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Sister Maria Ludeline Paterno

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 27/09/2021

SMSM SistersSister Maria Ludeline Paterno, smsm

16 March 1961 – 27 September 2021


On 16 March 1961, Ariston and Leoncia Concemino Paterno welcomed Maria Ludeline, their second child and their first daughter into the world. Barangay San Jose in Koronadal City, Mindanao, was a peaceful rural area where these hard-working parents welcomed six more children. Ludeline learned from her family to be always welcoming, practical, full of faith with a great devotion to Mary.

Ludeline’s formal education began in the local Elementary School followed by Secondary School at Notre Dame of San Jose and a year studying Secretarial Administration at Notre Dame of Dadiangas College (NDDC), General Santos City. From 1981-84, she studied at Notre Dame of Marbel University graduating with a Bachelor of Science and Secondary Education (Mathematics) and received her Teacher’s Registration in 1985. She taught for four years at Notre Dame of Marbel for Girls and was the registrar for two years. She was recognised as “hard-working, orderly, prompt and efficient,” qualities that were evident throughout her life.

Ludeline was welcomed by Sisters Patricia Leamy and Mary Joachim to the SMSM community as an aspirant in May 1991 and as a postulant on 15 August 1991. On 28 April 1992 she was received as a novice at Heretaunga, New Zealand. After First Profession on 28 April 1994, Ludeline was missioned to Fiji but spent three months giving service in Tonga while awaiting her visa for Fiji. Living at St Mary’s, Suva, she taught Classes 2 and 3 at Stella Maris School where her presence was very much appreciated by both the students and teachers.

Returning to Lagao, Philippines, in 1997, Ludeline worked with the Marist Brothers at the Marcellin Foundation Home for Street Boys and was the community bursar. Her quiet, efficient and discreet qualities were appreciated. Her calm manner, patience and attention to detail were a great help when dealing with the various administrative difficulties encountered at that time. Ludeline was generous, reliable, responsible, and always preferred to take a supportive role rather than one of leadership. On 28 April 2000 she made Perpetual Profession in her home church at Barangay San Jose.

Ludeline studied at Ateneo de Davao University 2000-2002 and graduated with a Master’s in Religious Education. From June 2002-2004, Ludeline joined the staff at NDDC teaching religious education and, as a member of the Campus Ministry-Religious Education team, facilitating recollections for the students and staff. Her ability to collaborate, her positive outlook on life and her quiet, gentle presence were cherished by those who worked with her.

Sent to teach at Notre Dame of Maitum which included a period as acting principal in 2005, Ludeline delighted in the beauty of the area and a more relaxing pace of life. She held parents’ assemblies, making clear to them school priorities: academic excellence, ongoing development for parents, staff and students and she was pleased to work with the parents who responded well.

In 2005, with her existing kidney diseaseunder sufficient control and feeling ready to “set out again”, she volunteered to “go beyond” and was missioned to Tanzania. Upon receiving her “sending” from the Congregational Leader, she wrote on08 May 2007, “Like Mary, I joyfully sing my Magnificat. I am privileged that you gave your trust and confidence to choose and send me out to this new mission of our congregation…” 

Arriving in Tanzania in August 2007, after a time of learning the language and culture, Ludeline began teaching at Buhangija Catholic Secondary School and the following year became the school Bursar. Ludeline enjoyed all the challenges placed before her and was a wonderful support and help in her administrative role within the school. Again, she was well liked by all the staff and pupils. Her cheerful quiet manner and generous and prayerful presence were a great support to all in those first years of the new Tanzania mission. Adaptability was a necessary skill and Ludeline was happy to learn new ways. Sheshowed deep compassion towards the orphans and very poor students and was resourceful and discreet in providing what they lacked, for example, needle and cotton to sew their torn uniforms, food and clothes.  She provided assistance especially for the children of the staff members who at times could not afford to have a decent meal. She was keen to visit the elderly at Busanda village, disabled as a result of leprosy. Ludeline’s artistic gifts provided a glistening and delightful festive welcome for all occasions, both in the school and in the community. Her skill in quilling (paper flower craft) resulted in many beautiful cards which were always generously shared with all.

At the Marist family Renewal held at Manziana, Italy in 2010, Ludeline was a quiet presence in the group, never trying to dominate but convincingly being able to hold her opinions with respect. She will be remembered for her ready smile and even-temperedness in all situations. Her quiet but alert presence brought to the fore an aspect of the Marist spirit – Mary in the midst of life!

In March 2017 life changed dramatically for Ludeline when emergency dialysis necessitated a return to her homeland. She was invited to a life of suffering, of fear, of not being in control, of the many restrictions imposed by her sickness. She did her best to accept this new way of life and to use her talents as best she could for the good of all.

While realising that she was a vulnerable person, she did not want to be vaccinated until the Moderna vaccine became available. Unfortunately, Covid caught up with her on 30 August and she was admitted to Doctors’ hospital on 04 September and on 09 September to the Intensive Care Unit. Sister Sela Misinale was asked by the hospital to stay with Ludeline which meant she was not alone; they were able to pray together, to join online Masses and to connect with family, friends and her SMSM sisters.

During this time of great suffering there were some special moments: the way her face lit up when the doctors announced that Sr Sela’s Covid test was Negative. The risk to Sela must have been weighing upon her. Her condition deteriorated during the last two days and it became a time of letting go, of surrender, of prayer for the grace to accept her condition.

On 27 September, the day of her death, the local parish Priest was able to “administer” the last rites “online” and she responded with a grateful look and became more peaceful. The family were also present “online”. Just before her final breath, she smiled with “a smile that you have never seen before” and died very peacefully.

Her burial at dusk the following day (because of Covid restrictions) was accompanied by the beautiful colours of sunset. She rests next to Sister Malia Iosefina in a newly opened area of Forest Lake Cemetery. A Memorial Mass at the Parish Church in Lagao on 6 October gave family and friends an opportunity to celebrate her life.

It is Mary who inspires

our way of being at the service of evangelization.

Confident in her help,

we seek to serve like her,

humbly and discreetly,

without imposing,

in the desire that Christ be revealed,

while we ourselves remain

"hidden and as it were unknown in the world",

so as not to impede God's action

in those we serve.

SMSM Constitutions, 20

The above words of our constitutions speak the truth of the life of Ludeline. She served the Lord humbly, discreetly, gently and in the spirit of simplicity.

Ludeline, thank you for showing us the mysteries of life and death. May you rest in peace. Pray for us.

Sister Margaret Ryan smsm,                                                               Sister Theresa Waine

Regional Leader, Asie Pacific                                                            Regional Secretary