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Sister Teresa Spence, scsl

June 23, 1921 – October 29, 2010

Sister Teresa Spence died peacefully at Bethany, Calgary on Friday, October 29, 2010 at the age of 89 years.

Teresa was born on a farm in Halliday, Alberta, growing up with five brothers and three sisters. She entered the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis in Levi, PQ, and professed her religious vows in 1942. She returned to Western Canada where she completed teacher’s training. For the next 28 years Teresa ministered as a classroom teacher in Medicine Hat, Calgary, Moose Jaw and Edmonton. After retiring from teaching, she travelled rural Alberta as a religious education co-ordinator assisting the catechists and parents with the religious education of their children. Teresa had a great interest in helping people grow spiritually, through spiritual direction, scripture reflection and retreats. As a result, she became active in retreat ministry at Mt St. Frances in Cochrane, parish ministry in Calgary, retreat ministry, spiritual direction and Christian Life Community groups in Lethbridge, St. Albert, and Oliver, BC.
Sister Teresa retired to St. John’s Senior Care Home, Calgary in 2005 and most recently to Bethany Calgary .
Teresa will be remembered for her gentle spirit, as a woman desiring to assist people to grow spiritually, who encouraged them to use their God given gifts . In her own words: “my desire is to help others wherever I can and help them to be able to help themselves with the gifts they have.”

Teresa will be lovingly remembered by her religious community; her sister, Sister Mary Spence, scsl, her brothers Tom (Win) and Bud (Pat) and numerous nieces and nephews.

Teresa was predeceased by her parents William and Margaret (nee Bottoms), brothers Jack (Gwen), Ted (Joan), Louis, and sisters Rita (Jim) McDonald and Pat (Elmer) Babb.

The Sisters of Charity of St. Louis extend deep gratitude to the nursing and pastoral care staff at Bethany for their compassionate care given to Sister Teresa during these past 6 months. If friends so desire, tributes may be made directly to L’Arche, 307 57 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2H 2T6, telephone: (403)571-0155,

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. John’s Convent (409- 10A Street NW) on Tuesday November 2, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, (640-19th Avenue NW) on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Graveside Service at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Forward condolences through

In living memory of Sister Teresa Spence, 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. Many years ago, I lived in an apartment complex next to the convent. Sister Teresa was a listening ear. She offered me comfort and a hot cup of tea.
    I can never repay her for her many kindnesses.

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  2. Geri and Frank Hecker :

    Please express our condolences to Sister Mary Spence. We have wonderful memories of the visits with Sister Mary and Sister Teresa.

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  3. Ft. Denis J. April c.s.b. :

    To Sr. Ann Murtagh, Iley McAlister, et al.

    My sincere sympathy at the passing of your dear Sister Mary whom I remember well from the Masses I celebrated with each of you.

    I am now retired in Toronto and would love to hear from you. Will answer.


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  4. My sincere condolences to all of the family and to the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis. May she rest in peace and receive the reward she so justly deserves.

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  5. To Sister Mary, Tom and Bud and family

    Sister Teresa (Sister Margaret) was my grade one teacher at the Marion School in Medicine Hat a long time ago.

    I, along with my brother Ken who was a pupil of Sister Mary’s in grade one, would extend our condolences to all of you. We would also extend our great gratitude for the performance of the miracles of getting us through that very tough year and instilling us with a zeal for learning, along with a greater zeal and love of God. Blessings on all of you.

    I wrote this a bit ago and it seems that I should send it on to you because it explains what was taught and caught. Some of our best lessons were the ones where no words were said, but the actions spoke load and clear.

    O Sinner Servant

    O sinner servant, alone in solitude you dragged your weighty cross over the uneven cobble stone path until the shear weigh of the cross pinned you beneath.

    O sinner servant unable to move you lay trapped in the silence wondering what would happen.

    Then in a solitary moment a figure, he of the redemptive cross, the suffer servant looked upon you and merciful said “I will carry your cross.”

    You are profoundly and surprisingly struck.

    Together you walk up the hill where sin is purged.

    When there you expectingly move to take on the task that is so rightly yours.

    But he of the divine blood looks upon again and states “I will do this for you also.”

    With great appreciation,

    Ron Fabbi

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