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Sister Marcelle – natural flair for the arts, cooking

St Joseph of Cluny Sister Marcelle Lum Chow died on June 2 in Grenada. She was 83. Her Funeral Mass was held on Friday, June 7 at St Andrew the Apostle RC Church, Grenville. Bishop Clyde Harvey presided. Following is an edited version of her eulogy submitted by the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny.


Marcelle Chi Kwan Joyce Lum Chow was born March 29, 1941, in Chaguanas.  She was the eldest of five daughters of Edwin and Ivy Lum Chow. Three of her siblings, Rita, Ingrid and Gillian reside with their families in Canada, while Phyllis lives in Trinidad.

Marcelle received her early education at a private school in Cunupia, followed by her secondary school education at St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph. She pursued her tertiary education at John Donaldson Institute of Technical Studies, majoring in fine arts, secretarial and culinary skills. Through those experiences, her natural flair for the Arts was awakened, broadened and deepened.

As a gifted artist and craftswoman, she produced beauty with her creative genius.  She was captivated by the spirituality and beauty of the simplest things of nature, which she expressed in a way that drew others to pause, reflect, marvel and appreciate the things of the earth.

Sr Marcelle shared that her attraction to religious life began as a boarder at St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph. She was impressed by the lifestyle of the Sisters and this attraction grew stronger and deepened throughout her school life.

A convert to Catholicism, Sr Marcelle had a thirst for the Word of God, a great devotion to Our Lady and to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Being a lover of nature, she taught her First Communion and Art students about God’s love expressed in the beautiful things of nature.

Apart from her love of art, she enjoyed having a breezy scenic view which she always found very therapeutic. She always appreciated praise and praised others when any work was done. She had a deep love for dogs and was very kind to them.

On February 2, 1963, she entered the novitiate of The Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny at Arouca. Being a missionary congregation, her first taste of mission, in her spiritual year as a novice, was in the community of Grenville, Grenada where she worked at the secondary school for three months from September to December 1964. During that time, she made an impression on the lives of her students.

On August 28, 1965, Sr Marcelle professed her first vows and was given the name Sr Marcelle of the Blessed Sacrament Lum Chow.

Sr Marcelle was multitalented and did not hesitate to use her gifts in areas of great need. As a culinary artist, she served the communities of Tobago, Port of Spain, St Mary’s College, St Joseph, Arouca and Grenada. As a craftswoman, she taught art, design, drawing and painting. She always expressed her love for teaching art at school and often got elated when the students expressed their love for the subject.

As a catechist, she also taught Religious Education classes and prepared students diligently for First Communion at Maria Regina Grade School, St Xavier’s Private School, Arouca Government Primary School and in the parishes where she was assigned. In the technical vocational area, she was a secretary and taught typewriting.

In 1979 to 1999, Sister was assigned to St Joseph’s Convent, Scarborough, Tobago where she served for 20 years. She grew to love Tobago and its people very much.  Apart from teaching in the secondary school, she was responsible for the parish First Communion classes in Scarborough, Mason Hall and Castara.

For the last 25 years, from 1999 to the present, Sr Marcelle gave herself in service to the people of Grenville, Grenada.


St Joseph’s Convent, Grenville pays tribute

The following is a summary of the impact she had on the lives of teachers and students as recalled by the Principal of St Joseph’s Convent, Grenville, Linda Francis: “Sr Marcelle Lum Chow was our beloved art and religious education teacher. She was a disciplinarian, and the past students of this institution can vouch for that. Sister was a beacon of light, vibrant, selfless and a source of inspiration to all who knew her. Her passion for art and her unwavering faith were evident in every lesson she taught, as she pulled creativity from them, igniting their curiosity while instilling a profound sense of spirituality.

Sr Marcelle’s extraordinary kindness made everyone feel welcomed. She often brought us delicious goodies from her baking; adding a personal touch that brightened our days. Though a disciplinarian at heart, she always reminded us of our Catholic duties guiding us through the significant times, in the Church calendar.

Her genuine care and concern extended beyond her students to her colleagues, earning her the love and respect of teachers and students alike.