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Sister Renée HERAUD

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 17/06/2022


        Born: 31 December 1928

        Professed: 9 March 1954

        Deceased: 17 June 2022


She was baptized the next day. After her primary education, as the eldest of the family, she helped  her father with farm work while taking correspondence courses  with aschool in Angers. In 1949, she obtained a certificate in Family Farm Management. 

She arrived at the postulate at 41 chemin du Signal in September 1951.  On entering the novitiate, on 8 March 1952, she received the name of Sr Marie Heiric (that of her native village). She took her vows on 9 March 1954. 

Two months after her profession, she did an internship as a summer camp instructor with S. M. Charlotte LEDUC in Francheville. In September, she began her secondary studies at La Favorite and obtained her high school certificate. Immediately after, she left for Oued El Aleug. She stayed in Algeria for a very short time but this stay marked her deeply. She was particularly anxious about the tragic situation of the war of independence.

The following year she sailed to the New Hebrides and arrived in Port Vila in December. She first taught at St Joan of Arc School until 1961 and then at Melsisi,  where she followed a teacher training course by correspondence. She obtained her diploma in 1964. Sister returned in France in 1971 for her second novitiate at Ste Foy and the thirty day retreat, followed by her family visit.  Sister then followed a modern math course in Nantes, followed by six months formation at the Catholic Faculty of Lyon.

In 1972, Sister returned to the New Hebrides and after a short replacement at St. Teresa's School in Santo,  was appointed  principal of the  primary school in Walarano, and superior of the community and regional councillor.  In 1978, after the arrival of the Dominican sisters who replaced the SMSM, she returned to France.

On her return to Oceania, she was a delegate to the Provincial Chapter in 1979. In 1980, she studied English in New Zealand, which enabled her to be a translator at SMSM  gatherings.

In 1981, she was in Port Vila, Regional of Vanuatu and Provincial Councillor of Oceania.

In 1983, she went to Peru to be a translator at the Enlarged General Council meeting. 

En 1986, sister was  back in France. After her family visit, she went to Ecully for Media Europe training. She obtained an advanced diploma in social communication that changed her life. She edited the diocesan newspaper of Vanuatu and was the official photographer of smsm meetings.  In 1987, she was in Rome for the General Chapter, for translation and media. She loved this apostolate very much.  You just had to see her joy and pride in taking beautiful photos, making postcards, or beautiful albums of trees in the four seasons, or calendars. Later, she even won a prize from the photographers of Sainte Foy!

In October 1988, she was appointed to Nabanga Hostel, Vanuatu. First, as a community superior, she was then a regional assistant while taking on community and media tasks. In 1994, she was in Rome for the General Chapter, translation and media and then returned to  Nabanga Hostel.  In 1996, she was a translator at the Enlarged General Council meeting in Auckland.

After her leave in Europe in 2000, she returned to Nabanga Hostel, and was responsible for diocesan media. She went to Rome for the General Chapter of 2001 which was held at the same time as the General Chapters of the other congregations of the Marist Family. She was delighted to be present at the papal audience in Castelgandolfo. 

In 2002, Sister returned to Vanuatu, to Nabanga Hostel, and her media work, but it was not for long.  She returned to France in March 2005 for long and complex treatments including several facial surgeries.  Then she had an active retirement in Sainte Foy. She managed the website, continued her production of postcards, participated in parish activities.  She was a member of a neighborhood group that met regularly for prayer and reflection. She also visited the sick.

And above all, she walked a lot. She even had a small pedometer to measure the distance she covered.  S. Marie Luc went with her but she fell once in the street, and Renée could no longer take her. These walks were the occasion of many photos and rich encounters: she made a lot of acquaintances in the neighborhood. That's why when you meet someone in the street,  they usually ask for news about her. She was the best known of the sisters of Ste Foy. 

But little by little, her state of health  deteriorated, and she could no longer assume community services. She became friends with her "succession of physiotherapists". In May 2022, she was hospitalized for four days with respiratory problems. When she returned, she could no longer walk. But soon, she was back on her walker to go to the dining room, the library and the chapel.

She loved to participate in the Community Mass and Services and the Rosary. She wanted the page to be marked so she could read the first prayer of intercession. She liked to go to the refectory even though she had difficulty eating and often complained.  

In her final days, she could no longer go downstairs. But she was much calmer and no longer complained at all. She died peacefully on Friday 17 June.  S. Athanasie and S. Male were with her. She took two steps in her room, and on the third, she nearly fell.  The sisters got her to bed and she breathed her last at 8:15 p.m.

She joined her Lord whom she wanted to serve and  love all her life. May Our Lady of Hope welcome her with her parents whom she invoked so often and all those who preceded her.

S. Renée has always loved her family very much.  She loved the calendars that her nephews offered her every year with photos family members for each month.  She posted photos of her grand-nephews and nieces in her room and her parents' photos were enthroned on her desk.

She remained true to her friendships. We cannot count the number of friends who wrote, phoned or visited her, despite her lamentations about her illnesses which, at the end of her life, sometimes occupied all the time of sharing.

Perhaps we will regret our lack of patience with her when she moaned too loudly, especially at the table.  But above all we will remember her love of nature and her participation in "Laudato Sii"!



Sister of Sainte-Foy community 

June 2022