thumb_S._Aurore_Chartier_350x309Hi!

My name is Sr. Aurore...I was born on a farm in the beautiful surroundings of the Qu'Appelle Valley, in St. Lazare, Manitoba, in 1919. I am the 12th child in a family of 16! There were no dull moments. There was a remarkable sharing of the farm work and house work. And when the work was done, the house resounded with music, singing and dancing. When I was seven, our family moved to Saskatchewan to another farming center by the name of the Valley of St. Joseph. We attended a small country school two miles away. Due to the fact that we did not have a resident priest, we did not have regular Sunday Celebrations. However, we were fortunate as we did have the Eucharist once a month when the priest from St. Lazare came. One Sunday he came with two Sisters of the Presentation. This incident was the spark of light which revealed to me the Call of God. Nuns in our house! What a joy! I had never seen Sisters before. Since they shared our dinner, we got aquatinted. The habit they wore did not appeal to me. But I discovered how amiable and wonderful the visitors were. After dinner, we chatted for a while. One of the Sisters asked us if we could sing. Of course was the answer. May we hear you? Without any hesitation, guitars and other instruments were brought out. Mind you, the songs were not the Magnificat or Sacred Hymns. Our style was love and cowboy songs. Nevertheless, our audience applauded our efforts!

This first encounter with the Sisters had planted the seed of a religious vocation in my heart. The call was intensified greatly as years went by. My silent refrain was, I'll be a nun. At the age of 13, I was asked to be a babysitter for my sister-in-law's children in St. Lazare. My parents agreed wholeheartedly, knowing that I would attend the school run by the Sisters. The kindness, gentleness and simplicity of life of my teachers attracted me more and more. But I had a problem. I did not know how to go about becoming a sister. The Superior came to me one day and asked whether I had ever thought of becoming a sister. Yes, a long time ago! Then, she invited me to her office, where we had a long conversation. She helped me write my letter requesting admission into the Congregation. My letter was soon on its way to the Provincial Superior. It seemed to me that the response took forever to come back. I started to wonder whether I would be accepted. I loved sports, was very outgoing, full of fun and laughter.

I told my parents what I had done. They fully agreed, and together we waited for the answer to come. Weeks later, the letter of acceptance arrived, stating that I could enter the Novitiate in July, 1939. Dressed as a postulant, I took the train for St. Hyacinthe, Quebec. During two and a half years, our training consisted of a great deal of praying, studying religious life and the vows, learning to sing Gregorian chant, sewing etc. There also were long hours of silence that my fun loving nature found difficult at times. I pronounced my religious vows on Feb. 3, 1942. After my profession, I was sent like the apostles, on mission, where new challenges and experiences tested my zeal as a teacher. I pronounced my perpetual vows in 1948. My delight in my teaching career was to educate the little Ones for forty three years. I retired from teaching in 1986. Shortly afterwards my services were requested to help organize the Sunday School Catechetical Program for the Italian parish in Winnipeg. I worked there for 13 years. Then, having reached my 80th birthday, I requested a year for spiritual renewal in a house of prayer at Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec. I immersed myself in the font of Living Water where silence and prayer were means to deepen my faith and my intimacy with my God... this site, the grounds, the peaceful atmosphere were so very refreshing for my soul.

In the year, 2002, I am celebrated my 60th anniversary of Religious Profession. I am now 90 years old. It is with joy that I thank the Lord for the countless blessings and graces bestowed upon me. At this stage in my life, I am trying to be a presence of God among the aged, sick and lonely by visiting, listening and praying with them.

Work has not laden me down. I am still full of vim and vigour, and willing to serve until the Lord Jesus calls me home. I will then hear him say: What you have done to others, you have done to me. Welcome to my Kingdom!