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Marie-Françoise: what we take from her...
Marie-Françoise passed away on 3rd December.
“Marie-Françoise was called to serve the Congregation at a very young age, as Councillor and then Superior General, from 1966 to 1978, that is to say: just after the Second Vatican Council. This period, like ours today, is a period of profound change in society, but also in the Church and the Congregation. (…) Each, each of us, we have personal memories of her, which go far beyond the time when she was a Councillor or Superior General.
Whoever we are, we have certainly been marked by her great simplicity, her unfailing availability, her discreet and respectful attention to people, her attraction to the humble, to the most disadvantaged. Throughout her life, in her family, in the Congregation and beyond, in her district of Pontanézen, Brest, Marie-Françoise forged deep bonds and aroused trust and affection. We will miss her, already we miss her ... ’’ -Extract from the welcome by Sr Anne-Marie Foucher during the celebration of Marie-Françoise's funeral-
Here are, among others, excerpts from three testimonies:
* “Thank you, Lord, for putting her on my path. She has had a great impact on my life as a priest. Her heart was connected to Christ, to the Church and to the world. What an opening to the universal! Her intelligence gave her access to great minds and her humility enabled her to reach the simplest and the smallest. In the elegance of simplicity, she was a great lady. The Church, and particularly the Church in Finistère, has lost a beautiful figure''. -Father Jean-Pierre Henry-
* A woman who is gentle, kind, discreet and convinced. A woman who has never ceased to push me to believe, hope. A woman who knew how to align being, doing and saying it in everything she undertook. During my years of community life in Brest, Marie-Françoise always welcomed with tenderness the ardour of my youth carried by so many desires and desires in the mission following Marie Balavenne. She never forbade me to dream, to create, to invent... She welcomed my doubts and my tears... without ever being disappointed, without judging. She had the art of showing how much the Spirit vibrates in each one, how everything is an experience and that each experience enlarges the heart. God is a creative craftsman who only designs unique pieces. She was one of them! … That from where she is, she can give us more and more the desire to live, the desire to live in the manner of the first Daughters of the Holy Spirit... Then our inner fire, the one she has maintained throughout her life with those she has met, accompanied, carried, loved, this fire will maintain the sacred fire which will give to the women and men of our time a spiritual meaning...'' -Angélina Lucazeau, former FSE-
* "In these times when sometimes we can be watched out for by discouragement and a form of despair, Marie-Françoise had found the antidote by remaining connected both to people's lives and to the love of Christ. We miss her and we will miss her. May, through the action of the Holy Spirit, all that she offered and sowed in hearts, in our hearts, germinate and bear fruit in our lives and those of the people she supported tirelessly." -Excerpt from the homily of Fr. André Siohan-
Your family, your friends, your Sisters, tell you once again ''Goodbye and thank you Marie-Françoise''.
Ann Almodovar, FSE - General Councillor. Published on 14 December 2020.