Sr. Claire Descoteaux
Wednesday morning, July 10th at 11:00 a.m., my parents welcomed a daughter who was to be baptized the next day with the name of Claire. I had a sister, Anita, who was 20 months older than me. My schooling began with the Kindergarten at St. Peter's parochial school. I also attended the pre-school sessions the previous year. I entered grammar school, graduated, then on to St. Dominic's girls' section of the High School.
In August of 1953, I sailed to France with seven other companions to the Novitiate of the Dominican Sisters who had taught me. I received the Habit on July 29th and was accepted to take my first vows on August 30th of the next year.
My first assignment, along with two other sisters, coincided with Mother General's trip to Japan. Sendai was the city to which I was sent to teach both English and French as second languages. The school was coed, and I also became a baseball coach. I helped with the children's orphanage called "The Garden of Angels."
In November of 1956, I was sent to Kyoto where I gave private lessons to both individuals and groups as well as teaching the kindegarteners. In 1961, I returned to Sendai and taught English at the Junior and Senior High School. Then on to Tokyo to go to the University of the Sacred Heart.
Returning to the United States in 1968, I was assigned to Sabattus to finish my Bachelor's Degree in Education. I then became a teacher of French.
One of the Dominican characteristics is itinerancy. In the following years I taught at different levels in Brookline, Massachusetts; Staten Island, New York; and Gallup, New Mexico. The year 1980 was my Sabbatical year spent in Holbrook, Arizona. Returning to Lewiston and Sabattus, I recovered from illness and taught part-time.
A second career change at SMVTI was begun in 1983, and I was awarded an LPN certificate. I worked part-time in health care at various nursing homes in the area while doing some community service with our elderly sisters.
I was privileged to have my mother reside with me in Sabattus and New York. While there, I attended The New Life Center in Virginia. Returning to Staten Island, I did community service, cared for my mother, and took five units of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and did Home Care under a nursing agency.
Then, Japan needed an American teacher for the high school where there was already an Englishman teaching there. I stayed for six years then returned to Maine for a few months. In August 2003 I went to Iowa City where I was a volunteer at a parish. When the convent was closed in March of 2010, I was assigned to Sabattus as a retired sister with few duties.
During my leisure time, I like reading, listening to music, going to the theater, traveling, and watching sports.