Spanish | French
Home > Deceased Sisters > Sister Phyllis Doucet - Date of Death 11/01/2023



Latest updates






More pictures

Sister Phyllis Doucet

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 11/01/2023

Sr. Phyllis Doucet smsm
October 30 th, 1936 – January 11 th, 2023

Phyllis Doucet was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on October 30th , 1936, the youngest of five children born to Placide Doucet and Elizabeth Chaisson Doucet, both of whom had migrated to the USA from Nova Scotia in Canada. She attended the Catholic schools at her local parish, Notre Dame de Pitie, for both her primary and secondary school education.

Phyllis entered the postulancy of the Marist Missionary Sisters in Lowell, MA, on July 31st , 1954. Her eldest sister, Ethel, had entered the same congregation several years earlier, taking the name Sr. Mary Clementia. As a novice, Phyllis took the name, Sr. Mary Placida. She made her first vows on February 2nd , 1957, in Bedford, MA.

From 1958 to 1962, Sr M. Placida studied at Framingham State University, obtaining a B.Sc. in Education, with Diplomas for teaching in both Primary and Secondary schools. She also did a course at the Catholic University of America for the organization of CCD 1 Classes in 1960.

Sr Mary Placida departed from Framingham, MA for her first overseas mission assignment on September 1st , 1962. Sailing across the Pacific on the “Orsova”, she arrived at Tanagai, Guadalcanal, BSIP on October 20th , 1962. The Solomon Islands was to be her main area of mission for most of the next 20 years.

Sr Mary Placida made her perpetual vows on February 2nd , 1963, in Tanagai. She was soon appointed as a Regional Councillor for the Sisters in the Solomons, and, in 1966, became the Head Teacher and Local Superior at Buma.

From 1967 to 1971 Sister was teaching at St John’s School in Honiara and was on the Government Team for In-Service Training Courses for the Teachers. In 1971-72 she was called to Australia to teach at Deer Park, and in 1973 she had her Long-Term Spiritual Renewal and made a home visit to the USA.

Returning to the Solomons in 1974, Sr Phyllis was stationed at Buma, Malaita, and became the Liaison Officer for Education between the Catholic Mission and the Government. She travelled on behalf of the Government to the village schools and served on a pastoral team throughout Malaita.

Early in 1977 she also served in the training program of the DMI - Daughters of Mary Immaculate. In mid-1977, Sr Phyllis was called back to North America for a time of renewal. She attended the Summer Program of the Cody International Institute, then participated in the Divine Word (SVD) Institute in London, Ontario, Canada, from September to June 1978.

In January 1979, Sr Phyllis returned to the Solomons, and was a Team member at the Pastoral Centre at Wainoni Bay, Makira. About three years later, however, it was discovered that her elder sister, Sr Mary Clementia, who was also serving in the Australian Province, was suffering from an advanced stage of cancer. Sr Phyllis accompanied her sister back to the USA in March 1982, and then was transferred to the North American Province.

Once again, her skills for leadership and her compassion for others were recognized time and again as she was called upon to fill certain roles within the North American Province, whether as a local superior, Provincial chapter member, or Provincial Councillor. In 1992 she went to Rome to do the work of Secretary at the Generalate.

Back in the USA in 1994, Sr Phyllis responded to a need in Naples, Florida, for an administrator for a Shelter for single, pregnant women, that was run by Catholic Charities. In 1996, she participated in a Province Assembly in Lexington, MA, and later returned to Naples, Florida, this time to minister to elderly people in the area (also sponsored by Catholic Charities.)

In April 2006, Sr Phyllis returned to Waltham, as she was named a member of the new Provincial Council of Sr Mary Jane Kenney. From 2007 on, she had some health setbacks, but visited several communities that year, including Rocky Creek, Florida, and Memphis Tennessee. In April 2008 she had heart surgery – a quadruple by-pass. After some months of rehabilitation, she was back to work at the Office. In April 2010 she completed her term as a Provincial Councillor but continued to help with the office work. In 2013 she began assisting Sr Therese Deveau in the Archives. In 2017, she was appointed Community Leader for the Grove St. community.

More health setbacks happened in 2021, when she fell in her bedroom and fractured her femur. She was moved to the Elizabeth Seton Residence for Rehabilitation. On December 1st, she moved to Maristhill Nursing Home. A little more than 13 months later, she died there peacefully on January 11th , 2023.

As Sr Claire Rheaume mentioned during her Words of Remembrance at the funeral, held at our parish church, Sacred Heart in Waltham on January 17 th , Sr Phyllis was a person who treasured relationships – with her SMSM Sisters and Marist Fathers, with her large family (many of whom were present at the funeral), and with people with whom she corresponded, and for whom she often prayed.

Sr Phyllis will be missed by many, but we are confident – even by the way she accepted peacefully her last illness – that she has been welcomed with joy into the Kingdom of Heaven, by Jesus, Mary and all the Saints, including many that she knew in this life. May she rest in peace.

Gratefully in Mary,
Sister Helen Muller, smsm - Regional Leader

Sister Virginia Fornasa, smsm - Communication Secretary