Hi, my name is Sr. Lise Paquette. I am presently living at the Provincial House in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. There is a saying, "It takes a village to raise a child". I would add, "It takes a village to raise a vocation". If today I am a Sister of the Presentation of Mary it is thanks to my parents and to the people of my French Canadian home town, Debden, Saskatchewan. A vocation is nourished by the People of God. I am proud of my town and of the people who have journeyed with me. I am the 5th of eleven children, born in 1946 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
My school days, grades one to twelve with the Sisters, are filled with fond memories. I loved life and I lived it to the full. I played hockey, broomball and football, which was quite a novelty for girls at the time. Dancing, being part of youth groups kept me busy and active. I was very involved in JEC, a French Youth Church Group. The youth from Vonda, Bellevue, Debden, St. Brieux, Delmas and Prince Albert would gather for weekends and discuss the Vatican II documents. We were on fire for the Church. Because of my involvement with youth camps and with diocesan youth groups, I was offered a position with the Prince Albert diocese as a Youth Coordinator.
One evening during a Francophone dance at the Armories in Prince Albert, I decided that dancing was fun, that parties were fun, that youth groups were fun, but giving my life to Jesus Christ and working for the Church for the rest of my life as a Sister would be more fulfilling for me.
When I decided to enter the convent, I had to let go of a loving relationship with a young man I will never forget. Leaving him, my family, my close knit community of friends and relatives was heartbreaking. My time of Formation for Religious life was spent in the province of Quebec. I had never left home. I felt very alone and displaced.
What gave me the courage to persevere and continue on my journey are the good memories which are precious reservoirs of hope. The big family gatherings, my grandparents, the unforgettable fun times with my cousins fashioned me into the woman I am today. This is where I learned how to respect others, how to laugh and cry with the people of the community. This is where I learned to love my Church, where I learned to pray.
It was a simple life where I shared the sorrow of untimely death and tragedy, where I shared the joys of many weddings and town picnics and Church bazaars. I had a good life, the roots are deep. I know that if today I am happy as a Sister, it is because I can touch my roots and that gives me strength. It steadies me and gives me solid direction in life.
I have loved being a teacher in Prince Albert and Bellevue. For 20 years, I experienced community life with young adult women at our Discernment House. I became their mentor, their spiritual director, their friend. In 2000, I became the Novice Director. That was a very demanding role to fill but it has been a grace for me. I am presently the Provincial Superior for the Province of Prince Albert. Together, we make a difference in this world. I believe in Religious Life for this century and for the future.