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Soeur Marie Claudia SANTSCHI

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 19/09/2022

        Born: 29 November 1926

        Professed: 8 September 1946

        Deceased: 19 September 2022

Sister Marie Claudia was born on November 29, 1926, in Dijon into a united Christian family. She was baptized on December 19 of the same year. She always prayed and kept a great affection for her whole family. One of the great joys of this past year was to have been able to participate in a family gathering in Saint Amour du Jura which allowed her to see some of her family again.

Marie Therese entered the postulate in March 1946, then when she entered the novitiate, she asked for the name Claudia in memory of her elder brother, Claude who died during the war.  Sister made her profession on September 8, 1946, in Gémens, Isère and made her perpetual vows in New Hebrides on September 8, 1954.

After her profession, she stayed a few years in France for further education and in 1949 she passed her Brevet Elémentaire.

In 1952, she arrived at the New Hebrides and taught in Port Vila, and under the patronage of Saint Therese,  launched the movement "Valiant Souls".

In 1956, she went to St. Teresa's School in Santo, and then to Port Vila in 1961.

In 1966, Sister made a 30-day retreat at the Cenacle of Paray le Monial in France.

In 1971 she was appointed to Montmartre to be in charge of the boarding school. 

After a family visit, she came to Sainte-Foy where she served in the house while taking typing lessons.  From 1976 to 1980, she was at the General House in Rome to work in the secretariat and in the house.

Before setting out again, she made a 30-day retreat and took classes on the Gospels at the Catholic University in Lyon.

On her return to Oceania in 1981, she was appointed to the provincial house in New Caledonia where she rendered service and taught catechism at the Church of St John the Baptist.

In 1984 she returned to the New Hebrides, which became Vanuatu at independence in 1980, and gave family education classes to older teenagers – she did this very well. She continued until 1991 - this also included a time of home leave in France.

In 1992, she returned to New Caledonia to help at the novitiate where she rendered various services. In 1998, it was again at the provincial house where she gave service while teaching catechism. 

In 2004 she returned to France, first to Point du Jour, which at the time was the community of our student sisters.  In 2007 she was appointed to the community of Sainte-Foy where she lived for the rest of her life. 

In recent years, Sister had many health problems, but she was always able to overcome them with a great will to live.

Sister Marie Claudia related to others with ease, she loved meetings and was open to the world. She never missed the TV news that fueled her prayer. Faithful every day to follow the televised Mass when we did not have Mass in the community, she also prayed the rosary in the afternoon televised from Lourdes. In community she has always been a pleasant companion, welcoming, discreet, and always presented herself well.

The day before her death she was up and about, watched TV, and was just a little upset by the breakdown of the elevator, but nothing warned us of her sudden departure. On Monday morning, 19 September at 5:30 a.m. she called for Sister Malekalita Moefana, who in turn called emergency services, but they were not able to save her and at 7:30 am she left us, as the result of a heart attack.

Her long years at the service of mission, through action and through prayer, gives us the assurance that in passing to the other side, she has received the welcome of the good and faithful servant.

The funeral Mass took place in our chapel at 41 chemin du signal, celebrated by Father Bernard Boisseau, SM.  Her family came in large numbers to accompany her to her final resting place.

The testimonies of her family members as well as the condolences that came from around the world from those who had known her all emphasized this welcoming, available, faithful woman of prayer, who is our sister. Thank you, Sr Marie Claudia, for you have lived this article of our Constitutions n° 52:


            From Mary, mother and first disciple of Jesus, we learn to listen to His word and keep it, to live united with Him in our daily work  and in times of sacrifice and difficulty, to love with sincerity and respect  all those to whom He sends us. 


Sœur Marie José de Préville, smsm