Monique Comeau's generous donation to Food Forever Fund

Ms. Monique Comeau’s generosity to our local community will be felt for years to come. She presented a gift of $108, 000 to the Food Forever Fund representative Dr. Kelly Kramp. Her generosity has tripled the Food Forever Fund Endowment and once the amount has been invested for a year and the market improves it will be able to make annual grants of between $3,000 and $4,000.

Born in 1928, Monique Lillianne Comeau grew up in the scenic panoramas of the little village of Kingsey Falls, in the Centre-du-Québec region, near Comeau Street, where her scholarly aunts taught at the little red school house. At five years of age, she moved with her family to Northen Ontario and lived in the communities of Smooth Rock Falls, Cochrane, Kirkland Lake and Kapuskasing, as her father worked in the logging industry, gold mines and paper mills to provide for his ever growing family of 13 children. At 17 years of age, Monique pursued her collegiate studies and obtained her Teachers certificate at Nicolet, Quebec. She taught for 33 years, throughout Ontario, as she worked on her Baccalaureate degree in Arts, graduating with honours from Laurentian University in 1978.

Monique's life was one of service and dedication. She joined the Sisters of the Assumption for a period of eight years, during which time she developed cancer and decided to leave the religious order for personal and health reasons. However, she remained faithful to her solemn vows of poverty and chastity, replacing obedience with her devotion to contemplative player, renewing them every ten years. She lived by the moral values of selflessness and good will unto others that her parents transfused into her: never be too poor or too busy to refuse a helping hand. She never had children of her own but helped raise her deceased sister's seven Children. She instilled the fear of God into them and helped to feed and educate them, for 21 years, exhorting them to obtain their post-graduate studies, or else.

A brilliant educator, she was chosen by the office of the Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, to teach the first pilot program of French Immersion, in Ottawa, in the year 1970-71. That prestigious award led her to be elected by the Minister of Education to undergo a semester in Boulogne, France, to pursue post graduate studies in French Laguage and Culture at the University of Côte d'Opale. Dedicated to a life of prayer, she journeyed to the Holy Land, to Lourdes, the Vatican, where she was blessed by the Pope and to shrine of Our Lady of Peace in Medjugorje 14 times and paid many pilgrimages for people who didn't have the money to go.

A true northerner at heart she never forgot her roots and in 1972 she undertook the task of carrying for her aging parents in the new home she purchased for them in beautiful New Liskeard. Then years later, she took care of her dying brother, a tireless job that left her weak and fragile, while in her eighties and struggling with the early stages of Cascular Dementia.

Monique always put people first. She always put other people's needs and happiness above her own. Even though she had ample financial resources, she lived a simple life which only required the bare necessities, true to the asetic spirit of her patron, Saint Stanislaus. She devoted much of her time to the Catholic Church assuming diverse roles of the laity and she was a dedicated follower of the Spiritual Renewal Movement within the Church, for over fourty years.

As an educator, she found teaching children a very worthwhile and rewarding career and still holds the memory of her students close to her heart. The generous nature of the gift she made to The Temiskaming Foundation reflects her altruistic values in caring for the children's welfare and her benevolent intent in assuring that the food banks will provide food for the needy families and their children for over one hundred years.

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