French Canadian Interview Project

Madeleine LaMarre was born on March 2, 1924 in Bourbonnais. She was the youngest of six children born to William and Marie Louise Brosseau LaMarre. Madeleine grew up in the area around what is now Olivet Nazarene University. Madeleine's fondest memories consist of the deep religious faith her parents fostered within her. She particularly remembers that while growing up the family prayed the rosary and attended French services in church. Around the Feast of Corpus Christi which means the Body of Christ people would put altars on their porches and the parish priest would go from porch to porch and bless each one. It seemed that the entire community took part in these festivities.

In addition to the deep religious faith, which her parents fostered within her, Madeleine also has a fond memory of her mother's cooking. Particularly a meat pie and for special occasions such as New Year's eve a pork pie which was especially delicious. Also her mother made many delicious French pastries. While growing up Madeleine remembers that on New Year's the children would gather around and ask their father's blessing. The neighbors would visit and eat donuts and drink wine. Also after every meal her father would thank her mother for preparing such a delightful meal.

Recreational activities in the LaMarre family consisted of her mother playing the piano and everyone gathering around the piano and singing. The family also rode the streetcar and went shopping. Madeleine attended grade and high school at the convent school operated by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame.

After completing high school, Madeleine went to Montreal to attend college for a year. Upon returning home, Madeleine worked in an office for a short time before going back to Montreal to prepare to become a sister. She stayed in Montreal for two years to enter the Novitiate of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Madeleine's older sister was a nun. Her sister played a big part in Madeleine's deciding to become a nun.

Sister Madeleine has taught at St. Joseph Seminary in Kankakee, which was located at St. Rose of Lima. She has taught in Chicago and also in Connecticut. Sister has taught Math and Science at Bishop McNamara for a number of years. Presently sister is coordinator in the alumni office. Sister has been at Bishop McNamara for over 35 years. She has been a Sister for over 50 years.

For more information about Sister Madeleine LaMarre, see the following articles in Kankakee's The Daily Journal: October 31, 1982 article entitled "Foundress Canonized in Rome Today"; May 5, 1985 article entitled "A Legacy: They were such very Special Teachers"; March 5, 1994 article entitled "Celebrate 50 Years in Rome Today"; May 5, 1994 article entitled "Catholic Jubilees - Celebration for Her"; and September 28, 2000 article entitled "Sisters Still Serving after 140 Years."