Sr. Yvonne Toucanne
CALGARY – Sister Yvonne Toucanne, a Sister of Charity of St. Louis, celebrated her 100th birthday on Sept. 17 at Bethany Care Centre in Calgary.
Surrounded by community members, friends, and administration and staff from Bethany Care Centre, her life of 100 years was celebrated through presentations and remembrances of her life and ministry.
Born in Paris, France, on Sept. 17, 1910, she moved with her family soon after to Santa Barbara, Calif.
Her father later obtained a homestead at Souris Valley, Sask., and became acquainted with the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis. After completing her Grade 11 in California, Yvonne enrolled at St. Theresa's Academy in Medicine Hat, a boarding school run by the sisters. She joined the congregation in 1928 and traveled to Bienville, Quebec, for her initial formation.
Sister Yvonne's early ministries were in education. She taught high school in Medicine Hat, Melville, Moose Jaw, Wilcox and Marquis, Sask. She was a life-long learner, obtaining five degrees over 40 years.
One of her passions was social justice. This manifested itself in the opportunity for three sojourns in Africa in Tanzania and Botswana between 1972 and 1977 where she taught in teacher training programs and became the librarian for the Botswana National Library.
Returning to Regina in 1977, Yvonne became involved in local social justice issues, volunteering at Wickiup, a centre for First Nations upgrading and at the Early Learning Centre. From there she moved into ministry with abused women and children and in 1988 became the co-founder of Sofia House, second stage living quarters for domestic violence victims.
In 2002 Yvonne moved to Calgary for her final retirement years and more recently to Bethany Care Centre.