Photo by Frank J. Methe | CLARION HERALD
Sisters of the Holy Family celebrating their jubilees this year are, seated, from left: Sister Mary Madeline Sophie Jolivet, Sister Mary Bertille Hazeur, Sister Mary Janet Peters and Sister Mary Bertha Pierre-Auguste. Top row: Sister Mary Bertrand Neveu, Sister Carmel Rose Saizan, Sister Marie de Montfort Breaux and Sister Mary Avila Thomas.
Eight Sisters of the Holy Family celebrated a combined total of 525 years of consecrated service to the people of God with a Mass of Thanksgiving June 9 at the motherhouse chapel in New Orleans.
Sister Madeline Sophie Jolivet celebrated her 80th year in religious life. She served at Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette, Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, Our Mother of Mercy Parish in Houston, Holy Redeemer in San Antonio, and at the motherhouse.
Sister Mary Bertha Pierre-Auguste, a 75th-year jubilarian, spent most of her religious life caring for the sick and elderly at the Lafon Nursing Home and the children at Lafon Home for Boys and St. John Berchmans Home for Girls. Sister Mary Bertha is a member of the prayer ministry at the motherhouse. She always responds to the question “How are you?” by saying, “Still kickin’!”
Sister Mary Bertrand Neveu and Sister Mary Bertille Hazeur celebrated 70th anniversaries.
Sister Bertrand served as a teacher and librarian in schools in Texas and Louisiana. Her most fruitful experience as a religious came when she worked with the homeless and newly released prisoners, providing food for them and listening to their hopes and dreams to become productive members of society. She serves as assistant librarian at the motherhouse.
Sister Bertille has served as a missionary in Dangriga, Belize, where she taught at Sacred Heart School and was the founding principal of Holy Angels School. She taught in high schools in Texas and Louisiana. She is a former directress of formation and the national director of the Sisters of the Holy Family Alumni Association. She has served as vocation director and moderator of the New Orleans Alumni Chapter. She continues to say with inner joy, “I come to do your will, O Lord.”
The 60-year jubilarians are Sister Marie de Montfort Breaux, Sister Mary Janet Peters and Sister Carmel Rose Saizan.
Sister Marie de Montfort has a doctorate from the University of San Francisco. She served as teacher or principal in elementary schools in Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. She currently serves as vocation director for the congregation. “I am so very grateful to God, the Sisters of the Holy Family, the Josephite priests and my parents for the gift of my vocation,” she said. “I thank all the wonderful people of God whom I worked with and for in the vineyard of the Lord. God’s blessings on all.”
Sister Janet has taught in elementary schools throughout Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Many persons owe their ability to read from having Sister Janet as their first-grade teacher. She spent her semi-retired years assisting the teachers in the pre-K program at St. Mary’s Academy. She currently is in residence at Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family.
Sister Carmel Rose has taught in elementary schools in Louisiana, Texas and Florida. She now serves in the VISTE program in Lakeland, Fla. “I am grateful to Almighty God for the opportunities I have been given over the past 60 years,” she says. “I do hope that I have done some good for the many lives I have touched through teaching and nursing. May God grant me holy perseverance in his service.”
Sister Mary Avila Thomas is celebrating her 50th anniversary. She has taught in elementary schools in Louisiana, Texas and Belize. She has served as assistant administrator of Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family, assistant coordinator of pastoral care at Our Lady of Wisdom, and manager of St. John Berchmans Manor Apartments. She also served eight years on the congregational leadership team. She is doing parish ministry at Holy Ghost Church in Opelousas.
Her prayer is: “I have been blessed by the Lord with many wonderful years in religious life. They have been fruitful and very rewarding. I thank you for choosing me, and every day I seek the wisdom in responding to your magnanimous love.”