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Sister Gloria Fournier (formerly known as Sr. Mary Corinne)

List of deceased Sisters

Date of death 09/11/2018

SMSM Sisters 

Sister Gloria FOURNIER, smsm

(Formerly known as Sr. Mary Corinne, smsm)

January 25th, 1928 – November 9th, 2018

 

 

 

Gloria Fournier was born in Brunswick, Maine, on January 25th, 1928, one of eight children – four boys and four girls – born to Albert and Yvonne (Dehetre) Fournier.  On February 11th, 1947, Gloria entered the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary in Bedford, Massachusetts. She took the religious name of Sister Mary Corinne, and made her first vows on August 15th, 1949.

After profession Sr. Mary Corinne helped with community services in Bedford and in Framingham, and then was missioned to the Solomon Islands in May 1951.  Enroute to the Solomons, Sister stopped in Sydney, Australia, where she remained for 3 months, working in the kitchen during the General Chapter of the congregation that took place in Killara that year.  Afterwards, she continued her journey to the Solomon Islands and served for three years in the mission at Visale.

In 1954 Sr. Corinne travelled to Australia for medical leave. She stayed on and attended the Teachers Training College at Mount Street in North Sydney. On August 15th, 1955, she made her perpetual vows at Wahroonga. In 1956 she was assigned to the community in Deer Park, Victoria, Australia. A year later she was back in Wahroonga, serving in the kitchen, the Altar Bread department, and sewing altar linens that were sold to bring in an income for the community.

Sister Teresia Tinanisolo, from Fiji and presently serving in Jamaica, wrote this about her memories of Sr. Gloria at that time:

Immediately after my first Profession in Heretaunga, N.Z. on May 31st 1959 I was assigned to Wahroonga, Sydney together with 3 others of my Profession band. I was given the task of being one of the cooks under the supervision of Sr. M. Corinne. We had a community of 15 sisters to cook for – a hot breakfast and dinner at noon. In the afternoon I joined four sisters at the Altar Bread Department where again Sr. M. Corinne was in charge.

As a newly professed sister I looked up to this beautiful sister who was so gentle and kind. I never heard her raise her voice when things didn't go right in the kitchen. I don't remember being scolded by her, but lots of words of encouragement instead. She was young and beautiful with rosy cheeks and for the group of us who just came out of the Novitiate Sr. M. Corinne was a model of perfection, in her spiritual life and her simple life style. She was a "mentor" to those of us Island sisters who still struggled to speak English.

In 1963 Sr. Gloria returned to the USA and was assigned to the community in Framingham where she served as the Catechetical Coordinator for St Anselm’s parish in Sudbury, was the local bursar, and helped in the ceramics workshop.

Four years later, in 1967, Sister was missioned to Jamaica and served at Hansen Home, a hospital for victims of leprosy, where she did office work.  In 1969, Sr. Gloria returned to the USA for her “Second Novitiate” at Rhinebeck, New York.

In 1970 Sr. Gloria undertook a change in career as she began nursing studies: first gaining certification as a Licensed Practical Nurse at Youville Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and later studying at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine for four years to become a registered nurse (RN).

In October 1974, she was assigned to a new mission in Memphis Tennessee, where she worked in a Public Health Clinic.  She was also named as a Regional Councilor and local superior of the community.

In November, 1975, Sr. Gloria was back in Waltham awaiting her visa to return to what was then the Australian Province. In March 1976 she began studies in midwifery in Waratah, NSW, and was ready, in July 1977, to travel to her new mission at the Catechist Training Centre in Erave, Papua New Guinea, where she served as a nurse.

In June, 1979, Sr. Gloria once again travelled to Australia for medical leave.  She worked there in the Altar Bread Department for the next four years.  After a home leave in the USA in 1983, Sister returned to Australia and was assigned to the Provincial headquarters in North Sydney, where she served as Provincial Secretary for seven years.

In January, 1990, Sr. Gloria was transferred back to the North American Province.  For the next 15 years – whether she lived at the Annex, Belmont, or Grove Street communities - she gave continual service in the Provincial Archives. Her work was meticulous, and her manner was always gracious and welcoming to all. She finally had to give up this work because her eyesight was failing.

In 2005 she moved to the Marillac Residence in Wellesley Hills.  For many years, despite her limited vision, she managed to find her way around that large building and would show visitors around – especially to visit any of our sisters who were bedridden.  After several falls in 2015, she was admitted to the Elizabeth Seton Residence next door, where she could receive more care.  There she died on November 9th, 2018.

Sister Gloria will long be remembered by all who knew her for her gentle kindness and loving devotion, expressed in many different kinds of work – often work that was “hidden” but essential to continuing the mission of the congregation.  Her generous and uncomplaining perseverance through many tedious or difficult situations can be an inspiration to all of us.

“Well done, good and faithful servant … enter into the joy of your Lord!” (Mt. 25:21)

 

Gratefully in Mary,

  Sister Mary Jane Kenney, smsm                                                                                         Sister Virginia Fornasa, smsm

   Regional Leader                                                                                                                     Communications Secretary