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2 June

Gabrielle Noël, OSU

Born in Sainte-Marie de Beauce, Quebec, the fourth of a family of ten children, Gabrielle joins the Ursuline Sisters in 1945, at the age of twenty-one. She is assigned to St-Eugène d’Argentenay, Lac St-Jean, where she begins her long career as an Ursuline sister, combining teaching with studying. Her many qualifications and her participation in the Committee of the Office Catéchétique du Québec that edited the new textbooks for religious education, allow her to teach, with confidence and in a clear manner, religious classes in their different programs.

Her last years as a teacher overlapped with other responsibilities she took up in her community: as superior, responsible for formation and provincial councillor. A big change in Sister Gabrielle’s life occurs in 1980 when she becomes the director of the Centre Marie-de-l’Incarnation and vice-postulator of the cause of her canonisation – two important appointments, which are demanding but also very enriching. The Centre becomes her community. She is nourished by the works and life of the foundress of the Ursuline Sisters in New France and generously responds to the demands of her mission. She also publishes two books: Transparence d’Évangile (1989) and Prier quinze jours avec Marie de l’Incarnation (2002). Everything becomes occasion for her to give witness to the holiness of Marie de l’Incarnation.

In 2003, Sister Gabrielle leaves the leadership of the Centre and is requested by the Ursuline Sisters of Tours in France. She spends two years in the city where Marie de l’Incarnation was born. This experience intensifies her knowledge, admiration and affection for Marie de l’Incarnation and the strong desire for her canonisation. In 2007, in Brescia, Italy, where the Institute was founded, she is invited as a speaker at the International Conference in occasion of the 200th anniversary of the canonisation of Angela Merici, foundress of the Ursuline Sisters. She begins her speech by saying: “I feel like Marie de l’Incarnation’s delegate. I live in the monastery that she founded and near her tomb.” In 2013, after thirty-three years devoted to Marie de l’Incarnation’s cause, Sister Gabrielle retires as vice-postulator.

Wherever she served, she is remembered as an attentive woman, generous, joyful, inspired by Marie de l’Incarnation and in love with Jesus Christ and his Church.

LNK: www.ursulines-uc.com