Sister Marietta Welsh, MSC
Sr. Marietta Welsh, MSC
Almost ninety years to the date on July 11, 1927, the Lord gifted John Robert Welsh and Marcella Ann Navarre with their first born in the small town of Henrietta, Oklahoma. Marietta Welsh took her place as the oldest of seven children in a very active and loving family. Marietta and the next child, a boy (John Robert Welsh, Jr., SJ) bothfollowed the call to religious life.
A very active and scholarly student, Sister Marietta entered the Daughters of the Cross in Shreveport, Louisiana on August 15, 1944 and professed perpetual vows on August 22, 1950. Sister received her baccalaureate in education in 1954 from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas, a Master’s Degree in education from St. Louis University in 1961, and a Master’s Degree in Religious Education in 1974 from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. As a Daughter of the Cross, she ministered in various areas of education and in parish ministry. From 1991-1997, she served as congregational leader of the Daughters of the Cross in Shreveport. In this leadership role, she facilitated the transfer of six of her Sisters and herself to the Marianites of Holy Cross. After becoming a Marianite of Holy Cross, she moved to Lafayette, Louisiana and served as receptionist and assistant in the business office at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Facility in Opelousas. Marietta also ministered and accompanied the Most Holy Sacrament Sisters in some of their discernment process as an aging religious community.
Sister Marietta consistently witnessed the essence of being a gentle, educated, and prayerful woman. From educator, to parish ministry, to community leadership, to office assistant, her love and care of others was acutely present not just in her words but also in her actions. Always happy to serve, each of her responsibilities received her utmost attention. through her kindness and gentleness, she welcomed all into the circle of her love and care.
Sister Marietta's dedication and devotion to her family, to vowed religious life, and to the Church were the cornerstones of her life. Her firm belief and trust in these cornerstones grounded her in such a way that even in the midst of turmoil, Sister was able to bring a calming spirit. The transfer from the Daughters of the Cross to the Marianites of Holy Cross was not an easy choice for her. Journeying through this process, she was able to move beyond her own fears and trepidations. In faith and trust, she chose what the Lord was calling her to embrace and she led six of her other community members on this same path.
In all of her life experiences, Sister Marietta lived in the light of the paschal mystery. In transferring to the Marianites in 1997, she saw clearly the charism of the Daughters of the Cross reflected in the charism of the Marianites of Holy Cross. Yet, for her, there was an important and distinct difference. She reflected that the focus of the spirit of the Daughters of the Cross was on the Cross of Christ, but the Marianite spirit and charism embodied the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She explained that by becoming a Marianite the essence of the paschal mystery was complete in her own spirituality.
We now rejoice with you, Sister Marietta, as you are eternally embraced into the fullness of the resurrection of Christ, your beloved Spouse. Sister took the Lord’s invitation and followed His words…. I am the Lord of the dance said He….”I will lead you on in the dance” and died at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas, Louisiana at 5:45 AM on June 30, 2017.
To celebrate her life, a wake service and Mass of the Resurrection was held on Monday, July 3, 2017 in the chapel at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home. Sister Marietta was laid to rest in the St. Landry Cemetery in Opelousas, LA.