Sister Suzanne Bazantay, MSC
Sister Suzanne Bazantay, MSC
1923 ~ 2013
Georgette Bazantay was born April 23, 1923 in Beaulieu sur Layon, in the department of Maine-et-Loire. Having lost her mother to tuberculosis and her father shortly afterward, Suzanne was an orphan at the age of twelve. Her only sister died at the age of 25, but thanks to her niece, Josy, and family, she found a lot of affection and loved to receive visits from her nieces and nephews who were always faithful to her.
When she herself contracted the family illness at the age of 14, she became a patient at the Préventorium in Précigné. With appropriate treatment and much patience, Georgette became strong enough to assist with the youngsters and held this position for several years. On September 7, 1942, she entered the postulancy of the Marianites at Précigné. She received the habit and the name Sister Mary Suzanne at her reception ceremony on June 14, 1943. It was on July 16, 1944 that Sister made her first temporary vows, and three years later, on September 19, 1947, she made perpetual profession at the Marianite motherhouse in Précigné.
Sister Suzanne spent her entire career at Précigné, ministering in the different sections of the establishment. She worked as a maternal aide for a period of time and received her certificate for this work. She was highly esteemed by the children and much appreciated by their families whom she always welcomed warmly. She was sweet, enjoyed laughing and teasing. She was a cheerful soul whom everyone loved.
From 1950 to 1953, Suzanne’s illness recurred and she was forced to stop working and heal at the Motherhouse. She became part of the community of ill sisters, but after a time, she returned to the Préventorium as a supervisor with the young girls.
In 1972, Suzanne lived through the conversion of the Préventorium into the Plaisant Medical Center. While generously continuing her work with the young women, she also assumed the organization of staff scheduling. With additional work, Sister fatigued very quickly. The community supported her in her various tasks until 1994.
Following a long career in the business office, Sister became progressively involved in the service of the parish. She participated in animating the liturgies and taught catechism at Précigné and in Louailles, the neighboring parish.
Many young people and parents recall her teaching and her personal witness. When moving among the groups in various towns, even today one hears the words “Sister Suzanne of Précigné” arise spontaneously. This emphasized her involvement and contributions to diocesan catechetical formation. Particular stories resurface even after many years. Sister related easily with everyone on all levels and welcomed all warmly.
As her health worsened, Sister remained in community and busied herself according to her possibilities. When her move to the nursing home as a resident was decided, all worked out easily since Sister already knew so many of the personnel. Her great joy was that each Sunday, she came back to dinner and recreation with her local Marianite community.
She loved to read and participated in all activities proposed. She enjoyed looking at souvenirs and family photos, especially those of her ninetieth birthday party on April 23, 2013.
Shortly after celebrating her birthday, Sr. Suzanne was hospitalized several times at Bailleul Health Center where she received numerous visits from her community, her family, and her many friends. But the Lord, whom she had prepared so lucidly to meet, called her to Himself during her sleep on July 11, 2013.
At her funeral Mass in the chapel at Précigné, Fr. Bouvier, CSC, chaplain of the community, made allusion to her fifty-six years lived in this place that she loved, where she had prayed so much, served the young and the children. She had a great devotion to Our Lady of the Seven Dolors and to the rosary. She always responded in peace, joy, trust, and serenity to the ultimate call of “doing once more the will of her Lord.”
The large crowd at the funeral included her Marianite sisters, her family, colleagues, residents of the nursing home, faithful and grateful parishioners – all recognizing Sister’s generosity and how much she was loved.
The message from the administration of the medical center to the Marianites confirmed the support and friendship of all who surrounded Suzanne with care once she herself had entered the nursing home. Her gentleness and all the years of her life that she had consecrated to the Medical Center are engraved in their memories.
Sister Suzanne’s body rests in the conventual cemetery of Précigné since its burial there on July 15, 2013.
May she rest in the peace and the joy of the Lord.