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Marie Gabriella MARELLI

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 12/01/2009

Sister Marie Gabriella (Diletta Marelli) was born in Cellatica, Brescia, Italy, on November 8, 1915 of Luigi Marelli and Carolina Ceretti. She left her home and country in 1938 to go to France responding to a call to Religious Life in the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary. She entered the postulate at Ste Foy-les-Lyon, France on Oct. 22, 1938 made her Novitiate on May 18, 1939, and Professed on May 22, 1941. She was then ready to be sent and sent again available for the service of evangelization.

From 1947-1949, she was assigned to help at the Novitiate in Bedizzole, which had just opened. At the end of this service, she was sent on mission to Port Vila in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) where she remained for 8 years. In 1960, she was recalled to Lyon, France for Home service for 4 years and then once again she returned to the New Hebrides.

We know that the beginnings in those distant islands were difficult in many ways, but she accepted all in faith. She was very involved with the youth and in 1975, she opened a hostel at Nabanga for the young girls who were far away from their home and needed accommodation. Due to health problems Sr M. Gabriela returned permanently to Italy. in 1980.

Now that our Sister has entered her Father’s House, her departure gives us the opportunity to recall and remember the qualities of her life as a “consecrated woman for the Kingdom”. She had a passion for mission, with a love for everyone, and a capacity to reach out in friendship and affection through very simple and profound ways. When she spoke about her missionary life, her face beamed with joy and we knew that she had never forgotten “her mission” in her beloved New Hebrides. She was well known in many mission stations: Anabru, Baie Barrier, Ste. Foy, Montmartre, Lolopuepue, Santo, Port Vila …

While in Italy, she ministered in many Parishes in Brescia. She never forgot that “she was a missionary for live wherever she was.” She was known as “Gabri” by all her friends and she was always ready to each out to others. Every week, a member of the group that she was part of came to pick her up for their meetings. She considered herself young saying “I am going to be with my elders” To the end, she had an inspiring joyful spirit.

She kept a tremendous love for the “family” be her own birth family, her Religious family or the members of the two Parishes nearby. She kept in touch with families she knew in her mission of New Hebrides, and after her death, they remembered her and sent their condolences and prayers.

We thank you Sister Marie Gabriela for your joy and exemplary life of service, humble and discreet. The Lord chose to call her towards the end of our Christmas Season, in spite of the fact that we thought she was regaining strength. We console ourselves with the words that Jesus must have certainly welcomed her with: “Come, my beloved and share my happiness” (Mt. 25, 21).

In the name of Sr. M. Sebastiana (who is in Africa,) and all the SMSM in Brescia wish to express our condolences to Sr. M. Gabriella’s family and thank everyone including our SMSM communities who sent words of sympathy and prayers.