Sr. Anne Morton

Sr. M. Thaddeus

Born:: Lauder, Manitoba, 24/4/1921
Postulancy::Regina, Saskatchewan, 26/7/1939
Novitiate:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 1/2/1940
1st Profession:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 3/2/1942
Final Vows::Regina, Saskatchewan, 3/2/1948
Died:: Brandon, Manitoba, 19/4/2014

Anne was born on April 24, 1921 in Lauder, MB, the second youngest of six children.  Anne’s early education took place in Lauder, Dunrea, and Grande-Clairière, and then she went to St. Michael’s Academy in Brandon to complete high school.  St. Michael’s was operated by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions (RNDM), and having met the Sisters, and been inspired by them, Anne felt drawn to become one of them. She entered the Sisters' novitiate at Sacred Heart College in Regina, SK, making her first vows in 1942 and her final vows in 1948.

After first vows, Anne was sent to teach in Fort Frances, ON, and thus commenced her twenty five years of educating children. Apart from her first years in Fort Frances, Anne's subsequent teaching was in Manitoba - in Brandon, St. Eustache, Elie, Ste. Rose du Lac, and St. Joseph.

Anne was a much loved teacher. Her kindness and respect towards the children in her care was remarkable, and to this day, many of her former students from various parts of Canada contact the RNDMs to have word of Sr. Anne. Their memories are of how caring Anne was, how she "saw" them, and listened to them.  As one of her former students recently said: “All I remember is that she was loved by all of us, and she loved all of us; we felt so lucky to be in her classroom, just a real sweetheart... She brought out the best in us.”  It was not what Anne taught, it was who she was to those little 8 year olds.  What she taught them is certainly one of life’s most significant lessons – it’s not what you do, it’s who you are.

As effective as she was as an educator, Anne also felt drawn to nursing.  Thus, in 1972, she went to the Quo Vadis School of Nursing in Toronto, a program designed for mature students.  Anne invested herself wholly in her studies, and on acquiring the skills necessary to care for the sick and infirm.  Upon completion of her RN, she nursed at St. Joseph’s hospital in Toronto, the Assiniboine Centre in Brandon, and then took charge of the care for infirm RNDM Sisters at St. Michael’s Academy.

Before agreeing to take charge of the RNDM infirmary, Anne had wanted to go to Senegal and work in the dispensary at M’Boro.  In 1977, following her participation in the Spiritual Life session in Rome, she had gone to Senegal to meet with the Sisters there, and see if this mission was a “fit”.  For Anne it was, and she looked forward to working in Senegal.  However, on returning to Canada, she was asked to take charge of the infirmary.  Anne set aside her own plans and accepted this “new obedience”.

As a nurse, Anne ministered to the whole person. Whatever the person needed Anne found a way to provide. She had an eye to supplying that extra touch, that level of comfort that eased all kinds of pain and suffering.  She watched by the bedside of many of our sisters in their last hours, and was a faithful witness and loving presence as these Sisters made their final journey.  

Anne had a keen sensitivity for those who struggle in life. She was gentle, but she was also tough in gentleness, especially when it came to defending the vulnerable.  She had a deep faith, born out of her own life struggles and joys, and she generously shared that faith with others. Her relationship with God was central to her being.

Anne had a wonderful singing voice, the kind of voice that never stood out but provided that harmony that made everyone else sound much better than they really were. That too was typical of Anne, quietly in the background patching up the weak spots but never herself being the main event. We trust she is now getting a few solo parts in the heavenly choir.   

Anne was buried on her 93rd birthday.  At her requiem we celebrated her birth - both the birth that gave her to us here on earth, and her birth into new life. Because we earthlings have a way of celebrating birthdays, for one last time, we sang “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to Anne as she completed her journey back into the arms of God.

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