Sister Lucy Anne Poulin ’76

Sister Lucy Anne Poulin ’76 died on October 14, 2023, in East Orland, Maine.

(The following was provided by Bangor Daily News in October 24, 2023:)

Sister Lucy Anne Poulin ’76

East Orland – Lucy Poulin, life-long activist, advocate and community organizer, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at her home in East Orland, ME. She was 83.
Lucy was known as a founder of H.O.M.E., Inc. (Homeworkers Organized for More Employment) in Orland, ME, in 1970. She also was a founder, in 1974, of St. Francis Community, East Orland, where she has resided with other community members these past 49 years.

She and other concerned individuals in the area founded HOME as a way for local low-income people to supplement their earnings. Since 1970, HOME has grown into a broad-reaching community development corporation, meeting people’s basic needs for shelter, food, healthcare, useful work, and human dignity. Lucy said, “We began with a dream to offer the poor opportunities to become self-sufficient.” She retired in 2016 after 46 years as Director. HOME continues to advocate for the poor and the disenfranchised, both locally and globally, as part of the Emmaus International Movement.

Lucy had no formal education beyond high school, yet she received honorary degrees for her humanitarian work – from the University of Maine, Bowdoin College, University of New England, and Villanova University in Philadelphia. She was given many honors and accolades, but she considered herself a servant of God whose work was to serve those who are suffering. “We try to be a welcoming community for people who are left out in our society. We help people heal and become who God is calling them to be … We’re all on an equal basis… We are one human family … ” she said.

Lucy was born July 17, 1940. She grew up in Fairfield, ME, one of eleven children in a Franco-American farm family. To help support her widowed mother and orphaned siblings, she worked in domestic service, poultry processing, a paper mill, and on the family farm, before she joined the Carmelite Sisters in 1957, in New Hampshire; later the Hermitage moved to Bucksport, ME.
Lucy was predeceased by her siblings, David, Anthony, James, Lorraine, Joyce, and Lawrence; as well as her companion and life-partner, Ellen (Leslie) Moore. She is survived by her beloved adopted son, Jim Poulin; and by siblings, Michael, William, Mary, and Tom; along with many nieces and nephews, among them, Roxanne Poulin and Andrew Philbrick, who both reside at St. Francis Community. Also surviving is her cherished “second family” – Miguel and Gloria TucTuc, their children, and grandchildren, now also living at St. Francis.

Near the end, Lucy spoke of CATHOLIC WORKER activist Dorothy Day, who said, “Most days I don’t have much. But by little and by little I can steady my wobbles, and put one foot forward. I can try with all my might to live a life of love, by little and by little.”

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