Soeur Marie-Louise Travers, MSC
Soeur Marie-Louise TRAVERS
1922 – 2017
Marie-Louise Travers was born May 11, 1922 in Yvré-l’Evêque in the Sarthe. She was baptized there in the church where Father Moreau preached his last homily.
Her poor hard-working parents taught her the value of work. Even though they were not practicing, they gave her an education that allowed her to make her first communion, an event that was very important for her. During this preparation, the priest spoke to the children about the future of their personal life: some would marry and have a family, or some would perhaps give themselves to God and to His service. Right after that, she said: “That will be me, Lord! However, I didn’t know any religious women at the time. Marie-Louise stated: “On several occasions, my parents who were of fragile health, sought care at the Marianites’ clinic in Le Mans. I myself at thirteen years old met the sisters and I appreciated their kindness for each one of us.”
For three years, from 1990 to 1993, Soeur Marie-Louise was responsible for the community of Marianite sisters of Notre-Dame de Gazonfier.
Then, she came back to St. Bertrand’s in 1993 to work in parish ministry until 2008 with Sister Monique, where she was available and attentive to all the needs of the community and the parish. During her retirement, she was happy to take courses in the Bible, sessions on Ignatius… She enjoyed her later years and felt at ease with the elder members of the neighborhood.
She remained very close to her sister, Suzette, who had been hospitalized for some years at the hospital in Le Mans. She suffered to see her for so long in such a state of dependence.
In 2008, because of her health, she had to join the community of elder sisters at the Solitude. She took part fully in the life there, while still keeping contact with St. Bertrand’s Parish.
In 2017, the state of her health began to deteriorate little by little and it was necessary to hospitalize her for the long term at Centre Charles Drouet in Allonnes. She was suffering much in her entire body, and the very attentive care team watched over her and appreciated our daily visits full of camaraderie, such that when leaving the Centre, they told us : “Continue to be so close-knit.” She received the sacrament of the sick on the preceding Sunday, surrounded by several sisters from the community and she passed away peacefully on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017.
Father Rimbaud (since we no longer have a chaplain) celebrated the funeral, accompanied by several priests of the Worker Mission and by Father John DeRiso, CSC, from Holy Cross Parish. On April 13, 2017, in the chapel of the Solitude, we heard the following in the homily: “Marie-Louise, you were our sister, our sister in humanity; you were our sister in Christ. It is impossible to separate the two! Since the first commandment is similar to the second. You were a religious, and on this journey, you were our sister. You chose this path as a sister in Christ because one day, you found on the path a precious pearl, so precious that you left all the rest in order to acquire this pearl that in your eyes was worth more than all of the treasures of the world. It was the Lord who would be for you a light for all days ; it was your God who would be your splendor. And you had learned that in the school of Jesus, the will of the Father is that the weakest, those who suffer most, the least, are served first. The will of the Father is that all human beings be happy to gather in joy and in fraternity.
It was in walking the halls of the clinics, like the streets of Saint Bertrand that you walked so much, there, you were in search of the hidden treasure, there, you were a sister in our midst, a sister for all! Marie-Louise, our sister, Thank you!”
Then Jocelyne Séné from the parish gave her own personal testimony. “I remember about Marie-Louise: her closeness to the people of the neighborhood, her sense of service, her availability, it would often happen that in the case of an emergency, she would go to be with the sick even at a very late hour. Her attentive listening of people brought comfort to those in need. Her encounters allowed her to offer ACE (“Catholic Action for Children”) and JOC (“Christian Worker Youth”) to the children and young people of families she visited. According to her, the Second Vatican Council allowed a great change in the Church. It resulted in religious women being more in contact with people and the change in the habit allowed them a greater simplicity, a greater mutual trust for a common work.
THANK YOU Marie-Louise, for all of the seeds of love that you have sown around in this neighborhood where you lived for such a long time and that you so profoundly loved.”
From now on, Sister Marie-Louise will rest in the conventual cemetery of Holy Cross in Le Mans, with her sisters that preceded her into the Father’s House.
MAY GOD KEEP HER IN HIS LOVE, HIS PEACE, AND HIS JOY.