Sister Pauline Bonenfant O.P.


AUBURN — Sr. Pauline Bonenfant, O.P., died on Saturday, Sept, 9, at Bolster Heights Residential Care Facility in Auburn at the age of 99 and after 77 years of religious life.

She was born Therese, daughter of Evariste and Mary (Deschesnes) Bonenfant on Dec. 6, 1917, in Lewiston. She began her Christian journey at Saints Peter and Paul Church. She entered the Dominican Sisters in Valleyfield, Canada in 1938. She made her temporary vows in 1940 and her final vows in 1945, also in Valleyfield, Canada.

Sr. Pauline has served the church as an educator all of her life in Staten Island, N.Y. and Lewiston. She studied at Fordham University and received her degree in education. She has touched many of her students’ lives by her gentle, understanding and loving spirit. Her community responsibilities included that of local prioress and bursar in Brookline, Mass., an establishment which included the Provincial House, a private school, the Formation House and a boarding house for student sisters from other religious communities. When Sr. Pauline returned to Lewiston in 1975, she continued as local prioress of her community while teaching at St. Peter’s School. Sr. Pauline retired from teaching in 1989 at the age of 72.

In 1995, Sr. Pauline was assigned to our convent in Sabattus, until her health started to fail. At that time she became a resident of Bolster Residential Care Facility where she became acquainted and present to the other residents and staff. It was not unusual to find Sr. Pauline praying by the bedside of a resident or encouraging and counseling staff members who confided in her.

She is survived by nieces; nephews; and her Dominican community.

Besides her parents she was predeceased by her brothers, Leopold, Robert and Marcel; and her sisters, Sr. Celine (Germaine) and Jeannette.

Online condolences at

Sister Pauline Bonenfant O.P.