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Sister Elizabeth Laborie

 

Sr. Elizabeth Laborie, MSC

Sr. Elizabeth (known also as Sr. Cyril) Laborie was born in 1928 in Marrero, Louisiana to her parents Josephine Messina Laborie and Louis G. Laborie. She was one of thirteen children— seven boys and 6 girls—who enjoyed their large, loving, faith-filled family.

She entered the Marianites at a young age, professing perpetual vows in 1949. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College, New Orleans, in 1952 and in 1966 a Master's degree from Incarnate Word College, San Antonio.

She taught at several schools in New Orleans: St. Agnes, St. Christopher and St. Julian Eymard. She also taught at St. John Elementary, Plaquemine; Holy Family, Port Allen; and St. Margaret, Lake Charles. She was at times a principal and/or Superior of the local community. In 1972 she pursued studies in Scripture and ethics at Loreto College and St. Michael's University, both in Toronto, Canada. When her ministry in elementary schools ended, she joined the staff at Our Lady of Holy Cross College for several years as assistant librarian. Afterwards, she began ministry as a librarian at All Saints School and later St. Cletus School in New Orleans to continue to serve the young children she had loved so much as a teacher.

In 1988 her ministry took another turn when she became receptionist for the local chapter of Pax Christi, an international organization that promotes peace and non-violence. In 1993 she served as secretary at Lindy's Place, welcoming single, homeless women who needed a roof over their heads and services to help them become independent. Sr. Clarita Bourque, MSC, who had the initial idea for Lindy's, considers Sr. Elizabeth its co-founder.

She retired to Our Lady of Wisdom Health Care Center in 2006, infusing its halls with her bright blue eyes, always-present smile, sense of humor and, it seems, hundreds of anecdotes from life in a family of 13. Her blood sister Sr. Marie Therese retired to Wisdom that same year. "Lizzie" always joined in adventures at Wisdom with Therese. The two were inseparable and their antics kept the staff amused as well as vigilant! Sr. Elizabeth loved spiritual reading and always had a book close-by. She was a woman of prayer and action as evidenced by her changing ministry involvements as she aged and the needs arose. She loved being a Marianite.

Sr. Elizabeth died peacefully at Our Lady of Wisdom Health Care Center at the age of 90 on October 10, 2018. A wake and Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, October 2018 in the chapel of Our Lady of Wisdom Health Care Center. Sr. Elizabeth was laid to rest in the Marianite mausoleum, Our Lady of Holy Cross, New Orleans, LA.