A Papal Blessing for her 100th Birthday

S Imelda

Sister Imelda proudly displays her special 100th birthday gift.

“What a wonderful gift!” were the first words Sr. Imelda Lagacé uttered as Knight of Columbus John Ryan of Cargill Council 64 presented a framed parchment blessing from Pope Francis to her on the morning of her 100th birthday.

S Imelda

John Ryan, accompanied by Sr. Michèle Bisaillon, St. Joseph Community coordinator, presents the Papal Blessing to Srister Imelda.

Sister, who is now a member of the St. Joseph DHS Community at St. Joseph’s Living Center in Windham, CT, willingly shared her life story with us while holding firmly to her precious birthday gift. 

S Imelda

Sister makes a wish or two.

Born in Danielson, one of eleven children, Marie Roseanna attended local public schools. Upon graduating from high school she spent several years working as administrative assistant for some well-known corporations. Her own sister introduced her to the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, and from that moment on she started to feel the Spirit “tugging at her heart”. At age 30 she entered the Novitiate and professed her first vows in 1947.

Through the years Sister Imelda dedicated her time and energy to the classroom working with students of all ages from the youngest through college level. For a change of pace our centenarian answered a call in the mid fifties to travel south to Alabama and minister as a ‘home missionary’ at St. Martin Parish.  She soon fell in love with the people and her new surroundings and was fully appreciated by one and all. As a matter of fact, Sister returned to Alabama in the mid seventies to serve as pastoral assistant. She states how impressed she was to be remembered by her former students and to note how much they had grown, made a good life for themselves and for their own children who now attended St. Martin School.

Upon her return from her second stint in Alabama, Sr. Lagacé moved to the Hartford and then Waterbury areas ministering at Holy Family Retreat House and doing pastoral ministry respectively. In 2003 Sister came to reside at the Provincial House and began her official retirement from active ministry. This past July Imelda, along with 21 of her companions, transferred to the newly established St. Joseph Community in Windham.

When asked to what she attributed her longevity, Sister immediately replied: “to the grace of God...it is all the grace of God..also the Spirit and Mary who has been so good to me...she answers all my prayers, sometimes I have to wait a bit, but the answer (not always the one I want) always comes”. 

While Sister Imelda does not like to be the center of attention, she did admit she was looking forward to an afternoon celebration with cake and her favorite flavor of ice cream: chocolate.




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