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Sister Jeanne Fortin



The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie wish to announce that Sister Jeanne Fortin transitioned peacefully into the heart of God on February 8, 2024.  Sister Jeanne was born in Sault Ste. Marie, ON to Harriet Primeau & John Fortin (both deceased), the fourth of seven children.  She is predeceased by her siblings and their spouses John Fortin, Dorothy Crawford (Alex), Mae Fox (Luke), Juliette Turmaine (Ray), Catherine Cleminson (John), Veronica Twentyman (Joseph).  She is survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Jeanne entered the Congregation of The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie on January 6, 1940.

After receiving her Teachers’ Certificate in 1942, she began a teaching career of 29 years, at both elementary and secondary levels.  Her career led her to schools across Northern Ontario including North Bay, Sudbury, Wikwemikong, and Sault Ste. Marie.

In 1968 – 69, Jeanne was given a sabbatical year to study in Lyon, France at the Catholic Institute, where she obtained her degree in 17th Century Literature, which also enabled her to immediately receive her Specialist Certificate in French.

While teaching Jeanne spent every summer for ten years on the USA team commissioned to translate from 17th century French to English on the writings of our founder, Jean-Pierre Medaille.  In 1986, the Sisters of St. Joseph celebrated 150 years in America at St. Louis, Missouri.  Sister Jeanne was awarded for her work on the research team.

Following her retirement from teaching in 1973, Sister Jeanne worked in the Chancery Office, North Bay, for two years, then began Retreat Ministry at Nazareth House in Sudbury, from 1975 – 1978.

This was followed by six years as Pastoral Assistant at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sudbury.  This was followed by a new ministry of two years of administrative work at Avila Centre in Thunder Bay.

In her later years of ministry, Jeanne offered community retreats in various religious congregations in the United States and Canada. Jeanne was very active in USA Federation work, workshops, translation and research on the early documents of The Sisters of St. Joseph.  This work also included being on a team for month long programs which ended in 1989.  In the 1990’s she facilitated Charism retreats in Brentwood, NY, La Grange Park, IL and Wheeling WV.  Jeanne served on the Canadian Medaille Team from its inception in 1969 until 1979.

She retired to St. Joseph’s Motherhouse in North Bay in January 2004, and moved “home” 64 years after her first entrance in1940.  Here she continued to live, participate, and celebrate life to the full.  

Jeanne enjoyed some time of solitude while remaining involved in various activities in the community. For her, challenges were not obstacles but stepping stones.

At the wonderful age of 101 (soon to be 102), she accepted life in all forms, from day to day as it was offered, living it with gratitude and joy.

Sister Jeanne will be received at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, 2024 with a Prayer Vigil at 4:00 p.m.  Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse, Sacred Heart Chapel on Friday, February 16, 2024 beginning with closing prayers at 10:50 a.m. followed by Liturgy at 11:00 a.m. 

Expressions of sympathy or donations to the works of the Congregation in memory of Sister Jeanne may be made at

Online condolences can be made at

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