Sister Mary Albina Guillory, MSC
Sister Mary Albina Guillory, MSC
Sister Albina Guillory was born Dottie Belle on February 3, 1923, in Ville Platte, Louisiana. The daughter of Nathan Guillory and Avia Lafleur, Dottie had two brothers, Nathan and Cecil, and one sister, Alice Muriel Pretchett.
Following her grammar and high school education at Sacred Heart Elementary and High Schools in Ville Platte, Dottie entered the Congregation of the Marianites of Holy Cross in New Orleans on September 8, 1940. When she received the holy habit the following year, Dottie was given the religious name Sister Albina; this was the name of one of the sisters who had taught her at Sacred Heart.
Sr. Albina made temporary vows on August 11, 1942, and pronounced her perpetual vows on August 11, 1945.
In the beginning of her professional life, Sister was involved in all forms of education. Her first four years found her teaching elementary school at Holy Name of Mary in Algiers. From there she spent almost thirty years moving among the elementary schools of St. Rita, New Orleans; St. Edmund, Eunice; Sts. Peter and Paul, New Orleans; Incarnate Word, New Orleans; St. Margaret, Lake Charles; St. Mary of the Angels, New Orleans; St. Agnes, Jefferson; Sacred Heart, Morgan City; Little Flower, Arnaudville; St. Charles, Lake Charles; St. Alphonsus, Ocean Springs; and St. Francis de Sales, Houma.
Sister Albina (Beanie to most of her sisters and friends) left classroom teaching in 1970 when she became House Mother at the Newman Center of Southeastern University in Hammond. She remained there for five years before becoming a counselor at Sacred Heart High School in Ville Platte.
The Office of Economic Opportunity in Ville Platte used Sister’s skills as a program planner until she was hired as Director of the Sanctuary for teens in Eunice, a post she held until 1986 when she took over as Administrator of St. Martin Manor in New Orleans. In 1989, Beanie became Registrar at Our Lady of Holy Cross College prior to leaving the city to become Resident Manager at Our Lady’s Manor in Alexandria and then at Shario Terrace Apartments and Assisi Village in Baton Rouge.
The Marianites commissioned Sister as chauffeur for the sisters at St. Joseph Convent in New Orleans before she moved to St. Michael’s in Crowley where she did volunteer work in the parish. Health problems brought her to Prompt Succor Nursing Home for several brief stays before she moved there as a full-time resident in 2010.
A dynamo of life and energy, Sister Albina became actively involved in assisting with various activities. Through her varied life experiences, Beanie brought a caring and prayerful presence to Prompt Succor. She was always the first to arrive in the chapel very early in the morning and rarely missed her part in the afternoon recitation of the Seven-Dolor beads with the sisters. When she was able to do so, Sister assisted the activities' personnel with Bingo and other games.
As Sr. Kay Kinberger noted in Sister’s obituary, “Using bright and beautiful colors, she enjoyed creating items of needlework. With those same bright and beautiful colors, her dedication to others was distinctly woven in the fabric of the lives she touched.”
The Lord called Sister Albina to himself on the morning of His Resurrection, and all thought how privileged Beanie was to go home to heaven on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014. Her wake and funeral were celebrated in Prompt Succor Nursing Home chapel on Wednesday, April 23. In addition to several family members and friends, Beanie was remembered and celebrated by the staff and personnel of the nursing home, especially by the physical therapists who recalled Sister’s joy and contagious laughter which filled every place she was.
Fr. Gary Schexnayder told the congregation that Sister Albina had encouraged his vocation way back in the 1960s, and during the years she ministered in his parish in Crowley, she was full of good ideas and well-organized with necessary facts. When folks were too serious, Beanie encouraged them to, “Lighten up!” Prior to the funeral Mass, family and friends shared some of their recollections of this Marianite who had now gone to claim her place in heaven, her true home. Sister was buried in St. Landry Cemetery in Opelousas on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
May Sister Albina’s soul rest in peace.