Lucille Bonvouloir

Donated by Sr. Lucille Bonvouloir
Donated by Sr. Lucille Bonvouloir

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

Helped to establish and was director for two years of COTS, Committee on Temporary Shelter, an agency that helps individuals and families eventually afford housing without assistance. Awarded the Susan B. Anthony award for her significant role in the lives of the homeless in Burlington and throughout Vermont. Participates locally and internationally with the Sisters of Mercy.

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Primary Residence






Historical Significance

Sister Lucille Bonvouloir has dedicated her life towards providing and improving homeless shelters and programs for Chittenden County and all of Vermont. Raised in Vermont and motivated to improve her local community of Chittenden County, she has come to participate internationally with the Sisters of Mercy.

Born on August 15th, 1942, Lucille Bonvouloir attended her junior and senior years of high school at Mt. St. Mary Academy, Burlington, which was operated by the Sisters of Mercy. It was during this time that she came to know these great women and began to feel drawn to their way of life. Thus, directly following high school, she joined the Sisters in September of 1960.

Sr. Bonvouloir became the Vice President for the Sisters of Mercy in July of 1996, and served as such until June 30, 2006. As Vice President she joined a team of women who provide leadership for the community. They make plans for the future, attend to the needs of the sisters, and give oversight related to fiscal matters. She was recently appointed to a two-year term at the International headquarters of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy International Centre, Dublin, Ireland, which she will begin in March of 2008.

Subsequent to her participation with the Sisters and their work, she also worked to improve housing in Chittenden County. Sr. Bonvouloir served on the COTS, Committee on Temporary Shelter, from 1986-1996. She was the executive director from 1988-96. This organization has developed into seven programs that eventually enable individuals to live on their own. Sr. Bonvouloir continues to support COTS by helping them fundraise, and through advocating certain issues as she sees appropriate.

Sr. Bonvouloir was also a founding member of the Women's Consortium for the Construction of Housing. She was awarded the Susan B. Anthony Award for her significant role in the lives of the homeless in Burlington and throughout Vermont.

She is currently a staff member at the Cathedral Square Corporation, a non-profit organization that develops and manages housing that promotes the health and well-being of elders, low income persons and persons with disabilities. She will be leaving this job in the Spring, for her new appointment in Dublin, Ireland.

Sr. Bonvouloir has historically called for justice with her actions and her voice. She continues to do so through writing letters to the editor and using other venues to communicate Action Alerts to her community.

Organizations or Movements

  • Committee on Temporary Shelter
  • Women's Consortium for the Construction of Housing
  • Program Committee of the McAuley Instute Board
  • National Coalition for the Homeless Board
  • National and Local Mercy Justice Coalitions
  • Vermont Mercy Social Justice Committee.


  • Sister of Mercy
  • founder and executive director of COTS


  • Masters at George Washington University

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Sisters of Mercy Archives

  • Women's Research and Education Institute Update, Issue 7 Link

  • Cathedral Square Corporation Link

  • The 25 Year History of COTS, 1982-2007 Link