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Eleven local Marianites to celebrate jubilees

 Twenty-four Marianites of Holy Cross, including 11 locals, will celebrate jubilees of religious profession in Opelousas, New Orleans, Africa, New Jersey and France, the congregation birthplace.   
Celebration dates begin May 2 and will continue through Sept. 27.

In 2016, the Marianites, founded by Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau in Le Mans, France, will commemorate the 175th year of the founding of their religious community.

Celebrating 85 years

Sister Madeleine Sophie Hebert, a native of Morgan City, entered the community in 1930. As most young women entering a religious community at this time, she began teaching in elementary school in New Orleans, Morgan City and Franklin.

In 1955, Sister Madeleine began her studies for hospital administration. She served as the first administrator of the newly built Opelousas General Hospital in St. Landry Parish, from 1957-64.

In 1964, she was elected as congregational leader and served for 14 years. Untiring in her zeal for ministry and administrative leadership, Sister Madeleine was elected to the provincial team, served as president of Our Lady of Holy Cross College, coordinator of the newly formed diaconate training program for the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport, bookstore manager, supervisor of maintenance, community historian and archivist in the U.S. and in France.

At the age of 102, she resides at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Facility in Opelousas.

Celebrating 80 years

Sister André Mouton, a native of New Orleans, entered the community in 1935 at the age of 16. She taught at elementary, middle and high schools in New Orleans, Lake Charles, Franklin, Opelousas, Morgan City, Eunice, Ville Platte, Houma and Plaquemine.

After being a classroom teacher for more than 30 years, she received her certification in library science and was librarian in Morgan City. Subsequently, she served on the staff of Our Lady of Cross College as assistant professor and librarian from 1982 until retirement in 2000.

She also did prison ministry at Angola State Penitentiary.

Celebrating 75 years

Sister Rita Marie Chauvin, a native of Houma, entered the community in 1940 at the age of 16, and she began her education ministry in 1943.

She served as a teacher in Opelousas, New Orleans, Plaquemine, Morgan City and Ville Platte. She served as principal at St. Cecilia, Sts. Peter and Paul and was principal of Our Lady of Divine Providence in Metairie, where she served from 1980-86.

She resides at Our Lady of Wisdom, where she is an active member of the “Wisdom Choir.”

Celebrating 70 years

Sister Mary Consuelo Champagne, a native of Algiers, entered the congregation in 1946 after having experienced the “business world” for almost a year, while awaiting permission from her parents to enter the convent.

She enjoyed a 26-year teaching career at both the elementary and high school levels in New Orleans, Plaquemine, Morgan City, Gretna and a public school in Chalmette.

In 1973, she became assistant provincial. She became the executive director of the Office of Women Religious in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In 1983, she moved to the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport to become the director of Maryhill Renewal Center. In 1988, she was invited by the Jesuits to join the retreat team at the Jesuit Spirituality Center in Grand Coteau, where she resided and ministered for 23 years.

She resides at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Facility in Opelousas.

Sister Audrey Fontenot attended St. Mary’s Dominican High School and entered the Marianites in 1945. After teaching in elementary schools for almost 20 years, she earned a master’s degree in special education from Cardinal Stritch College. She organized and structured several special education classes in a number of schools and later served as assistant director of special education for the Diocese of Lafayette. She resides at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Facility in Opelousas.

Celebrating 60 years

Sister Mary Kay Viellion, also known as Sister Dominic Savio, was born in New Orleans. She entered the Marianites after graduating from Holy Angels Academy.

She taught elementary, high school and college classes in Opelousas, New Orleans, Houma, Morgan City, Lake Charles and Plaquemine.

In 1973, she earned her doctorate at the University of Nebraska and joined the faculty of Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Sister Mary Kay has also served in the Diocese of Alexandria and on the Marianite Provincial administrations in both North America and France.

For the past several years she has been a resident of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas.

Sister Jane Kidder, a native of Arnaudville, taught for many years as a teacher in elementary education. She served as coordinator of St. Philip the Apostle Preschool and as coordinator of hospice volunteers at Hotel Dieu Hospital in New Orleans.

She served in Tampa in a facility with mothers and their children in a foster care setting. She also organized an after-school tutorial center for at-risk students in Tunica, Mississippi. She is a teacher assistant of pre-K students at St. Rita School in New Orleans.

Sister JoAnn DeLoach attended St. Charles Academy in Lake Charles and entered the Marianites in 1955. She made perpetual profession in 1960, and was assigned to teach in elementary schools in Algiers, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and Plaquemine. She also taught math in high schools in Morgan City, Opelousas, Gretna and at the Academy of Holy Angels in New Orleans.

She served eight years of parish ministry in Franklin and at St. Mary of the Angels in New Orleans. Since 2003 she has been pastoral associate at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Parish in Alexandria, where she ministers primarily with the elders of the parish.

Celebrating 50 years

Sister Gretchen Dysart, a native of New Orleans, is a pastoral minister of the environment. She is also caregiver/liaison to eight Marianites residing at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center and coordinator of events that are hosted at Holy Angels Congregational Center.

She graduated in 1965 from the Academy of Holy Angels High School, entered the Marianites and professed perpetual vows in 1977.

Sister Gretchen taught at St. John High School in Plaquemine and then earned a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. In 1980, she moved to Washington, D.C., as vice president of Journey Communications. where she helped produce “Real to Reel,” a nationally syndicated Catholic television program.

She served on the Marianite Congregational Leadership team for 11 years. In 2008, she received a master’s certificate in earth literacy from St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute. She is preparing a presentation on Pope Francis’ environmental stance.

Sister Joel Miller entered the Marianites in 1965. She served as a middle school teacher in New Orleans, Plaquemine and Lake Charles, and as principal at St. John’s Elementary School in Franklin from 1980-85 and at Holy Family School in Port Allen from 1986-2007.

She was elected to the Congregational Leadership Team as assistant for a five-year term serving from 2007-2012. She also served as vice president for Region V for the Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR). She is principal of St. Edmund High School in Eunice.

Sister Sue Pablovich, a native of New Orleans, entered the Marianites in 1965 after graduating from the Academy of the Holy Angels. She serves in pastoral care and as a spiritual director at Chateau de Notre Dame.

Sister Sue served as a nurse and nurse practitioner in out-patient facilities in Orleans, Iberville, Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes. She retired from nursing in 2007 after 17 years with the Louisiana Community AIDS Research Program (LaCARP) at Tulane. She was founding faculty member for the nursing program at Our Lady of Holy Cross College.

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