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S. Marie Cécile Couvert

List of Deceased Sisters

Date of Death 13/12/2018

SMSM Sisters

Sister Marie Cécile Couvert


Born: 17th May 1930

Professed: 8th September 1951

Died: 13th December 2018


Sister Marie Cecile (Marie Therese) Couvert  was born in Lyon, France on 17th May 1930 in a deeply Christian family of five children, two boys and three girls, two of whom became religious, one a Sister of St. Joseph of Lyon and the second S. Marie Cecile.

After her postulancy and novitiate at Ste Foy-les-Lyon, Sr. Marie Cecile made her profession on 8th September 1951 in the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary.

She left first for the mission in Algeria at Hydra where she taught in a primary school for seven years.  Gifted in music, she participated in the parish life as the organist. It was in Hydra that she made her perpetual profession on 8th September 1957.

In 1960, she was sent to Oceania and was welcomed into the community at La Foa where she taught at Notre Dame School until joining the mission in Kone in 1962.  After first teaching primary students, in 1965 she moved to Marie Reine secondary school where she was able to use her many gifts.  Her former students remember her as meticulous and demanding in everything she undertook.

In 1973, as regional facilitator, she participated in the EGC in Australia and in 1974, she was appointed Regional of New Caledonia. As such, she was present again at the EGC held at Mont-Mou in 1976 and at the Provincial Chapter in 1979.  Appointed as the superior for the postulants, she gave herself deeply into transmitting the Marist spirit to the young women confided to her care.

With a deep desire to live mission elsewhere and to respond to a request from the General Council, she made herself available to the congregation to go to Rwanda where there was a request to make the communities more international. So, in 1980 she arrived in Butare to join the formation community.  Despite her difficulties of adaptation and her discovery of another culture, of another language, Sr Marie Cecile remained there for five years.  How she treasured this memory is evidenced by all the African objects she received and kept carefully in her room until the end.

In 1986, she returned to New Caledonia and was sent to Thio to teach French, catechetics and music at Francis Rougie College.

In 1996, she was again assigned to the formation of the postulants at Mont-Mou.  In her retirement, she could have taken rest but not Sister.  While living in the community of Quartier Latin in Noumea, she accepted to work in the library of the Archbishop’s House and in 1997 she did a course in librarianship.  With patience and perseverance that are essential to do a good job, she put in order the books and the journals, catalogued all that was in the library and retrieved books that had long since been out of the library.  Marie Cecile never gave up!

At the same time, still busy as a bee, Sister Marie Cecile began a work that she continued until May of this year 2018.  She entered on the computer the handwritten letters of our pioneers and our older sisters. It was a long-term work of patience needed to respect the style, the spelling, the punctuation. She often needed a magnifying glass to decipher the writing.  Since she felt that in this work she was at the service of the Congregation, she put all her heart into it.

In 2012, after breaking the neck of her femur in an accident, she courageously did her rehabilitation and returned to her work. However, other health problems arose that she had to accept.  In 2015 she went to Australia for a heart operation and on her return she joined the Nazareth community at Mont-Mou.  Her strength diminished but stayed faithful to her work on the computer.

In the final months of her life, she was admitted to the hospital at Nouville.  While in the beginning, she suffered in body, mind and spirit, in her final days she was at peace.  Sr M. Donatienne was with her when she died at 2am on 13th December 2018. 

Sr Marie Cecile has always given witness to her faith, her humility, and her fidelity in the small things. Very much appreciated in community for her for her joyful spirit, her smile and her gentleness, she leaves a memory of one who lived deeply the Marist spirit. She has lived the Pascal mystery with Jesus and now enters into the mansion He has prepared for her.

  For the glory of God,

  the honour of Mary,

  and to announce the Good News of salvation,

  we vow to follow Jesus Christ,

  chaste, obedient, and poor,

  in order to enter more fully into the mystery

  of his passion, death and resurrection,

  according to the grace of our baptism

  and in fidelity to the Gospel.     SMSM Constitutions No. 4