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SISTER PEARL MARY HAMELIN - WINOOSKI - Sister Pearl Mary Hamelin, 81 years of age, a Sister of Providence, passed to her eternal reward on Feb. 25, 2014, at Our Lady of Providence Residence in Winooski, at 11:40 a.m., accompanied by her Sisters in Religion and personnel of the Residence. Sister Pearl was born in Massena, N.Y., on Sept. 23, 1932, the daughter of Albert and Bernadette (Menard) Hamelin. She was baptized on Oct. 30, 1932, at Sacred Heart Church in Massena. As a young woman, Pearl supported herself by working in a meat packing plant, a factory and by managing a small restaurant and ice cream parlor. By 1959, she realized that something was missing in her life and she responded to the call to enter religious life. Pearl entered the Sisters of Providence Congregation in Montreal, Quebec, on Jan. 17, 1959, and on July 19, 1961, she pronounced her vows. Sister Pearl studied at the Sister of Providence School for Administration in Montreal for two years and completed her secondary education through Sacred Heart Academy in Missioula, Mont. Her first mission assignment at St. Joseph Orphanage in Burlington, was the beginning of a long, devoted and highly successful ministry with children. In 1978, after completing her BA studies in Science and Arts, Sister Pearl received a certificate for teaching and catechesis. From 1964 to 1989, Sister Pearl ministered at Maryville Academy in Des Plains, Ill. At different times, she was in charge of 27 boys, ages six to 14, served on a team of specialists for emotionally disturbed children, worked as an arts and crafts teacher and served as a paraprofessional in the special education program. Sister Pearl also worked as a librarian at the Nipper School in Wheeling, Ill. In 1989, with longtime friend and collaborator, Sister Gloria Rosales, SSND, Sister Pearl began an educational ministry in Miami Spring, Fla. The two religious were involved in catechesis and educational ministry in Miami Springs for 18 years. In 2007, Sister Pearl moved to Our Lady of Providence residence in Winooski where she entered into her well-earned years of retirement. Sister Pearl was a Sister of Providence for 54 years. She is survived by her sister, Mrs. Stella Burns of Waddington, N.Y., and numerous nephews and nieces. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Providence Residence Chapel, 47 West Spring St., Winooski. The Vigil Service will follow at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Providence Chapel with the Rev. MSGR Roland Rivard presiding. Interment will follow in the Sisters of Providence lot at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery. Arrangements are with the LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 132 Main St., in Winooski. Online condolences can be sent to

Funeral Home
Lavigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service
132 Main St Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 655-3480
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Burlington Free Press on Mar. 3, 2014