Gilberte Caya, 58, wife of Bernard Roy of Cambridge, Ont., left us for her Heavenly Home on January 17, 2013, feast of Our Lady of Pontmain. Both Gilberte and her husband Bernard were great apostles for MICHAEL. Gilberte had been a Full-Time Pilgrim at the headquarters in Rougemont, Que. for over 26 years. Her sister Marcelle, who is still a Full-Time Pilgrim in Rougemont, shares with us the following reflections:
As dedicated members of the Pilgrims of St. Michael, our parents, Justin and Therese Caya, gave the name Gilberte to our youngest sister at her baptism on February 8, 1955, in honor of the co-founder and directress, Mrs. Gilberte Cote-Mercier. All throughout her childhood Gilberte was a gentle, joyful and helpful child. What sweet memories of our childhood…
In 1970, when Gilberte was only 15 years old, she came to join me here at the House of St. Michael to dedicate herself as a Full-Time Pilgrim of St. Michael. This was a great encouragement to me, and for this I shall always thank God from the bottom of my heart. We worked together, side by side, for the 26+ years that she gave as a Full-Time, and she always showed complete competence in any work that was confided to her. Being one of the few who had her driver’s license, she was always the first to volunteer for the many tours of apostolate, travelling throughout the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and even the United States. She and I worked together in France and Belgium as well. No sacrifice was too much for her in the apostolate, and her great gift of herself shall always remain as a beautiful memory for me.
In 1997, she married Bernard Roy, and this did not prevent her from continuing in what she believed… doing her apostolate as a Pilgrim of St. Michael locally. She and Bernard went from door-to-door visiting the homes in their town of Cambridge, Ontario, praying the Rosary and subscribing their neighbors to MICHAEL and the French version, Vers Demain. For 15 years, they took it to heart to faithfully support the work of our founder Louis Even together. They were always present at our yearly Congress and assisted at all important meetings, either in Rougemont or in their own area, taking from 500-1000 subscriptions to MICHAEL annually.
Gilberte left a lasting impression on all the French-speaking members of her parish of The Holy Canadian Martyrs in Cambridge, Ont., by her diligent attendance at Mass, her great Faith, and all the volunteer work that she performed, always wearing her white beret.
During her illness, her second battle with cancer, which lasted for four long years, Gilberte was a witness of patience and total submission to the Will of God to us all. Faced with so much suffering, our human nature would want to cry out, “Dear God, why is this happening to me?” Gilberte, on the other hand, accepted everything with calmness, saying instead, “Why not to me, O Jesus!”
I would like to thank in particular her sister-in-laws who accompanied her to the numerous doctors’ visits, as well as the whole Roy family who were a constant moral support to her throughout her illness. Jacynthe confided to me, “Never did we hear even one complaint from Gilberte.” When her sister Therese asked her to “share” with her some of her patience; Gilberte responded with humor, despite her pain, “For now, I need to hold on to all of my patience.”
Gilberte left us for her Heavenly Home on January 17, 2013, at the age of 58, with the same serenity and calmness that she had lived all throughout her life. What memories of a life filled with devotion… I would like to share this small prayer asking everyone to recite it for her intention:
“I kept silent during my affliction, O Lord, because You were the One to permit it. I bow now before Your Divine Decrees, O my God, I submit myself to You! If my suffering nature causes my tears to flow, I offer them all up to You as an affirmation of my submission, abandonment and love. I desire that each one of my tears represent my “AMEN” to You, and that they will fall upon the dear soul of Gilberte, whom You have taken from me, refreshing her soul, and hastening her arrival into the Eternal Beatitude. Amen.”
We miss you, Gilberte. Pray for us, and help us, Gilberte, to each live well the remainder of our own destinies to follow. Until we meet again,
Your sister, Marcelle, your mother, your brothers, your sisters — AVE MARIA