Sister Monica Stelly, MSC
Sr. Monica Stelly (AKA Frances Marie Stelly) was born November 20,1922 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She died at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home on December 15, 2018 at 8:00 AM.
Sr. Monica was preceded in death by her parents Aurelie M. Stelly and Juanita Hebert Stelly; and her sisters, Sr. Mary Grace Stelly, O.P., May Bell Stelly Thibodeaux, and her brothers, Louis Andrew Stelly and Leo Stelly. She is survived by her sister, Dr. Yvonne Stelly Anderson; as well as, her beloved nieces and nephews, their families; and many friends who were faithful and devoted to her throughout her life.
She entered the Marianites of Holy Cross on September 8, 1938 and pronounced perpetual profession on December 31, 1943. She received her degree in education from Holy Angels Academy in New Orleans and a Masters of Arts in Education from Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana; as well as, additional certification in math education. She was involved in elementary and high school education in Crowley, Eunice, Morgan City, New Orleans, Plaquemine, Ville Platte, Lake Charles. During her time in education, she served as principal of Holy Angels Academy in New Orleans, St. Edmund High School in Eunice, and Holy Cross High School in Morgan City. In addition, as choir director, she orchestrated many musical presentations through her talents of singing and playing the organ. Her former students especially hold dear her gift of leading them in Handel’s Messiah. By her devotion and commitment to music and education, she touched and enriched the lives of many people.
Always stately in stature, Sr. Monica was a formidable presence. When she walked the halls as principal or directed the choir, she could immediately put things in order by a glance or nod of her head. As religious superior, her Marianite Sisters who lived with her still cherish her many acts of kindness to them that brought joy to their lives. Her last years were spent at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas. Until the end of her life, even in her wheel chair, she acted as the no-nonsense principal observing, monitoring, and supervising all who were in her environment. She would also delightfully share stories of her early life on the farm in Sulphur and she would visit with former students who were fortunate to have had her as teacher and principal.
Always thankful for the smallest assistance rendered to her, we are grateful for Sr. Monica’s presence in our lives. As she enters eternal life, the values of her fidelity to duty, gratitude to others, devotion to education, and dedication to her religious vocation are the lessons she passes on to each of us. We rejoice with her as now she certainly hears these words of Christ lovingly spoken to her: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your Master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:23)