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Marie Nolie Thiossey

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 17/10/2020

SMSM SistersSister Marie Noëlie

(Yvonne Thiossey)


Born 30 December 1928 in Yate - New Caledonia


Religious Profession as SMSM 8 September 1951 at Ste Foy-lès-Lyon


Deceased at Mont-Mou Nazareth, New Caledonia 17 October 2020


Sister Marie Noëlie… Raoul Follereau Centre? What does this humble little sister have in common with the Centre for the Hansen’s Disease in Ducos?

Father Jean-Paul Pouillet gives us the answer to this question: “In the story of the chaplaincy of the hospitals of Noumea, our dear Sister Noëllie is closely associated with the history of the Raoul Follereau Centre. On hearing of her death, I see as if it were yesterday the last mass celebrated in the Saint-Thomas chapel, on January 31, 2016. The permanent closure of the Centre was a painful stage for her, as for many. A page of history that was turning ...

She then gave me the testimony of a woman in service to the end, in fidelity and humility. The chaplaincy, and in particular the sick and friends of the Raoul Follereau Centre, owe her a lot. With all of you, I thank God for her consecrated life and her total dedication. May she now find Father Rougeul with the Lord as well as those she loved and served."

Sister Marie Noëlie was born in Yaté, parish of the Great South of Caledonia, daughter of Myasato Thiossey, trader in Yate, and Emma Kabar. With her two brothers and her sister she grew up in Thio. Her only sister died very young, which is why she remained very attached to her two older brothers. During the Second World War, the family experienced the terrible suffering of separation. In 1942, like all Japanese, her father was deported and remained in detention in Australia until the end of the war. Sister Noëlie, who was 14 at the time, was forever marked by this departure.

Around 1948, Noëlie left for France and began her formation with the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary. On 8th September 1951, she pronounced her first vows in Ste Foy-lès-Lyon. Attracted by the work with the sick, she completed an internship at St Joseph Hospital in Lyon, before returning to Caledonia, where she began her mission at the Clinique Magnin in 1952. Sister Marie Donatienne who was with her at the clinic remembers “The Vietnamese were very numerous in the Territory at that time. Doctor Magnin had a building constructed to accommodate their patients. Sister Noëlie, along with other caregivers was responsible for this house. Despite the organizational difficulties, she welcomed these patients with joy and dedication. There was the language barrier of course, but also a certain discipline to be observed. She also had to fight opium smokers… She really liked this service and did it with love."

On 8 September 1957 she made her final vows in St Louis. In 1960, she was appointed to St Louis, then returned to the Clinique Magnin. In 1964, Sister Noëlie was sent to the Isle of Pines to work at the dispensary. Then Belep awaited her. In 1968 she returned to France for the Second Novitiate. On her return she helped out in Belep, then Pouebo. From 1974-76 she experienced the New Hebrides mission where a nurse was needed. Back in Caledonia, she served as a night nurse at the Clinique Magninand at the hospital. Finally, in 1981, she began her nursing service with the Hansen patients of Ducos. This is where she truly gave herself wholeheartedly in the service of the sick whom she loved deeply. Her work and dedication were recognized by all doctors and administrative staff. On 22 July 1992, she was awarded the Medal of National Merit.

Twice, in 1980 and 1994, Sister Noëlie had the joy of going to Japan, the country of her father. This allowed her to find her roots, to reconnect with her language, her culture. These two trips were a highlight in her smsm life.

In her retirement, she did not abandon her brothers and sisters in the leper colony.  Until 2016, when the Centre closed, every week she was faithful to visiting those she had known and loved. She was also faithful to preparing St Thomas' Chapel each Saturday for the celebration of Mass. She stood at the entrance to the chapel to welcome people and to find a place for everyone. Father Jean-Paul still has a good word in her favour: “Sister Noëlie, you who always remained near the door of the church to watch and serve, now enter fully into the joy of your Heavenly Father: he is dressed ready to welcome you ”.

In 2015, her health caused her a lot of misery; she had to stop and agree to rest at Cana in Rivière Salée. After several falls and hospitalizations, Sister Noëlie understood that her place was in Nazareth at Mont-Mou. She arrived there on 1 May 2019. Over the months, her health deteriorated until last September when she suffered a pulmonary embolism. Hospitalized twice, each time she recovered and returned happily to the community of Nazareth where she could participate in community prayer and meals. Saturday morning, 17 October, after her breakfast and her shower, Sister Noëlie left us, suddenly, but peacefully.

May the Lord welcome his faithful servant. In leaving us, she left us her smile, her simplicity, her gratitude. She never tired of saying thank you for the little services we rendered her.

"I was sick, and you visited me ...

Come you who are blessed by my Father…”Jesus tells us.


Sister Marie Ida smsm