Sr. Jeanne Marie Fregeau,93, Sister of St. Chretienne, died on October 1, 2020, at the Sisters' Retirement Residence at 197 Pleasant Street in Marlborough MA.
Born in Pawtucket, R.I. she was the daughter of the late Napoleon and Alice (Blanchet) Fregeau. She was predeceased by her brothers Leo and Maurice and her sisters Claire Fregeau, Simone Makkonen, and Cora Sheehan. She is survived by her sister Marguerite Doti of Johnston, RI and numerous nephews and nieces.
Sr. Jeanne entered the congregation in 1944 in Giffard, Quebec and pronounced her first vows on August 15, 1946. Returning to the U.S., she was missioned to St. Chretienne Academy in Salem, MA where she began her ministry as House Mother to the young boarders and also assumed responsibility as director of the dining room area. Her dedication to the children was becoming the hallmark of her ministry. In 1955, she was sent to Our Lady of Consolation in Pawtucket. Her talents as a seamstress were much appreciated there, and she also was a teacher aide at the kindergarten for a few years. In the 60's, she returned to Loring Villa, resuming her duties as House Mother and assisting her Sisters in many different ways.
In 1973, when the Academy was sold and the Sisters moved to Marlborough, Sr. Jeanne studied to be certified to direct Our Lady Preschool. She worked with these young children with her colleague and friend Sr. Estelle Desorcy from 1974 to 1995. Even to the present day, the parents and former students ask for her. She loved the children and still remembered most of them by name!
After retiring from teaching, Sr. Jeanne went back to her sewing machine, a very adept seamstress and a hard worker in any task she was given. When our thrift shop opened in 2008, she was delighted to have an opportunity to serve the customers. In these last years, in spite of all that ailed her, she went faithfully to help the director, Sr. Jeannette Desorcy, tagging the various items of clothing, working in the 'sorting room' with her longtime friend, Sr. Gloria Cote.
Sr. Jeanne was very loyal to her family and kept in touch with them, even in FL and Plattsburgh, NY. They in turn have been very close to her. Her nieces in the area have visited her frequently and came for holiday dinners with her.
Sr. Jeanne was a woman of courage, and even though she suffered much in these last years, she would not let her physical limitations hinder her. Her vision was very limited; she often needed oxygen and had difficulty walking. But she loved to be outdoors, and she and Gloria would spend time each day in the swing. She spent much time in the chapel, her silent prayer and her many rosaries were undoubtedly for the many intentions of the Congregation and the world. Her time with her beloved Lord was a mainstay, and even though she could no longer follow the Vespers, she listened.
She was on retreat with the community this last week. On the very day that the Lord would call her, she had renewed her vows. It was suddenly that same evening that we think she had a heart attack, fell and apparently died immediately. Our foundress, Anne de Mejanes, took her home to heaven. We think God greeted her: "Welcome home, good and faithful servant. Rest from your labors, Jeanne Marie, and enjoy eternal happiness."
Wednesday, October 07
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