Sister Marie Germaine Perreault, CSJ, 89, of Crookston, Minnesota, member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, entered into eternal life on December 28, 2012 at Villa St. Vincent in Crookston. Sister Marie Germaine (Marie Elizabeth Zelia) was born on August 6, 1923 to Napoleon and Amanda (Paradis) Perreault of Terrebonne.
Zelia attended grade school in Red Lake County and high school at St. Joseph’s Academy in Crookston. She joined the Congregation of St. Joseph on September 3, 1940 and on April 24, 1941 received the religious habit and was given the name Sister Marie Germaine. Following her profession of First Vows on August 10, 1942, Sister Marie Germaine’s first mission was to serve as community housekeeper at St. Rose Convent in Argyle, MN. Her qualities of caring and compassion led the community leaders to direct her to begin studies in the health care field.
Sister Marie Germaine earned her R.N. degree in 1946 at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in Minneapolis, MN and then earned a certificate as a registered nurse anesthetist at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Anesthesia in Duluth, MN in 1947. Thirty-two years of devoted nursing care followed at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Park Rapids, MN, Trinity Hospital in Baudette, MN, and Holy Family Hospital in Superior, WI.
A change of location and pace occurred in 1977-78 when Sister Marie Germaine served as nursing director of Glenmore Foundation, Crookston, and then as a public health nurse for Polk County from 1979-1986.
Her avocation as a massage therapist began in 1986 with study at the Northern Lights School of Massage in Minneapolis. She then spent 3 months interning in an established clinic before opening Healing Hands, a wholistic care clinic in Stillwater. She felt that her ministry was a direct answer to Jesus’ call to touch others in His name and heal them, and that this ministry was very much in keeping with the charism of her congregation. Swedish massage, acupressure and reflexology were among the techniques she used in order to relieve tension and pain for her clients.
In May 1997, Sister Marie Germaine moved to Marywood Residence in Crookston and resided there until May 2004 when she and 6 other Sisters of St. Joseph moved to the Summit Apartments. She and another sister introduced recycling to Summit residents but it is her ability to revive dying plants and to grow beautiful African violets for which she is best remembered.
Sister Marie Germaine was preceded in death by her parents and 3 brothers, Harvey, David, and Vern. She is survived by the Sisters of St. Joseph; 4 sisters, Lucy Gauthier of New London, MN, Louise Oxley of St. Albans, WV; Martha (Mike) Harty of Milwaukee, WI; Theresa (Don) Swenson of Crookston, MN; and brother, Leo of Morris, MN. In addition, Sister Marie Germaine is survived by sisters-in-law Merlyn Perreault and Virginia Perreault, as well as by many loving nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
The Prayer Service for Sister Marie Germaine will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 12:30pm and will be followed by a Visitation until the celebration of the funeral Mass at 2:00pm., Msgr. Roger Grundhaus, presider. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Congregation of St. Joseph.