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CHAMPAGNE, Sister Louise

June 27, 1915 – January 24, 2013

Sister Louise Champagne, Sister of Charity of St. Louis of Calgary, died at the Bethany Care Centre, on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at the age of 97 years and 78 years as a Sister of Charity of St. Louis.

Sister Louise was born in Morris, Minnesota, the second of seven children. In her teens she moved to Medicine Hat as a boarder and student at St. Theresa’s Academy graduating from High School in 1934. She taught at the Academy before beginning her formation with the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis in Bienville, Quebec in 1935. In 1938 after making her profession of religious vows she returned to Calgary to attend Normal School, receiving her teaching certificate. She was now ready to begin her long and dedicated career in education extending from 1939 to 1977. During these years she was a dedicated and loved teacher in Medicine Hat at St. Theresa’s Academy, St. Mary’s School and McCoy High School, in Marquis, SK at St. Mark’s and in Calgary at Assumption School. She also found time to be the Director of Formation for the novices, teach catechism in rural parishes and attend summer school completing a BA and a B. Ed degree. In 1965, following the invitation of Vatican II to reach out to the developing countries, Louise went to Ilo, Peru, teaching and assisting the poor in the Barriadas and teaching catechism in the American School until 1968.

Upon her return to Canada she was the director of a residence for teenage girls. In 1969, Medicine Hat called to her again returning to McCoy High School as librarian and visiting the sick and elderly on weekends. In 1977 she officially retired from teaching. However her retirement years opened up a whole range of volunteer possibilities. Her retirement years can be summed up in her own words: “My mission at this time in my life is to be of service to my Sisters with whom I share community, the poor, the sick and elderly whom I visit in Nursing homes and those who come to our door for help. This along with my daily prayer, helps me to remember Jesus’ words, “whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me.” I feel that, as I strive to serve others, I am fulfilling my mission as a Sister of Charity of St. Louis.” She lived this out as she continued her mission of visiting the sick and elderly in their homes, Nursing Homes, in Medicine Hat until 1980 and then in Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Peter’s parishes and St. Mary’s Hospital in New Westminster, BC until 1985. From 1985 Sister Louise returned to Calgary where she assisted at St. John’s convent with the aging Sisters as well as visiting the elderly at the Bethany Care Centre.

At various times over the years, Sister Louise served in various leadership and administrative capacities within the Congregation as local superior, provincial councillor and supervisor of the St. Theresa Academy boarders. From 1991, Sister Louise resided at St. John’s Convent until 2010 when she moved to the Bethany Care Centre.

Sister Louise was a determined, dedicated and faith filled woman once commented that “my health has never too robust, but I always manage to do my work. I hope to be able to do so until the end.” “Louise you have indeed done so until the end and your journey is now complete. We send you forth in love.

Louise will lovingly be remembered by the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis and her nephew Rick (Joanne) Ryan of California. She was predeceased by her parents Oscar and Caroline; her sisters, Lorraine (Yargus), Loretta (Trenchel) and Rose (Mehan); and her brothers, John, Francis and Eugene.

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. John’s Convent (409 10A Street N.W.) on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (640 – 19th Avenue N.W.) on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Bethany Care Foundation, #1001 – 17th Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 2E5 Telephone: (403) 210-4600, email: bcf@bethanycare.com. We are grateful to the Bethany Care Centre for the loving, personal and spiritual care given to Louise.

In living memory of Sister Louise Champagne, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Laura Connolly ( Harrison) :

    You will meet up with my mother and your life long friend Josephine now.
    I have known you all my life and remember you well. Rest in peace.

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