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Sister Marie Pascale GERMAIN

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 14/06/2018

SMSM SistersSister Marie Pascale

(Madeleine Jeanne GERMAIN)

16 January 1932 – 14 June 2018


Sister Marie Pascale, Madeleine Jeanne GERMAIN was born in Lyon on 16 January 1932, into a Christian family, of whom three daughters chose to become religious. She always maintained strong links with her family who supported her in her vocation.

Having gained a qualification in general classical literature, she taught French and Latin at Murinais and Tournon until 1954.

She then entered the postulancy of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary at Ste Foy-lès-Lyon on 9 March 1955 and made profession on 8 September 1957. After her profession she studied for two years and obtained a further qualification in Classics and Psychology.

Sister Marie Pascale was missioned to New Caledonia, to Bourail where she taught French and English, 1960-1966. In 1966 she took charge of St Joseph’s School in Bourail, a post she held until 1972. She then made her Second Novitiate in France and stayed on to gain a higher qualification in Education.

On her return to New Caledonia, Marie Pascale taught French and Education at the Catholic Teachers’ Training College until the end of 1978. It was at that time, as part of her service in education, that became passionate about Kanak culture. She researched myths and legends which were later published for internal use by the Catholic Education Department of the Diocese.

In 1979, to prepare for service as an interpreter for the 1980 General Chapter, she spent some time in Wellington, New Zealand to practice English, then went to an Interpreters’ Course in Lille, France.

From June 1981 to the end of 1984, she worked as a librarian at the Catholic Teachers’ Training College, then at Marie Reine Thabor High School in Mont-Dore, New Caledonia. 

In order to help in religious formation, the Congregation asked her to do Biblical Studies, so she returned to Lyon to attend courses at the Catholic University for two years; this included a time in Israel. A person with a gift for languages, she learned Hebrew and mastered Greek. She was passionate about the First Testament and continued to study Hebrew and the Rabbinical writings on the internet.

On her return to Noumea, she gave courses in bible study at the Catechetical School and at the SMSM and Filles de Marie novitiates.

After a holiday in France, she was asked to be in charge of the Catholic Book Shop in Noumea, which she did from1995 – 1999.

After her next home leave, she asked to remain in France for health reasons. The General Council asked her to help in the transcription of the letters of our Pioneers, which she did with others throughout the congregation. She was a translator at the EGC of 2000, and again at the 2001 General Chapter in Rome.

Sr Marie Pascale continued to have health problems, but always kept up-to-date with what was happening in the world. During these past few years when she could no longer leave the house, she relied on the internet to learn more; she knew how to find websites where she could listen to conferences and keep in contact with her many friends.

Sr M. Pascale was a perfectionist.  In this way she developed her many gifts. The beautiful works of art that adorn the walls at Sainte-Foy-les-Lyon are a witness to her talent. She was also very interested in nature, in music and ecology.

These past few months have been difficult for her, as she gradually let go of her independence after several falls. Her cardio-respiratory problems became more complex, and she was admitted to Lyon Sud Hospital on 25 May. She died on Thursday 14 June, with her brother Jean Marie and Sr Marie Françoise at her bedside.

She has now returned to the house of the Father, leaving us with memories of a person who was discreet and efficient, who loved to see a task well done, faithful to her friends, and with a great love of the Word of God which she always read in Hebrew.

Her funeral was held in the chapel at Sainte-Foy-les-Lyon on 18 June, with her family well represented, especially by her two brothers.

Sœur Marie José de Préville, smsm

21 June 2017