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S. Virginie Marie Clotilde Ranivosoa

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 15/01/2018

                                          SISTER VIRGINIE MARIE CLOTILDE RANIVOSOA   

                           15 May 1962   - 15 January 2018    SMSM Sisters




               Born at Amparavato, Antananarivo – MADAGASCAR

               Daughter of RATAVILAHY Jean François Régis and RAZANADRASOA Jeanne Marie

               Entrance into postulancy 16 February 1984, Noumea, New Caledonia.

               Entrance into novitiate 7 February 1985, Mont-Mou, New Caledonia.

               First profession 11 February 1987, Mont-Mou, New Caledonia.

               Perpetual Profession 27 January 1996 in the Cathedral, Noumea, New Caledonia.

               Died15 January 2018, Guediawaye, Senegal.


Sister Virginie was the fourth of 11 children, born into a Christian family which gave three daughters to the Church as religious.  Two of her sisters are Carmelites, one of whom died in France just three weeks before Virginie.

Sr Virginie found her vocation through the Marist Brothers in Madagascar.   She was the first Malgache to enter the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary.  In 1983, she went to France for her first stage of formation as an SMSM.   She arrived with two other young women from Madagascar, but after a time of discernment, one of the three asked to return home.

It was then decided to send Virginie and her companion to New Caledonia.  After a few months, Virginie had to accept the return of her second companion to her country.  In spite of that, Virginia continued her formation with faith and the conviction that God was calling her to be a missionary. She settled into these first steps of formation in Oceania.

After her profession, Sr Virginie served for a year in the provincial house in New Caledonia as secretary.  In 1988, she did a professional technical course at Jean XXIII Lycee, Paita, New Caledonia.  After her studies, Sr Virginia was missioned to Imaki, Vanuatu in 1990 as a teacher, where she worked joyfully with the people whom she served generously.  Virginie always had a smile that radiated her joyful spirit to others.  Those around her found her dynamic, joyful, and willing to serve. In 1995 she set out with determination to complete her secondary school studies.

After her perpetual vows in 1996, Virginie was ready to set out for a new mission – Rwanda.  She remained there for 20 years giving a variety of services:  catechism, secretariat, and as Director of Notre Dame de la Visitation, a centre for those with AIDS, and their children.

From 2000 to 2001, she went to France, in the community at Point du Jour, and studied at the Salesian technical school.

In November 2007, she went to Italy, to the provincial house community for a time for formation, and to help in the kitchen.  In 2008-2009, she followed a professional formation as a social health assistant; in September 2010, she returned to Rwanda and once again took up responsibility for the Notre Dame de la Visitation Centre.

Readily available, Sr Virginie accepted to leave Rwanda for a new mission in Senegal:  “ready to set out and to set out again” as we often read in our Constitutions. Virginia kept her friends in her heart, and never let an opportunity pass to send a sign of friendship – a little word may not seem like much, but it is a human comfort, sign of a lasting friendship.

Sr Virginie arrived in Senegal in August 2015 to help with teaching in the Women’s Centre at Guédiawaye.  She tried to adapt to the climate and environment, a quickly made new friends.  We know she loved to walk, she also took the bus, and was ready to take people as they are.  She lived by the Malgache proverb: “the heart doesn’t limp, so I will pop in and say hello when I am in the neighbourhood.” 

In 2016, Virginie went for her home visit to Madagascar, and to join her family to celebrate the golden wedding jubilee of her parents. It was a joyful family reunion.  On her return to Senegal at the beginning of 2017, a very happy Virginie brought back lots of little souvenirs from home for her sisters and friends « this is a little specialty from home, from Madagascar » she would say as she offered her gift with a beautiful smile.

Sr Virginie was recently named Director of the Women’s Centre at Guediawaye.  We saw her give generously of herself, ever attentive to the needs of these young women.  At our recent assembly, on 14 January 2018, Virginie was the secretary.

After supper, Sr Virginie went up to her room.  She was not ill, but the Lord was pleased to call his servant to himself during her sleep.  Her sudden death was a shock to us all.   Ever discreet, she also left us discreetly, in the deep silence of the night, into the arms of her Master, to see him face to face, and to meet our Mother Mary whose name she carried: Marist.

Yes, Sr Virginie lived her vocation fully: Marist, missionary, and religious.

Virginie, rest in peace and pray for your sisters, pray for your family, for your dear parents who mourn you from afar, but in the communion of saints celebrate the Eucharist for your eternal rest.  Those of us left behind give thanks to God for having given you to us as a Missionary Sister of the Society of Mary. Thank you for the witness of your life.  The thoughts of God are not ours; we can make great plans, but God knows what he wills for us.

With conviction, we maintain that your mission will continue, and so we ask you to pray for vocations, pray for all of us who confide you into God’s love and mercy:  A-Dieu.  Pray for the countries where you served in mission, and for your home country.

Sister Virginie, rest in peace.


Sister Claudette Razafindravelanoro, on behalf of smsm