- June 9, 2021
- Posted by: Patty Coenen
- Category: News
Irene Meloche was born on November 12, 1927 in the small village of McGregor, the eighth child of Ernest and Blanche (Robideau). In her life story she lovingly recounts the names of her siblings and the members of their families. With the death of her dear Mother at the age of forty-four, Irene’s sense of responsibility developed early in life as she prepared breakfasts and lunches for her father and brothers before she went off to school herself.
It was during her boarding school years at The Pines that she experienced the call to religious life, specifically to the Ursulines who had been her teachers from childhood. She entered the Community the year she graduated from high school and at her reception on August 28, 1946 she was given the name Mary of the Incarnation. Her 35 year teaching career took her across southern Ontario. She was well known for her precision in language and accuracy in grammar and was consulted even in her nineties on the fine points of writing.
Following her teaching life she expanded her experiences considerably serving as General Secretary, as curatrix of Ursuline heritage, cantor, choir and glee club member, and librarian. Her life was interspersed with sabbatical experiences, tending to Desenzano’s upkeep, travelling and family events including the annual summer reunion which she and Eva always enjoyed immensely.
Irene seemed to be peaceful and prepared for her death. She slipped away quietly in the early morning hours of June 5. Although many restrictions are still in place due to the COVID 19 pandemic, sisters in the main building and townhouses of Villa Angela were able to come to the kiva and say a final farewell to Irene before her body was
returned to the Hinnegan-Peseski Funeral Home for visitation for family and friends. No Eucharistic Celebration is possible at this time but a Memorial Mass will be scheduled for a time when we can safely gather.
The prayer service which Irene herself prepared had to be adjusted somewhat since we were not able to sing. Only nine people were permitted to gather in the chapel. Sr. Sheila McKinley led the prayer service and offered a reflection on Sr. Irene’s life. Irene’s niece, Denise Meloche- Renaud proclaimed the first reading from the Song of Songs and her niece Antoinette Koella proclaimed the reading from St. John’s gospel. The pall bearers were Noel Meloche, Paul Djarmocky and Sisters Anne Denomy, Noreen Allossery-Walsh and Theresa Campeau. As a special gift to Sr. Irene, her niece Denise Meloche-Renaud sang Ave Maria at the graveside. This was especially touching in light of Irene’s great involvement with singing throughout her life.
Our dear sister, Irene, who arranged each star in the Book of Life to commemorate the deaths of each community member, is herself made of stardust and is now numbered among the stars in the Book and in our hearts. Now indeed the time has come for singing. That loving song that has echoed in her heart has drawn her into the Heart of Love. She hears it now in all its fullness, rich and resonant, familiar and amazingly new:
The winter is over. The flowers are in bloom.
The pain is gone. Hearts are joined forever.
How can you keep from singing?
How can we keep from singing?
A sister is one who reaches for your
hand and touches your heart.