difficult to make. They help people find meaning in their lives."

"I was surprised to discover the depth of their happiness and their ability to live simply. They always see the good side of things and remain positive in the most difficult moments in life. Their faith is enormous ; they are able face great odds. They need very little except to love their God. In short, they are remarkable women who love to help people."