In memoriam: Sister Christine Michael LaFrance, CSJ

Sister Christine Michael LaFrance, CSJ.

Sister Christine Michael LaFrance, CSJ, 83, died Wednesday, August 15, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 62 years.

Sister Christine, the former Rose Marie LaFrance, was born on November 25, 1934, in Endicott, N.Y., daughter of the late Angelo and Christine Licatesi LaFrance. After graduating from Union-Endicott High School, Sister Christine attended St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in Amsterdam. On August 15, 1956, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Anthony’s Parish in Endicott, and professed final vows on August 6, 1963.

Sister Christine began her ministry as a Sister of St. Joseph as a nurse at St. Joseph’s Infant Home in Troy, and in the infirmary at St. Joseph’s Provincial House. For 49 years, Sister Christine served at St. Mary’s Hospital (now St. Mary’s Healthcare), Amsterdam, in various capacities: nursing student; clerical worker in Social Services, discharge-planning clerk, and assistant in the Center for Complementary Therapies. Sister Christine remained at St. Mary’s Healthcare until a month ago when serious health changes necessitated a move to St. Joseph’s Provincial House.

Sister Christine was a kind, unassuming woman, always ready to help and generous in sharing her time and talents. Community was central to Sister Christine’s life, and she enjoyed times together with her family, friends, colleagues at St. Mary’s Healthcare, and the Sisters of St. Joseph, especially the group of Sisters with whom she began religious life. A fan of mystery stories, Sister Christine was an avid reader and enjoyed reminiscing about her travels, especially her favorite trip to Italy, led by her dear friend, Father Paul Tartaglia. In her later years, she earned her certification in Healing Touch and was so delighted in the opportunity to enhance wellness in herself and others. Sister Christine had a heart filled with gratitude for God’s many blessings, and she leaves to us a legacy of the power of gentleness and simplicity.

Sister Christine is survived by her sister, Frances Fisher; her nephews Blake and Brandon Thrasher, Jeffrey Hansell and Fred Benscoter; her nieces Cindi Ford, Kelly Argenta, Lena Stewart and Kristen Bell; her cousins François Licatese, Dominique Licatese, Annie DiMarco, and Frances Donlon; and the Sisters of St. Joseph, with special mention of her beloved friend, Sister Rita Jean DuBrey. In addition to her parents, Sister Christine was predeceased by her brother Angelo LaFrance and sisters Mary Benscoter, Antoinette LaFrance, and Angela LaFrance.

Sister Christine’s Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, August 21, at 9 a.m. from the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Calling hours will be held at the Provincial House on Monday, August 20, from 4 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m.

Contributions in Sister Christine’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y. 12110.