Sister Jane Dufault celebrates 100th birthday

March 16, 2005


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Sister Jane Dufault, a native of Gaspe, Quebec, and a Sister of Providence for 82 years, celebrated her 100th birthday in Spokane recently, surrounded by well-wishers. Asked how she has managed to live so long, she responds with a twinkling smile and a finger pointed skyward. “He’s the boss,” she says emphatically.

Sister Jane was born Aurora Dufault in 1905 and lost her mother at the age of 2. She and her older sister, Marie Amadee, were raised by their grandmother and both entered the Sisters of Providence in their late teems. Sister Marie Amadee died in 1991 at the age of 91.

Sister Jane entered the novitiate at the Providence Motherhouse in Montreal in 1923 and made first profession in 1924. She was assigned to the former St. Ignatius Province in the West the following year and served in ministry in Missoula, Great Falls and St. Ignatius, Mont. Her duties were varied, including nursing and kitchen work, and Sister Jane considered herself “a jack of all trades.” She retired to Mount St. Joseph in Spokane in 1976.

One of the memories guests at her birthday party shared was seeing her raise and lower the flag daily for years, first leaning out a window on an upper floor, and in later years from a flagpole installed outside. That flag never saw the rain or the dark because of Sister Jane’s diligence.