Sr. Alice Fontaine, 94, a Sister of St. Chretienne


Sr. Alice FontaineMarlborough – Sr. Alice was born in Central Falls, RI but Pawtucket was her hometown, and the parish of Our Lady of Consolation was her church home. She was a beloved daughter of George and Estelle (Lussier) Fontaine and the dear sister of Leo, Claire and Doris, who have predeceased her.

Alice attended Our Lady of Consolation School with the Sisters of St. Chretienne. She loved school and admired her teachers. Through their example, from her earliest days there, she felt God gently calling her to become a teacher like them.

Alice entered the Novitiate in Giffard, PQ in 1945, and pronounced her first vows in 1947. After a year of normal school, she received the assignment to teach at the Sisters’ School in Giffard. She taught elementary and secondary students there for 6 years, the beginning of a 62 year career as an educator.  She taught in parish schools in RI, MA and NH including her alma mater, OLC where she was principal from 1986-1995. Sr. Alice had a Masters degree in mathematics and was a member of the faculty at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro (1976-86) and later at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket(1995-1998) where she was chairperson of the Mathematics Department.

In 1998, Sr. Alice began another chapter in her life, teaching math in the GED program at the Providence Adult Learning Center (1998-2002) and then for 9 years at Even Start Family Literacy in Pawtucket. She was totally devoted to these students, empowering them to develop their skills but also caring for their needs, whether in parenting or developing self-confidence.  She knew how to bring out the best in others.

As a Sister of St. Chretienne, Sr. Alice had a deep love for her congregation. She lived in several different communities through the years. Her Sisters appreciated her positive cheerful attitude.  She was ardent for the renewal of religious life, and she participated in several General Chapters in France. She was a member of our Provincial Council for 13 years.

In 2005, Alice received a special call from the Superior General to go to Ngara in Tanzania to help our young African Sisters with English, the legal language. They were starting a mission there with street boys. This experience became the highlight of Alice’s life! Even at 78, she enthusiastically tutored her companions, joining in their efforts to settle into the house and to befriend the children. However, after four months, she had to return due to growing health problems. Nevertheless, she remained an ardent supporter of her African Sisters.

In 2012, as her health continued to decline, Sr. Alice was called to our retirement community in Marlboro. Her deep relationship with the Lord as well as the support of her Sisters helped her to accept. She volunteered in the Sisters’ thrift shop, eager to serve customers there. In March 2021, Alice entered the skilled care unit at Bethany Health Care in Framingham with the Sisters of St. Joseph. Her loving family, with whom she was very close, especially her nieces, helped our Sisters to reach out to her. On Tuesday, November 2, she was gently brought from this life into God’s loving arms. Alice certainly must have heard her loving Lord say: “Welcome, Alice, so blessed by my Father! What you did for the little ones all your life, you did for Me. Come, enter the Kingdom prepared for you by My Father!”

Visitation is Saturday, November 6, from 9:30-10:15 a.m., at the Sisters of St. Anne Chapel, 720 Boston Post road East, Marlborough.

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