Soeur Marie Renée Moreau, MSC
Marie-Renée Moreau was born in Angers, France on August 29, 1924. Here is what she says about her parents, “I had materially poor parents, but rich in love and evangelical values of sharing, justice and respect for the human person. They were committed to a more fraternal world. Thanks to them, I became the person that God created me to be. There was also my grandmother, who was influential to my faith and my vocation. My commitment in the Eucharistic Crusade later strengthened my vocation. After meeting the Marianites, their joy and attention to others immediately attracted me.”
Marie-Renée entered the Marianite novitiate in Précigné on October 7, 1942 and received the habit on June 14, 1943. She made her first vows on July 6, 1944 with the name Sr. Marie Christophe. For the following year, she remained at the Mother House in Précigné to complete her studies.
Marie-Renée ministered as a teacher in St. Joan of Arc School, St. Therese School and then as the directress of St. Joseph School and St. Martha’s School. In 1969, she resumed her studies in Paris preparing for the responsibility of formation of young sisters. From 1971 to 1977, she taught at St. Michel School while living with a small community. In 1977, she departed France to serve as a missionary in Cap-Haitien, Haiti.
She became the directress of Notre Dame de Lourdes School. Marie-Renée shares her thoughts and sentiments about her time in Haiti in the following words, “The most wonderful event that has radically changed my life is Haiti! The thirteen years of missionary life have been a turning point in my spiritual life. There, among the poorest, I really discovered and lived the Gospel. With them I learned to pray, to meditate, to share, to trust and put all things into perspective. I learned to live! It is in Haiti that I met and worked in collaboration with the priests, brothers and sisters of the Holy Cross Family. It is also in Haiti that I experienced the internationality of Holy Cross with the Marianites of the United States. I am grateful for all of the long lasting relationships that were formed.”
In the 1990’s Marie- Renée and Sr. Anna ministered as members of the pastoral team of a Haitian parish in Paris. They were very active in the Catholic Haitian community assisting those who were exiled and seeking refugee asylum. They both returned to the Solitude in 2002. Marie-Renée assisted in local leadership of the Solitude sisters. She later worked with other sisters in writing the chronicles of France.
In 2009, Marie-Renée suffered a serious stroke and was hospitalized in Angers, France. It was at this time that her health began to deteriorate. On August 28, 2019 her heart weakened drastically and the next night, God took her home eternally in her sleep. It was on her 95th birthday, August 29, 2019 that she was called to begin her new life.
Marie-Renée is remembered as an energetic woman even in her moments of weakness. She did not want to disturb anyone and remained independent for as long as she was able. Her long life has been full in service to children, the poorest and spreading the life of God.
Fr. Camille Rimbaud presided at the funeral liturgy in the chapel of the Solitude on September 3, 2019 along with Fr. Lesacher and two priests that knew her in Haiti, Frs. Paul-Elie Cadet and Jean-Baptiste Icemick. The burial service took place with the sisters, family members and friends in Holy Cross Cemetery in Le Mans. In the final prayer, Fr. Paul-Elie thanked Sr. Marie-Renée again on behalf of the Haitian people and asked her to continue to intercede for the Holy Cross Mission in Haiti.
“Let her now enter the intimacy of God, where everything will be transformed as St. Paul said to us, giving thanks to our Lord, because in every step we take, God is there.”
Marie-Renée, may God keep you in his peace and joy!