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Sur Christiane Raballand

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 13/07/2019

SMSM SistersSister Christiane RABALLAND

(Christiane Marie Laurence)

11 September 1931- 13 July 2019


Sister Christiane was born 11 September 1931 at La Guérinière in the Vendée.   Her island, Noirmoutier, was very dear to her, and she loved to return there for  her holidays.

She entered the novitiate in 1951, and made profession on 8 September 1953.  She stayed at Sainte-Foy to study catehetics and teaching, and obtained her diploma in 1954.  

She was appointed to New Hebrides ( which became Vanuatu in 1980) and arrived there on 3 October 1954, and began teaching in Port Vila

From 1955 to 1960, she was at St Theresa’s School, Santo. She returned to Port Vila in 1960 where she taught, and was also director of the primary school.  In 1968 she was appointed to Montmartre.  In August 1969 she went to France for a home visit and second novitiate.

When she returned to Montmartre in August 1969, she was in charge of the girl boarders.  

In January 1971, she was appointed Regional of New Hebrides, a service she gave for only a short time, as she was elected a General Councillor at the Chapter in March 1971.  Before going to Rome, she visited the communities in New Caledonia and went to Sydney, Australia for an English course.  She arrived in Rome in August 1971. 

She was re-elected at the General Chapter in 1980.  Her long service on the General Council and the visits she made opened her to the reality of the universal Church, and a good knowledge of the congregation as a whole.

 When she finished in Rome, in 1988, she went to Canada for a year at the Formation Institute founded by Jeannine Guindon. 

She was then appointed to New Caledonia, and in September 1989, assumed the service of Provincial  Financial Administrator.  Beside this, she gave courses to the novices and the sisters in temporary vows. 

In 1994, after a home visit in France, Sr Christiane went to the General Chapter in Rome as a translator.  After that, she stayed in France during 1995 for medical treatment.

On 16 August 1996, she was appointed Provincial Superior of Oceania.  In this capacity, she visited  not only Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna, but also Madagascar.  She also participated in various congregational meetings in Auckland, Boston, Rome and Senegal with several visits to France.  She completed this service in 2002.

In 2003 Sr Christiane went to France for a well-earned break.  When she returned to Oceania, she was appointed to Vanuatu to be responsible for the community of senior sisters.

 In 2009, after a medical check up in Noumea, she left for France for her home visit and retreat.  She set out again for Port Vila 2 October 2009, and stayed first of all with the senior sisters, then in the Paray community.

 Sr Christiane left Vanuatu 27 May 2015 for Noumea, and 31May she returned to France for good.  After a holiday in Guérinière, she arrived in the community in Sainte-Foy 29 August 2015.

Sr Christiane was a practical woman, direct and straight-forward, and did not like to make life complicated.   Simplicity was important for her and her service of authority in the congregation was accepted in faith,  By nature she loved to be at home, and she was open and welcoming, and was appreciated for her quality of listening and her availability.  She always enjoyed being a handywoman and taking care of things.

Sister Christiane was not given to flights of mysticism, but she was faithful to prayer, and encountered God in practical ways in the various services she gave.  She loved Mary, and like her, sought to encounter God in her daily life.

It was not easy for her to return to France, and her holidays on Noirmoutier with her family by the sea were a ray of sunshine!

Quite suddenly, she had to face the diminishment of her strength and the beginning of Alzheimers: she could no longer understand things clearly, and she suffered greatly because of that.

 She had a spell in hospital in October 2018, but tests showed nothing more than problems with her memory.   Her health, however, continued to decline, and it was during a stay in geriatric at Lyon Sud hospital, that she was diagnosed with a generalised cancer that had already touched her vital organs.

 On 25 June, she returned to the community for palliative care.  Her condition deteriorated rapidly, and she died peacefully on 13 July, with several of us at her side.

The funeral Mass took place on Tuesday 16 July 2019, in our chapel at Sainte-Foy-les-Lyon.   Her sister Paulette with her daughter and two grand-children were able to come from Nantes and Paris.

After these long years of service of the Lord and of Mary, as missionary, Marist and religious this good and faithful servant has gone to meet her Master.

God is faithful !


Sister Marie José de Préville, smsm