Sister Hannah Marie O'Brien, MSC

In Memoriam

Sr. Hannah Marie O’Brien, MSC was born October 30, 1931 at Baharoon, Kilbrittain, County Cork, Ireland.  She died at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas, Louisiana on May 10, 2019 at 10:21 A.M. with her Marianite Sisters at her bedside.

Sr. Hannah Marie, one of twelve children, was preceded in death by her father, Daniel O’Brien, and her mother, Mary Hurley O’Brien and by her brothers, Willie and Patrick; and her sisters, Celia Tinsella, Ina Gallagher, and Lillie Dowell.  She is survived by her dear friend, Dolores Fontenot of Zachary; her brother and sisters in Ireland: Daniel O’Brien, Teresa O’Regan, Josie Ellis, Philomenia Galvin and her brother in Australia, Tadgh O’Brien; in addition to her many nieces, nephews and their families.  All her loved ones, near and far, miss her presence in their lives.

After traveling from County Cork, Ireland, Sr. Hannah Marie entered the Congregation of the Marianites of Holy Cross on November 6, 1947 and she pronounced her perpetual vows on August 12, 1953.  She received her degree in education from Holy Angels Academy in New Orleans and a Masters in Library Science from Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas.

Imbued with her Irish family values of hard work and commitment to duty, Sr. Hannah Marie served faithfully as a Marianite of Holy Cross in a variety of roles over the years. She was involved in elementary education at several schools in the New Orleans area including:  St. Cecilia, St. Mary of the Angels, St. Christopher, and Incarnate Word.  She also was principal and teacher of Immaculate Conception School in Plaquemine.  She taught in Lake Charles, Franklin, Opelousas, Hammond; and served as librarian at Holy Angels Academy.  In addition, she rendered community service at Our Lady of Princeton Marianite Provincial House in New Jersey for several years. Always eager to serve, especially those most in need, Sister Hannah Marie was engaged in parish ministry and developed social outreach programs at St. Mary of the Angels in New Orleans and St. Rita Parish in Alexandria.  She moved to Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home on January 6, 2015 and continued to be a loving and caring presence to those around her.

Ever attentive to those in need, the words of the Gospel of Matthew (25:34-36) were embedded in her heart and lived in her life.  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’”

Sr. Hannah Marie’s generosity to others, her fidelity to prayer, her dedication to her family, friends, and religious congregation are the lessons she passes on to us as she steps into the garden of paradise.  As a passionate gardener all her life, she is certainly now delighting and rejoicing in all the beautiful sights and sounds which are beyond our imagination.  From her sacred place in the garden, we ask that she continue to remember us in prayer in the words close to her heart:  May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.  And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.