Sr. Ida Mae Marceau – 60th Jubilee

I have been so happy being a Sister of Providence, and I have had a wonderful life in my ministries. I entered the Sisters of Providence in 1958, professing my first vows in 1960 and final vows in 1965. I was eager to be a sister like my aunt.

I started school almost immediately upon entering, focusing on education for a ministry in teaching. While I loved my teaching days in the primary grades, I felt pulled toward nursing.

After teaching for about 12 years, I went back to school in Great Falls, Mont., to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Nursing was the ministry that gave me the most life. The highlight was working at Columbus Hospital in Great Falls for seven years. This was a special ministry because I went home after each shift feeling that I had made my patients comfortable.

During the 1990s I moved into a new ministry assisting the superior at Mount St. Joseph, then as local superior, and now as the coordinator of our sisters living at Emilie Court, an assisted living center in Spokane. We live together with lay people — men and women — and we find it very enriching.

All of the sisters at Emilie Court are going through the aging process gracefully and lovingly. We gather each evening for prayer and meet to complete tasks required by the Province at large. Even though we cannot actively go out to assist the poor, each one says that she can pray. This takes a lot of faith as all were used to being actively involved in teaching, pastoral care and other ministries. 

Many of my former tasks have changed because our community is aging. Each sister does the best she can with the energy she has. I still find my ministry very enriching, and anything I can do to make their days easier I will try to do. In many ways, like in my nursing ministry, I’m still helping make people comfortable. 

Reaching this milestone as a sister leaves me feeling grateful. I have done the best I could all these years, and I thank God for my good health. I will be celebrating my 60th Jubilee with the sisters and Associates from the Spokane region. A couple of my brothers and their wives, along with my sister, will be joining us in Spokane in May. I look forward to celebrating with all of our sisters in the province when we have the celebration in Seattle in August.