Obituary: Sister Lucille Bonvouloir, RSM
Sister Lucille Bonvouloir (Sister Mary Veronica) 77, of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, died at Our Lady of Providence Residence in Winooski on June 26, in her 60th year of religious life.
She was born in Orwell on Aug. 15, 1942, the daughter of Anna (Christian) and John Bonvouloir. She received her early education in Orwell and graduated from Mount St. Mary Academy in Burlington. She received her bachelor’s degree in business education from Trinity College in Burlington and an master’s in public administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
She entered the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 11, 1960, and professed her vows on Aug. 5, 1963. She taught and worked in Catholic schools for many years throughout the state of Vermont: Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, Marian High School in Barre, St. Monica School in Barre, Mount St. Mary Academy in Burlington, Mater Christi School in Burlington and Christ the King School in Burlington. She taught religious education classes in various parishes throughout Vermont. During the summer, she worked at Camp Marycrest in Grand Isle and the House of Prayer in Windsor and in Burlington.
Sister Bonvouloir 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. She 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.
Sister Bonvouloir 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, 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 then 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.
She 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.
Sister Bonvouloir 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.
Sister Bonvouloir tutored in the Mercy Connections program.
She is survived by her brother, Roger (Bud), his wife, Phyllis Bonvouloir; her nieces, her nephew, and grand-nieces and nephews and her sisters in religion, the Sisters of Mercy. She was predeceased by her parents and many aunts and uncles.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on July 6 at 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s College chapel, Colchester, followed by burial at Mount St. Mary Convent Cemetery in Burlington.
Please follow the new safety guidelines by wearing a mask and maintain the social distancing designated at the church.