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Sœur Marie Blaise BODINIER (Hélène Bodinier)

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 09/12/2021

         Born: 21 February 1913

        Professed: 8 September 1933

        Deceased: 9 December 2021


Rachel and Hélène Bodinier were born on 21 February, 1913 in Mésanger, Loire Atlantique. The midwife told their parents  that they probably wouldn't live. Yet both  became centenarians!  The twins were the  sixth and seventh of the eight children of  Antoine Bodinier and Anne Marie Lépine.

They were four years old when their mother, Marie Lépine, died.  Their father, Antoine Bodinier, remarried and the children were raised by their step-mother. Our sister remained deeply attached to her family.

Hélène arrived at the postulate in Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon on 21 September 1930. On entering the novitiate on 7 September 1931, she received the name of Sister Marie Blaise. The young novice rang the bell on 30 December that same year to mark the Approbation of the Congregation. Sister Marie Blaise made her profession on 8 September 1933.

On 11 October, Sister set out for Bedford, USA, where she learned English while helping in the novitiate. She made her perpetual profession on 8 September 1936.

On 27 February 1937, she was missioned by the Superior General to the Northern Solomon Islands. She stopped over in Sydney, where she followed a formation in maternity practice, and arrived in Kieta, on the east coast of Bougainville, on 4 May. After a few weeks, she was appointed to Tarlena, Tuiboiru.   

In January 1938, she was appointed with Sr. M. Crescentia to a bush station in Sovélé.  At Easter 1939, the community was evacuated to Piano.  The following year, she was appointed local superior of that community. 

During the Second World War II, the Japanese landed in Bougainville in 1941. The sisters had to flee: they experienced the exhausting marches, the interrogations, the searches. Eventually, the American submarine Nautilus took them to the South Solomon Islands from where they were evacuated on the Hunter Ligget.  They arrived in Auckland on 12 January 1943, and stayed with the sisters of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ).  The next day, they took the train to Wellington with Sr M.Carmella.  By April, Sister Marie Blaise was in Heretaunga, helping at the novitiate.   

After the armistice of 15 August 1945, the missionaries made plans to return to Bougainville. In February of the following year, S.M. Blaise went to Killara, Australia, to wait for a boat to the Solomon Islands. 

On 14 June 1946, after three weeks at Vunapope, she went to Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea. On 8 August, they finally left for Torokina, Bougainville, where she worked at the hospital, cooking and sewing.   

In October 1947 she was one again in Koromira, where she taught and was local superior of the community.  In 1952 she returned to Piano, where she nursed the sick and served as sacristan. 

In 1957, after further medical training in Sydney, she returned to France for her first family visit and the second novitiate, with a thirty-day retreat. In September 1958, she resumed her missionary activities in Piano, until the closing of the community in 1965.   She was then appointed to Piva where she worked at the leprosarium.  In 1969, the dispensary and the kitchen awaited her at the Regional House in Tubiana. 

 After her second family visit in 1972, Sister was transferred to the Province of Eurafrica on 12 January 1973. She was the cook, first in Sainte-Foy, then at the Generalate in Rome, then in Saint-Victoret, and finally at the Provincial House in Courbevoie.

In May 1996, she attended a renewal for senior sisters in Rome.

Then began her long retirement in this house, at Sainte-Foy.  S.M. Blaise was the sacristan and she spent a lot of time in meditation. She never ceased to follow the Bougainville mission in her thoughts, holding them in her prayer.  At the cemetery after her burial, we read a poem to Mary that she had composed in memory of those years of mission in Oceania.

Sister Marie Blaise was very gifted in many ways: sewing, cooking, sacristy, etc. She was very attentive to the sick whom she visited regularly. 

To the question: "Where do you think we should focus our efforts for mission during the next millennium?" she replied: "Difficult to say, the harvest is abundant, the workers few. The Spirit will speak.”

The last few years must have been difficult for her: no longer seeing and no longer hearing, gradually becoming entirely dependent. But the care and constant attention of the sisters nursing her certainly helped her a lot.

In recent days, she declined considerably. On Thursday 9 December at 10:10 p.m., she fell asleep peacefully, surrounded by Sister Male and two other sisters.

We say thank you to you, Sister Marie Blaise for your life, totally given to God.  You were a beautiful person and missionary.  Back in France, you were always attentive to others. Here, in Sainte-Foy, you welcomed young sisters passing through; they were happy to hear your story. We give thanks to the Lord for your long fidelity: 88 years and three months of smsm life! May Mary whom you loved so much welcome you into the company of Rachel, Marie Françoise Perroton, the pioneers and all the SMSM who have gone before you.


This article of our Constitutions sums up the life of Sr M. Blaise:

No 133:  In the course of each day, woven through with encounters, with the Lord and His mother, the Spirit helps us constantly to discern and choose what is best for the glory of God and the well-being of our brothers and sisters. Little by little, there is an integration of prayer and activity, and the whole of our life becomes a prayer. 


A Dieu, Marie Blaise.


Sr. M Claude et M José de Preville, smsm

January 2022