Soeur Aimeé Claus, MSC
1923 – 2013
Aimée Claus was born on January 11, 1923, in Yvré-l’Eveque, in the Sarthe. She had two brothers and a sister who died very young. Her parents managed a restaurant, “La Fourche”, on the road to Paris. Aimée was fond of this area and had many happy memories there with her brothers, Georges and François. Following the death of François, Aimée remained in close contact with her sister-in-law, Jacqueline.
Aimée became acquainted with the Marianites through her mother who was employed at St. Joseph Clinic on Avenue Léon Bollée. Some of the sisters remember Mrs. Claus as being a “very good cook.”
When she was 15 years old, Aimée entered the postulancy of the Marianites at Précigné on October 30, 1938. She loved to recall that her mother was “very proud” to offer her to the Lord. On May 31, 1939, Aimée received the habit of a novice and the name “Sr. Mary of the Eucharist,” a name she bore with gratitude and great devotion. Her fervent meditations and preparation of countless hours of adoration were the joy of her life. She made her temporary profession on June 14, 1940, and pronounced perpetual vows on February 19, 1944, in the motherhouse at Précigné.
For several years, Sister supervised the children and assisted Sister Mary of the Guardian Angels in the reception office of the Préventorium. From 1947 to 1958, she ministered in the offices of various clinics: Paramé, Le Mans, Lisieux, and Epinal. In 1949, she animated the community of the Clinique Ste. Marie at Paramé. An old friend from those days warmly recalled Aimée’s attention, goodness, delicacy, and her family spirit in this local community of Marianites.
Her health forced Sister to convalesce for a time at Notre Dame de Gazonfier. She went there in 1970 and remained at the service of the residents until 1981.
In 1982, Aimée became provincial secretary and was responsible for the records of the sisters, for correspondence with the missionaries, for the chronicles and archives of the province of France. She accomplished these tasks with much attention and great discretion, always demanding of herself a job well done.
Sister was named coordinator of the community at Notre Dame de Gazonfier for four years, from 1993 through 1997, a charge she accomplished with her usual devotion. She then spent two years of community life in Ardriers, the church parish of Saint Pavin in Le Mans. In 1999 she rejoined our elderly sisters at Notre Dame de la Solitude.
Aimée gave herself totally to community life and prayer, fingering her rosary devoutly for the Congregation and the family of Holy Cross. With a special devotion to Our Lady of the Solitude, she would sing all the verses of Mary’s canticles with total happiness and without hesitation. Her repertoire of songs was joyous, varied, and reflected her interior joy. Her singing often ended with happy laughter.
An agreeable and sweet companion, Aimée was always smiling. She loved community recreation and was very discreet so as never to wound anyone or cause any conflict.
Community life meant the world to her. Aimée often said how much she loved to be with others, to listen to them, to share with them. “I give thanks to God for my call to Holy Cross, having always been happy in my vocation as a Marianite.”
Our congregational feasts were special to Aimée and she never missed a community gathering. These were for her privileged moments. This year, she was preparing to celebrate her jubilee of seventy-five years of religious life. In the end, she did not celebrate it with us, since the Lord called her to celebrate with him at the end of a few months of patient suffering.
Sister Aimée died on June 27, 2013, at Notre Dame de la Solitude. During a time of prayer for her in the oratory, her Marianite sisters expressed their thanksgiving for this beautiful life. All appreciated and admired Aimée’s fervor and her witness to community.
In the chapel of the Solitude, Sister’s funeral Mass was celebrated on June 29. Père Proust, CSC, underlined his memory of our sister, humble and discreet, inspiring kindness and peace, always radiating joy so much so that the beatitudes became the theme of the celebration. Many of the participants at the Holy Cross international session joined the community to surround Aimée with their prayer as a sign of gratitude for her life, so dedicated to Holy Cross. Sister’s body was buried in the cemetery of Holy Cross in Le Mans.
May the Lord welcome Aimée and grant her the fullness of life in eternity.