Lucille Bonvouloir
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Lucille Bonvouloir

Sister Lucille Bonvouloir, RSM, (Sr. Mary Veronica) 77 years old, of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, died at Our Lady of Providence Residence in Winooski on June 26, 2020 in her 60th year of religious life.

Sr. Lucille was born in Orwell, VT on August 15, 1942, the daughter of Anna (Christian) and John P. Bonvouloir. She received her early education in Orwell, VT and graduated from Mount Saint Mary Academy, Burlington, VT. She received her B.S. in Business Education from Trinity College in Burlington, VT, and an M.A. in Public Administration from George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Sr. Lucille entered the Sisters of Mercy on September 11, 1960 and professed her vows on August 5, 1963. She taught and worked in Catholic schools for many years throughout the state of Vermont: Rice Memorial High School, Marian High School, St Monica Elementary School, Mount Saint Mary Academy, Mater Christi School and Christ the King School. Sr. Lucille was also very involved in teaching Religious Education classes in various parishes throughout Vermont. During the summer, she worked at Camp Marycrest and the House of Prayer in Windsor and in Burlington VT.

Sr. Lucille held various administrative roles including Administrative Assistant to the Director of Public Relations/Development at Trinity College. She was active on many committees and boards: Vermont Sisters Senate, Chittenden County United Way, National Coalition for the Homeless, Vermont Development Credit Union, Trinity College Board of Trustees, Mater Christi School Board, the McAuley Institute Board, Burlington Housing Board of Review, Mercy Connections Board, Cathedral Square Corporation, and the McAuley Institute Program Committee in Silver Springs, MD. Sr. Lucille was awarded a Fellowship at the Women's Research Educational Institute during which time she was a member of a select Committee on Aging Task Force on the Rural Elderly for the House of Representatives in Montpelier.

Sr. Lucille dedicated her life to providing and improving homeless shelters and programs for Chittenden County and all of Vermont. She helped to establish the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS), an agency that provides shelter and transition services for homeless persons and families and those at risk of homelessness. She worked for COTS from 1988-1996 serving as Assistant Director, and later, Executive Director. She was instrumental in purchasing and renovating the former St. John's Hall into housing units for low income and formerly homeless individuals. COTS received the Maxwell Award for Excellence from the Fannie Mae Foundation for that development.

Sr. Lucille was a founding member of the Women's Consortium for the Construction of Housing. She was awarded the Susan B. Anthony Award for her significant role in assisting homeless persons in Burlington and throughout Vermont.

Sr. Lucille served as Vice President for the Vermont Sisters of Mercy from 1996-2006. In this position, she joined a team of Sisters who provided leadership for the Vermont Community, including planning for the transition into the Mercy Northeast Community. Afterward, she was appointed to a two-year term at Mercy International Centre in Dublin, Ireland.

In her later years her creative talent in art blossomed and she also became an active member of the Parkinson Dance Group.

Sr. Lucille was passionate about social justice, with emphasis on women's issues and works of Mercy. She stood strong promoting the awareness of the health and well-being of elders, low-income persons, and persons with disabilities. She also tutored in the Mercy Connections program. She lived her journey with Parkinson's Disease with great dignity and courage.

She is survived by her brother, Roger (Bud), his wife, Phyllis Bonvouloir; her nieces, Rebecca and Sandy Bonvouloir and partner Jason Rankin; her nephew, Peter Bonvouloir; and grand-nieces and nephews, many cousins, and life-long family friend, Gene Giroux; and by her sisters in religion, the Sisters of Mercy. She was predeceased by her parents, Anna and John Bonvouloir, and many aunts and uncles.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, July 6, 2020 at 10:00 AM at Saint Michael's College Chapel, Colchester, followed by burial at Mount Saint Mary Convent Cemetery in Burlington. Please follow the new safety guidelines by wearing a mask and maintain the social distancing designated at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Sisters of Mercy in support of their ministerial works, in care of the Local Coordinator, 356 Mountain View Drive, Colchester, VT 05446, or COTS, PO Box 1616, Burlington, VT 05402, or Mercy Connections, 255 S. Champlain St., Burlington, VT 05401.

Arrangements are in the care of the Ready Funeral Home South Chapel, 261 Shelburne Road, Burlington, VT. Please visit to place on-line condolences.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Burlington Free Press from Jun. 30 to Jul. 1, 2020.
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
Saint Michael's College Chapel
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8 entries
July 3, 2020
Sister Lucille had an infectious smile. I will always remember her laughter.
On a few occasions when I would take the time after making the night time meal to sit and chat with the Sisters, I always told stories of my childhood and the antics of myself and my siblings to much avail laughter was always enjoyed by all.
I will remember her kind words she always spoke. Her words of inspiration.
What a Lovely soul God has received.
RIP Lucille
Susan Hulslander
July 3, 2020
What a beautiful, joyful soul. I will remember Sister Lucille for her grace, humility, compassion, impish humor, and tireless advocacy for those in our community who most needed an advocate and champion. Serving on the Mercy Connections Board together, Sister Lucille was my mentor and hero. I am heartbroken to learn of her passing, but so very blessed to have known her.
Mary Hurlie
July 2, 2020
Knowing and having the honor of caring for someone like Sister Lucille was truly a gift; the vibrant smile that never left her face, the contagious laugh she shared with all, and the warmth of her heart are just a few of the beautiful memories I will never lose. Her legacy will never be left behind and OLP will never forget the energy she radiated within our community. Knowing you was truly an honor, Sister Lucille.
July 1, 2020
Sr. Lucille was my high school shorthand teacher at Rice High School; we would become fast friends a few years later and she and Sr. Claire would come for dinner and graciously eat some of the worst cooking in town. I have very fond memories of decorating their christmas tree on Front Street and laughing non stop at my insistence that each piece of tinsel be at equal lengths. Lucille worked tirelessly for those less fortunate even when times were challenging.... she truly was a testament of Gods love. I will miss teasing her and hearing her infectious laugh.
Trish Palmer
July 1, 2020
Terri and I are sad to hear of Sr Lucilles passing. As a member of the COTS Board early on, I got to know her well, and believe she is one of the true gems I have crossed paths with in my life.
Lucilles love of God, and of the less fortunate was inspiring.
Burlington has lost one of its great heroes. We are all so lucky to have had a true saint working among us.
RIP Sister, well done ...
Rich & Terri Feeley
June 30, 2020
She was filled with the light of love and the fire of justice.
Laurie Larson
June 30, 2020
here were several years that she ensured our family had Thanksgiving dinners. She understood my mom was very proud and made it seem like we were doing this for her not the other way around. A beautiful soul!
Donna Haskins Bogue
June 30, 2020
Years and years ago, if I recall correctly, when I was testifying before a legislative committee concerning homelessness as well as related matters, given my distaste for both titles and labels, yet seemingly having to employ such, I introduced myself by name and, after a brief pause, mentioned that I was a "mental patient, at large." While everyone else was aghast and kept silent, Sister Lucille broke out with hearty laughter, something that I have always appreciated and remembered. It was nice that someone understood my extremely dry sense of humor.
Morgan Brown
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