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Lizée, Yvonne (1899–1974)

Sister Yvonne Lizée.
Soeurs de Notre-Dame D’Auvergne

Yvonne Lizée (Sister Marie-Éphrem), a gifted artist and musician, was the first Canadian novice and the first Canadian-born convent Superior of the Soeurs de Notre-Dame d’Auvergne, one of many congregations of women seeking refuge in western Canada from France’s anti-clerical legislation. She was born near Sherbrooke, Quebec, on December 2, 1899. In 1909 her family moved to a homestead west of Gravelbourg. She attended a country school, then completed her studies at the convent recently opened by the Soeurs de Notre-Dame d’Auvergne in nearby Ponteix. She left in 1916 for the congregation’s training convent in France and returned three years later. While attending Normal School in Regina, she took piano, violin, painting and sculpting classes. After Normal School she taught at the Ponteix convent; in 1932, she became Superior of the convent, and in 1936 she officially launched a commercial course. From 1938 to 1942 she taught at Lac Pelletier, then came back to Ponteix. In 1945, she became Superior at Val Marie, where the congregation ran the local hospital. She was then sent to open a new hospital in Zenon Park. She returned to Ponteix in 1962, where she directed the Foyer Saint-Joseph nursing home. After becoming totally blind as a result of diabetes, she died on June 16, 1974.

Richard Lapointe

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Further Reading

Lapointe, Richard. 1988. “Yvonne Lizée (soeur Marie-Éphrem, N.-D.d.C.).” Pp. 253–54 in 100 noms: Petit dictionnaire biographique des Franco-Canadiens de la Saskatchewan. Regina: Société historique.
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