Sr. Denise Labonte – 65 Years
Sister Denise was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and became a United States citizen in 1979—the same year she transferred to the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart from another community.
She has had ministries in religious education in Pennsylvania, Texas, Arizona, Delaware and New York. In 1988 she was called to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and served as director of religious education at St. Christopher’s Church on Kent Island.
From 1999 to 2006, she taught religion and language at Holy Redeemer Junior High School in Lanham, Maryland. She was a foster grandparent at St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home in Bladensburg, Maryland, before returning to Mission Helper Center in Baltimore County.
In 2014, Sister Denise moved to Fatima House in East Baltimore, an apartment complex for seniors that is part of Catholic Charities Senior Housing Services. “The move,” she says, “was indeed a challenge, and I dreaded going beyond my comfort zone…I now realize that this was God’s plan and that He was present in the event that brought much newness.”
At Fatima House, she has established a Bible Study group and, along with Mission Helper Sister Madeline Gallagher, ministers among her fellow residents. “As each day unfolds,” she says, “we are surprised by the Holy Spirit with countless opportunities to be of service and available for whatever presents itself.”
Sister Denise holds a B.A. in Education from Rivier College in New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College.