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Sister Colette Lemieux

ph_1544  Sr Colette LemieuxThe beautiful voice interpreting the Salut à toi, theme song of Hôtel-Dieu Academy and Maillet College, is that of Sister Colette Lemieux. She learned this song as a student in Saint-Basile and has sung it very often. It is always a pleasure for her former fellow students to hear this old song that brings back happy memories.

Colette Lemieux was born in New Bedford, Massachussetts. Her father Gérard ‘Biff’ Lemieux was originally from Lévis, Québec, and her mother Hattie Ouellet came from Saint-Joseph of Madawaska. Colette has two brothers, Jean and Richard, a sister Simone, an adopted sister Ginette and a few nieces and nephews. Colette was seven years old when her family moved to Edmundston in 1945. She was a boarder at Saint-Basile Convent from grade ten to twelve. In 1956, she entered the noviciate of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, in Vallée-Lourdes, Bathurst.

When she returned to Saint-Basile, Colette finished her B.A. degree at Maillet College and continued her studies in music. She also taught music and was director of two choirs, one with the students and the other with the sisters. Having an exceptional voice, Sister Colette took lessons with the Sisters of Notre Dame Congregation in Montreal, and later at the Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where she had the opportunity to take Master Classes with Maureen Forrester. In 1966, Sister Colette also studied singing at the Vincent-d’Indy School of Music in Montreal. She gave a few concerts with the pianist Marjorie Tanaka and they made a record together.

In 1967, Sister Colette chose to become a nurse and studied at Hôtel-Dieu School of Nursing in Bathurst. After graduating in 1970, she left for Peru where she worked for two and a half years at the clinic in Indiana on the Amazon River. Upon returning to Canada, she worked for many years   with the elderly at Foyer Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, a nursing home in Bathurst. Then in 1990, Sister Colette went to Lille in France for a year and studied a method of teaching the Bible called Mess’AJE. Up to 1998, Sister Colette gave Bible classes.

Being fluent in Spanish, as well as in French and English, Sister Colette accepts in 1998 to take responsibilities in Huitzilzingo (Chalco), Mexico. In the beginning of her stay there, she was in charge of the construction and organization of La Casa Hogar San José, a nursing home for twenty aging persons. While taking care of the residents of the Casa as administrator and nurse, Sister Colette continued to share her talents in music, either by singing, teaching music and accompanying the choir in her Mexican parish church. In 2012, Sister Colette returned to Canada and took the responsibility of liturgical song at the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption House in Bathurst, New Brunswick.





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