April 20, 1940 – December 15, 2015
Putnam-Sr. Constance Charette, 75, a member of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit died on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at the Holy Spirit Provincial House in Putnam.
Constance Madeleine Charette was born in Leominster, MA on April 20, 1940, the daughter of the late Camille and Alice (Meunier) Charette. She entered religious life in Putnam at the Holy Spirit Provincial House in September 1958, and made her religious profession on July 2, 1960. She was then known as Sr. Stephen of the Sacred Heart.
Connie earned a B.A. in Education from Diocesan Sisters’ College and an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Detroit. From 1962-67 she taught in elementary schools in CT and VT. In 1967 she became Directress of Postulants in Putnam, and from 1969-74 she taught religion at Putnam Catholic Academy. She was missioned to California in 1974, and served in the Campus Ministry Team of the University of California at Davis. In 1979 she returned to the east coast and served as Directress of Formation for the province, while also working in ministry with single adults and widowed persons in the Bridgeport, CT diocese. In 1983 she was named Provincial Councilor, with residence in Putnam. In 1989 she enjoyed a Sabbatical Chaplaincy Program at Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI, and then began a new ministry as Coordinator of Volunteers at Dorcas Place, a women’s literacy center in Providence. In 1995 she was appointed Provincial of the U.S. Daughters of the Holy Spirit, and within the next year was elected as a General Councilor in the international administration of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit, and she served in that capacity for 12 years, with a main residence in RENNES, France.
She returned to the US in 2008 and began her much-loved ministry as a Community Organizer at Pernet Family Services in Worcester, MA. In 2009, she was named Directress of Associates in addition to her work at Pernet, and these two combined ministries brought special joy to Connie and to those involved. In August 2013, Sr. Connie again lived her full availability to Mission by going to Burkina Faso in Africa in order to live among and serve our younger Sisters there, but she unexpectedly had to return to the U.S. in October because of health issues. Though cancer now had become part of her life, she continued to be active in her new ministry as Coordinator of the Provincial House Community and in the continuation of her position as Advisor to the DHS east coast Associates. She both received and gave great joy in this last dual ministry!
She is survived by one sister, JoAnn Sampson of Beverly, MA and two brothers, William Charette of Lynn, MA and Mikel Carter of Shirley, MA. Her extended family includes uncles and aunts, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Sr. Connie is predeceased by two brothers, Father Daniel Charette, a LaSalette priest, and Gerard Charette. All of her Sister Daughters of the Holy Spirit, the DHS Associates and Secular Branch members, as well as many friends also mourn her passing.
Calling hours at the Provincial House, 72 Church St., Putnam, CT will be on Friday, December 18, 2015 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm with a Prayer Service at 7:15pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at the Provincial House. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Putnam, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Daughters of the Holy Spirit Retirement Fund, Holy Spirit Provincial House, 72 Church St., Putnam, CT, 06260. Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT has been entrusted with arrangements. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.