Tribute to Sister Ida

Her sole presence communicated God

At the beginning of the funeral service celebrated on Monday, September 14, 2020 at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, (Notre Dame de Beauport Parish), Sister. Julienne Turmel, Prioress General, addressed a tribute to Sister Ida. Here is the homage, along with a few photos of our sister at different moments in her life.

Dear parents and friends of Sister Ida,

In our community, it is a tradition that the sisters who made their temporary profession on the same day that our foundress, Mother Julienne of the Rosary, made her perpetual profession, are called “nos premières”. Sister Ida, who was part of this group, is the last to leave us to join those who have already left for the Father's House. So for our community, a page of history is being turned. We give thanks to the Lord for having left us Sister Ida for more than 72 years: what a treasure!

Ida, the eldest of a family of 10 children, lived at St. Joseph's Parish in Quebec City. She grew up in a modest, warm and deeply Christian family. She did her elementary schooling at the parish school and then left her studies to help her mother. Every day, she attended mass. Her parents were eager to make their family a happy one: every child was tenderly loved, she wrote.

Ida felt a call to religious life around the age of 12 on the occasion of her profession of faith. As the years went by, her desire grew. On July 5, 1946, her sister Florence entered our new community as a postulant; some members of her family, including Ida, had come to visit the postulant. In her memories, Sister Ida writes: "I was impressed by the radiant gaze of Mother Julienne, her big blue eyes touched me in a specially way and it seems to me that from this stems my vocation as a Dominican Missionary Adorer.”

Her mother, having noticed the reaction of her eldest daughter, contacted Mother Julienne and then relieved Ida of the work she was doing at home so that she could realize her dream. Thus, on October 3, 1946, at the age of 20, she in turn entered our community.

Sister Ida was very open to God and especially attentive to others; she did not think about herself. Humble, silent, following the example of St. Joseph whose name she had received at her first profession, discreet, recollected, her simple presence communicated God. She also had a great devotion to the Holy Spirit and entrusted herself filially to the Virgin Mary.

In community, she loved all her sisters; always accessible, nothing seemed to bother her and we could count on her, not only to help us, but even more often, to entrust to her our requests to the Lord. It was the same thing for the members of her dear family.

As a receptionist, Sister Ida answered phone calls, listened to the confidences, encouraged, prayed for the people... Either at the parlor or on the visitors' side and every time we welcomed groups, she was there, having a good word for each and every one... Her spiritual family was continually growing.

From the very beginning of her religious life, Sister Ida was deeply touched by the teachings of Mother Julienne, which she never ceased to meditate upon throughout the years, deepening her knowledge of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus in all His mysteries. She transcribed on small papers certain passages dated and signed MJR, which she gave to her sisters or to the people who came to meet her, or to the visitors she welcomed for a stay. Quite remarkably, the thought was always timely!

As her health declined, she was transferred to the Intercommunity Infirmary of the Augustinian Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus. With another companion, she left our Cenacle on September 9, 2014. It was a great loss for her and she accepted it generously. In her new environment, she continued to be forgetful of herself and to stayed open to others. She remained there until her death on this September 7, after suffering a stroke on August 26 that paralyzed her left side. Following this accident, she remained lucid for several days.

Dear Sister Ida, thank you for what you have been for the Church, for priests and for so many others people, especially each one of your sisters in the community. From above, continue to intercede for us all. We bid you a warm and grateful farewell!

Sister Julienne Turmel, o.p.