Sr. Marie Dugas (Sr. M. Francis) (99) a Sister of St. Anne, died of natural causes on June 11 in Beaumont Health and Rehabilitation Center in Worcester. She was a resident at Alliance Health at Marie Esther Center in Marlboro. Born in Lynn, MA, she was the second child of six born to Albert and Marie (Bonin) Dugas. She completed elementary school at the former St. Jean the Baptist parish school in Lynn and graduated from high school at the former St. Ann Academy in Marlboro. She joined the Sisters of St, Anne following graduation and pronounced vows in Lachine Quebec in 1942.
Sr. Marie began her teaching years in Montreal at both the elementary and secondary levels and was directress of Holy Family School in Montreal. Briefly, she was a professor to those young women preparing for vows at the Motherhouse in Lachine, Quebec, a ministry that would engage her for years to come.
She earned a BA degree in Education from Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA and an MA degree in Religious Education at Saint Mary’s College in Indiana. She did further studies in Religious formation and Spirituality.
Upon her return to the United States, she was named to the team of the newly established US Novitiate of the Sisters of St. Anne in Marlboro. For more than fifteen years, Sister Marie directed, inspired, taught and formed young women committed to life as vowed religious or to other life choices.
As needs changed, Sr. Marie assumed another leadership role as Principal of the former Holy Name of Jesus elementary school in Worcester and as Coordinator of the Sisters in the Holy Name convent. At this time, she continued to serve in religious formation with the younger Sisters.
Sister Marie was one of the founders of Esther House of Spiritual Renewal in Worcester and remained an integral part of the spiritual ministry programs offered there. She was a popular retreat director, spiritual animator, counselor, teacher and friend. Her outreach to others is well known and cherished. In 2010, she received a Retired Religious Award from the Diocese of Worcester for her long history of service within the Diocese.
Well into her 90s, Sr. Marie continued religious programs for women. Despite health impediments, she continued to be of community service to the Sisters at the convent in Marlboro and remained a participant in community events and meetings.
Sr. Marie was predeceased by her parents and five siblings, Norman Dugas, Constance (Dugas) Houde, Jeannette (Dugas) Roderick, Albert Dugas, and Louise (Dugas) Jodoin. She leaves to grieve nieces, nephews and extended family, friends and colleagues, her dear SSA friends and caregivers, Sr. Caroline Plante and Sr. Ines Almeida, and her larger family of the Sisters of St. Anne.
In accord with current restrictions due to the pandemic, burial services are private. A Memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to the Sisters of St. Anne Retirement Fund, 720 Boston Post Road East, Marlborough, MA 01752, or to a charity of your choice. Arrangements are under the direction of Collins Funeral Home, (www.CollinsFuneral.com), 378 Lincoln St., Marlborough.
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