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Sœur Marcelle Françoise JOTTE

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 17/12/2019

Sister Françoise Jotte, smsm

26 July 1932 – 17 December 2019

SMSM SistersMarcelle Françoise Jottewas born in Sens, 26 July 1932.  She was the youngest of three daughters of Marcel Jotte and Louise Yvonne Dufois.  At 23 years of age, she entered the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary. In the novitiate, she took the name Sister Marie Jean Jacques and made profession on 8 September 1957.

 Sister stayed on at Sainte-Foy to prepare for her teaching certificate.  In September 1960, she arrived in Hydra, a Marist parish in the suburbs of Algiers, where nine sisters worked in the kindergarten, the primary school, and a home economics programme.  She was appointed director, and was deeply loved by all:  sisters, pupils, parents, teachers, parishioners.  She had a heart open to all.  When the Focolare community arrived in Algiers, they did not have a washing machine, and she offered to do their washing each week in the smsm house.  She was also very economical and skillful in the management of the school canteen.

In 1971, Sister was appointed superior of the community and continued until July 1975 when Sister Marie Françoise le Mignot came to take over until the nationalisation of the primary schools at the end of the school year.

In 1976, Sister Françoise (she had returned to her baptismal name) went to Arbresle for a time of spiritual renewal before making her second novitiate.  She arrived in Courbevoie (Paris) 21 September.   As Sister Anne Marie Mévellec did not give her enough to do as Provincial Secretary, she took up a part time job as a cashier at the supermarket.  To the great delight of the elderly who went to her check-out, she helped them pack their shopping.

 In 1979 Sister Françoise was once again missioned to Africa, this time to Mauritania, in a totally Muslim environment.  She prepared for this appointment at a centre for women’s development in Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise. She arrived in Rosso on 1 November and gave herself completely to women’s development work.  She found ways to overcome poverty, through having wells dug for clean water, gardening projects, etc.

Named superior of the community in Saint-Victoret, she arrived in the diocese of Aix-en- Provence (France) on 14 October 1989.  The sisters were involved in pastoral work:  catechesis, leading prayer groups; sorting out clothes to help voluntary groups; gardening; keeping the church clean; welcoming priests ; visiting the sick and elderly.

On 18 April 1999, Francoise had the great joy of going to Rome for the canonisation of Saint Marcellin Champagnat.  On the feast of All Saints in 2000, the banner she had embroidered of Saint Gorgon was carried in procession in the Piazza of St Peter’s in Rome.

In 2001, she was appointed superior of the community at Sainte-Foy-les Lyon for two terms. Her many practical gifts were put to great use in this big house. A woman with warm interpersonal skills, she kept in contact with the people of the parish, neighbours, organising cherry parties in the summer.  She also welcomed children from the local private school for picnics or other celebrations; and supported prayer and reflection groups in the neighbourhood.

In June 2008, she was appointed to Saint-Victoret where she once again found former friends and their activities.   She went all round the neighbourhood on her electric bike meeting others.  When asked once: “where do you best see the Congregation live our charism?”, she replied, “in all the bonds of friendship and service with our immediate neighbours.”

 In 2017, Sister was appointed to Paris, but was not able to stay there for long.  Two months later, she returned to Sainte-Foy.  She took part in a parish group Diaconia; the members recall the beautiful texts she prepared for their fortnightly meetings.  But gradually, she withdrew from all her activities; and relaxed in front of the television news.

Her illnesses developed rapidly and were obliged to have her admitted to Korian Rest Home; several of her sisters accompanied her there on 4 November 2019. The sisters often went to visit her; she was still able to recognise them and she was very happy to see them.

On Monday 16 December, S. Françoise, lacking oxygen, was taken to the Emergency Department.  S. Monique Sergent went to see her and stayed with her for five hours.  The following morning, Monique returned to see her with S. Malekalita Moefana,and together they accompanied her to the hospital at Charpennes. But at 10.45pm on Tuesday 17 December, the Lord came to call her.

Her funeral Mass was celebrated in our chapel on 20 December in the presence of her nephews Bernard and Bodil Montaville, her grand-niece, Solveig Le Pichon,Marist Sisters, theAuxiliatricesand our neighbours, the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, 

Françoise, you were kindness personified.  You lived as real Missionary Sister of the Society of Mary.  You often said of God: “what gives me life is his grace which enfolds me at all times.” We entrust you to his great mercy. 

“Come, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.”  (Matt 25 :21)

SMSM of Sainte-Foy