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Marie Célestine Peyrouzat

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 16/02/2010

Sr Marie Celestine
(Marie Gilberte Célestine PEYROUZAT)
5 April 1915 – 16 February 2010

Sr Marie Célestine was born into a devout Christian family on April 5th 1915 at Yssac-la-Tourette in le Puy du Dôme, France. She had one brother, who died in July 2009, and one sister who was not well enough to come for the funeral. Her family was very dear to her. Through her mother, Marie Marmoiton, she was distantly related to Brother Blaise Marmoiton who was part of the first group of missionaries to arrive at Balade, in New Caledonia on December 19th 1843. He died a martyr on July 19th 1847.

On April 14th 1944 she entered the Postulate of the Missionary Sisters and made her religious profession on September 24th 1946. Because of the war and the occupation of the house at Sainte Foy, she had all her formation at Isère, in Estrablin, where life was not easy.

She left Marseille for New Caledonia on July 22nd 1948. Apart from short returns to France, she spent 38 years there, serving as a teacher or house manager. In December 1948 she taught at Thio, then successively at Bourail, Lifou, Maré, Bélep, Canala and again at Thio.

In 1964 she returned to France for her first holiday and her Second Novitiate. She returned again in 1973 and in 1981.
In between times, she continued to serve the mission in New Caledonia at Tyé, Bondé, Mont Mou, Ouvéa, La Foa, and Paita. In 1981 she was happy to participate in a spiritual renewal for senior sisters, organized at Mont-Mou in New Caledonia. In 1984 she was assigned to our community for senior sisters at Saint Louis and requested, in 1986, to return to France in order to help her elderly mother.

At the death of her mother, her own health had deteriorated, and she asked to remain in France. She was welcomed at Sainte Foy where she lived her retirement. As long as she could walk, she would go to visit the residents in the hospice at the hospital of Sainte Foy. Her health problems continued to grow worse.

On October 26th 2007, she broke her hip and, after being hospitalized at Lyon Sud, she was transferred to the Sainte Eugénie Hospice. Then on February 18th 2008 she was sent to a medical facility run by the Sisters of the Cenacle, right next to the Basilica of Fourvière. Her health demanded care that we were no longer able to give her.

This separation from the community was particularly difficult for her. Little by little she made the adjustment, and realized that she was well cared for. We thank the Sisters of the Cenacle and the staff who cared for her and accompanied her with generosity and compassion during the past two years.

Sr Marie Celestine was careful and precise - everything had to be well organized! She did not put herself forward, and was grateful for visits and services given. She was faithful; attentive to the people she encountered and kept them in her prayers.

These last years were years of physical and spiritual suffering. On Friday, February 12th, she had grown weaker and received the sacrament of the sick. Her nephew Marc and a niece were visiting her. She was semi-conscious, but happy they were there.

On Tuesday evening, at 8:30 pm, she passed away, going to meet the Lord and Mary, to whom she had so often prayed.

Her funeral was held Friday morning in the community chapel. Her nephews and their children were present.

I conclude with a verse of a hymn from the Mass:
“The day cannot be hidden for long;
Winter must give way to Spring.
You know my name, my Lord. You wait for me.
You know my name, my Lord, Living God.”

Sr Marie-José de Préville
Provincial