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Sister Lucille Levasseur (S. Mary Marguerita)

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 18/03/2022

        Born: 21 June 1928

        Professed: 02 February 1951

        Deceased: 18 March 2022

 Lucille Levasseur was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on June 21st, 1928, one of eleven children born to Peter Joseph Levasseur of Fisherville, MA and Eglantine B. Jarry of New Bedford.

She attended Catholic schools for both her primary and secondary education: Notre Dame parochial school, followed by Jesus and Mary Academy, both in Fall River.

On July 31st, 1948, Lucille entered the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary in Bedford, Massachusetts.  At her reception as a novice, she took the name “Sister Mary Marguerita.” She made her first vows on February 2nd, 1951, and on December 8th of that year she set out for her first mission assignment to the island of Makogai, in Fiji.  

At that time there were about 750 patients on the island who were suffering from Hansen’s disease (leprosy).  Fiji was a British colony and the government had gathered people who had this disease from many different islands of the Pacific.  The Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary were responsible for their care.  Some of the patients who were well enough lived in small villages around the island, according to their cultural or language groups.  Those who needed more care were in the central hospital on the island.

During her first 15 years on the island, Sr Lucille worked in the lab, and the dispensary or pharmacy.  Then, in 1966, she was sent to New Zealand to do her Nurses Training at Mater Hospital.

When she returned to Fiji in 1969, Makogai was being closed, as there were more advanced treatments for Hansen’s disease and patients no longer had to be so isolated.  Many patients were sent home and the few who remained were sent to the new Twomey Hospital in Suva.

At that time, the Fiji government asked Sr Lucille to remain on Makogai to care for the 11 families on the island, the original inhabitants, who had never had Hansen’s disease. With the closing of the hospital there would be no resident doctor there for them.  Sr Lucille was asked to “teach the people first aid”.  

Later Lucille wrote about this: “When I began teaching, I discovered that they knew more about ‘first aid’ than I did.  They knew native remedies and cures.  What the women begged me to teach them was family planning.  There was another Sister who knew the Billings Method (a natural method of birth control developed by an Australian couple who were both physicians) but that Sister couldn’t speak the (Fijian) language, so I learned the method and taught the women myself.” From 1970 to 1972, Sr Lucille and Sr M. Aidan, from New Zealand, helped to establish the Ra Maternity Hospital, in a remote area of the main island, Viti Levu.  This was later to be turned over to the Sisters of Our Lady of Nazareth.

From 1972 to 1979, Sr Lucille served as the Executive Secretary of the Responsible Parenthood Council, teaching the Billings Method throughout the Pacific and networking with other areas.

On a home visit to the USA in 1974, she started a program in Memphis Tennessee where married couples were trained to teach the Billings method to other couples. She remained in the USA for several years, caring for her aging parents. In the 1980’s Sr Lucille started another program for teaching the Billings Method in the Fall River Diocese in Massachusetts.

Between 1984 and 1989, Sr Lucille attended international meetings concerning the Billings Method in Lourdes, France (1984) and in Sydney, Australia (1988). She also taught this method in Bougainville (1986) and in the Solomon Islands (1988).

In 1990, Sr Lucille returned to her home Province of North America and had a time of spiritual renewal as well as attending to health needs. Over the next few years, she served at our communities in Lexington, Lawrence and Waltham, MA.  In 1999 she joined our senior Sisters who were residents at Rocky Creek Village in Tampa, Florida.  She remained there until 2011 and was very much appreciated by other residents because of her helpfulness.

After a few months in Waltham, Sr Lucille was admitted to the Bethany Health Care Centre in Framingham.  There are Sisters there from several different congregations.  At first Lucille was restless because she felt she did not have enough to do, but as time went on, she got to know the other Sisters.  Sr Mary Rufina, who has been with Sr Lucille at Bethany these past eleven years, said to us at the funeral, “Sr Lucille was loved by everyone there, because she was so kind.” She paid attention to others and helped them in any way that she could.  What a beautiful way to spend one’s last days! 

Sr. Lucille died peacefully on March 18th, 2022, at Bethany Health Care Centre in Framingham, Massachusetts.     May she rest in peace.


Gratefully in Mary,


Sister Helen Muller, smsm                                                          Sister Virginia Fornasa, smsm

Regional Leader                                                                           Communications Secretary