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S. Marie Michelle Bernut

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 14/01/2017

SMSM SistersSr Marie Michelle Bernut

Born 25 January 1942

First Profession : 8 September 1968

Entered into eternal life on the 14 January 2017


Sister Michèle was the daughter of Louis Bernut and Rosa Kabar. She had two sisters and a brother. Her brother died a few years ago.

Sister Michèle left her homeland in New Caledonia to go and make her novitiate with the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary at Ste Foy les Lyon, in France. There she made profession as a SMSM on the 8 September 1968.

In November of that same year she boarded the boat Le Calédonien in Marseille, along with two other Sisters who were returning to New Caledonia. Then in January 1969 she went on to Wallis where she was assigned to work as a nurse at Sia.  She gave herself wholeheartedly to her work in the hospital and the villages, while also learning the local language.  

In 1972, sheset out again for France, in orderto do nursing studiesbefore returning to the hospital in Sia. In 1976 she came back to New Caledonia to make her perpetual profession, after which she was sent to Port Vila to nurse at the hospital and later become a tutor at the School of Nursing there. Late in 1980 she returned to New Caledonia tospendsome time caring for her sick father. In December of that year she was named Postulant Mistress for the postulants at the Vallée des Colons  in Nouméa.

In June 1981 Sr Michele set out for 6 months in Rome, where she did her Second Novitiate (LTSR), after which she returned to her work with the postulants. Those whom she formed hold fond memories of her and the great attention she paid to this work of formation. Later she was again missioned to the hospital in Sia, Wallis, where she was also appointed as a Regional Councillor. Michele also introduced the Charismatic Renewal movement to Wallis. She followed a course of spiritual direction before being missioned, this time to Futuna, for 2 years.  Later, after a time of home leave, she was assigned to Pouebo, then to  Houailou, where she continued to work for the health service. Michele was always appreciated by her patients and knew how to show them kindness and patience

Sr. Michele retired from the Health Department in 2002, but was never without work. She was Regional Superior in New Caledonia several times and also went to Rome to help coordinate the Second Novitiate. In New Caledonia  she visited the prison, a ministry that she liked very much, and  for which the prisoners were very grateful to her.

In 2009 she  became the community leader at ‘Nazareth, a house where elderly or frail sisters lived.  Her final mission was at Koumac, where she actively participated in teaching catechism to the children and being involved in other parish activities.  Everyone remembers her as a sister who was available, always ready to offer service to others.

Wherever she has been, Sr. Michèle is fondly remembered as a woman of deep faith, a person who loved to spend time in prayer and who knew how to encourage her sisters to persevere in prayer.  She had a great love for the congregation and was always willing to assume the roles/ tasks asked of her.

Thank you, Michèle, for the witness of your faith. May you now be at rest in the peace and joy of God.

"If you sow in the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit " (Gal. 6 :8)