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Sister Marie Jeanne Coadou, SMSM

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 25/02/2024

   Birth : 17 February 1936

   Profession : 8 September 1959

   Death : 25 February 2024

Sister Marie Jeanne,Mireille Coadou, was born in Auxerre, France,on 17 February 1936. Her parents later moved to Paris. Around the age of 18 years she asked to be baptised. It was a Marist priest who helped her prepare for her baptism.Becoming a Catholic resulted in a complete rupture with her family.

Mireille entered the SMSM novitiate in March 1957,and made her first profession at St Foy-lès-Lyon on 8September 1959.  Before leaving for the missions she studied catechetics in Lyon and then departed by boat in October 1963for New Caledoniaarriving on 3 December 1963.

Her first appointment was to Bourail where she immediately became involved in catechesis at Ecole St Joseph,then in 1966 at Notre-Dame, La Foaand in 1970 atThio. In 1972 she was sent to St Joseph,Ouvéa, and in 1976 to Pierre Lenquette, Vallée du TirinNoumea, always as a teacher of Catechetics. Stories are told of how 65 years later, students still remember their teacher with love and joy.

Marie Jeanne returned to France in 1979 to have a work experience at l’Arche,the organisation specialised in the care of those less-abled physically or intellectually.This experience was to influence the rest of Marie Jeanne’s life. Deacon Jean-Bernard Robert-Traëgerspoke of her “resolute, unfailing, constant commitment to these children of God marked by disability. You knew how to bring them together, to pray, to sing, to exist among others. Age and the weariness of years did not stop you. In fact, nothing could stop you. You had a strong, solid personality. You did not mince your words. When something was not right, you said it without too much oratory. Straightforward. Direct. Real. Open-minded, without piousness or bigotry. A faith that was always young. You walked down the road of people, stooping and bending, limping, but with a firm, confident step.”

In 1980, she returned to Rivière Salée, Nouméa. From 1982 to 1983 she was in France for special training in catechesis for those with disability, returning toNew Caledonia where her next mission was the Foyer Massabielle in Nouméa, then to Notre Dame du Repos in St Louis, with responsibility for catechesis and those differently abled. She started the Foi et Lumière movement in New Caledonia, which still exists today despite a slowdown.

She continued her activities successively at Rivière Salée, St Louis, and Mont-Mou, Accueil, where she was involved in service, not forgetting catechetics and those affected by disability. After a stay in France in 2002, she returned to Mont-Mou and then to the Regional House in 2003.

In 2006, with a Marist group, she made a pilgrimage to Poï, Futuna, which left a deep impression on her.

In 2007, she was Community Leader at Quartier Latin, Nouméa. She was then reappointed to Mont-MouAccueil in 2009. She returned to Rivière Salée in 2012, where catechesis and teaching differently abled people to read took up most of her time.Faith and Light meetings were held regularly and attracted many until the Covid crisis, which, much to her regret, meant that the meetings could not continue.

In January 2023, her health deteriorated and, after a stay in hospital, she joined the Community of Nazareth, Mont-Mou on 4 April.Even with severe difficulty in breathing and walking, Marie Jeanne continued her mission of preparing her catechism classes, ready for when she would be well enough to continue what she loved and for which she had given herself totally. In her last days a constant companion was the Encyclical of Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life.Many photos of teenagers, adults and priests are in her bible and office book. She once said these were the two books she used everyday.

In January 2024, her condition worsened and, at around 4.15am on 25 February 2024, she closed her eyes for good to rejoin the Lord whom she had served so generously all her life.

We thank you, Marie Jeanne for the faith that led you to leave everything to follow your call.

With simplicity and generosity, you responded to the calls you felt around you.


[…] we keep in mind that,

in the light of faith,

it is Jesus Himself we serve in each person,

especially in the little ones,

the suffering and the poor(Const. 19).

May Mary welcome you close to her Son and to the Sisters who preceded you.


Rest in peace, Marie Jeanne!


Srs Danielle Le Moullec, Margaret Ryan smsm