Sister Janet Claire Bodin, MSC

In Memoriam

Sr. Janet Claire Bodin, MSC (AKA Sr. Mary Josepha Bodin) was born May 21, 1933 in Franklin, Louisian.  She died at Opelousas General Hospital on July 12, 2023 at 4:26 PM.

Sr. Janet was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Bodin, and her mother, Laura Fernandez Bodin; and by her siblings:  Bruce Anthony, Bennett Joseph, George Manley, Joseph Oleus, Jr., Lola Ann Bodin McLaughlin, Van Vincent Bodin, Olie Rita Bodin Jae.

She is survived by her sister, Judith (Christine) Bodin Plauché and by her numerous nieces and nephews.

Inspired by the Marianites of Holy Cross in first grade, she set her sights on becoming a Sister like them!  She never wavered from that desire and entered the Marianites on September 3, 1950, within three months of graduating from High School.

Sr. Janet pronounced her first vows on August 9, 1952 and her perpetual vows on August 15, 1955.   She received a degree in education from Our Lady of Holy Cross College and a Masters and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Duquesne University.  Throughout her life, Sr. Janet was extremely grateful to the Marianites for the opportunity to complete her Doctoral studies.

Following her novitiate, Sister taught elementary education in New Orleans and Houma, Louisiana.  From 1961-1966, she served as a missionary, teaching elementary and high school in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).  After completing graduate studies, Sr. Janet taught philosophy at Our Lady of Holy Cross College from 1982-1989, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit from 1989 to 1994.  In 1994, she began ministering at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.  She began as Director of the Pre-Theology Program and Professor of Philosophy.  In 2003, she started serving as Coordinator of Academic Resources.  Sr. Janet would share stories of her 17 ½ years at Notre Dame Seminary.  She said while she was a professor, she was also a student as she learned a great deal from the administrative staff and colleagues who shared her passion for theological education as well as from the students in her care.  On May 5, 2015 in appreciation for her service, the administration of the Seminary bestowed on her an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree.  She was very proud of this award!

Due to declining health, she was admitted to Prompt Succor Nursing Home on November 12, 2014.  However, even as her physical abilities declined, she continued to be a pastoral presence to others.   Using her battery operated scooter, she enjoyed visiting residents and staff.  She was diligent in her role as president of the resident council and would assist in welcoming new residents.  Living in the mystery of her physical limitations and health issues, she remained committed to her original heart’s desire of being a Marianite, a vowed religious of prayer and compassion. 

As her bodily strength declined, her spirit remained strong and resolute. Until the end, she enjoyed reading and spending time with others.  She supported and encouraged others in their joys and sorrows.  Recently, she shared with a niece that “I am ready to go whenever He calls me.  I have been in love with Him all of my life.”  What a beautiful testament of a vowed life, well-lived!

At the end of her mortal life and beginning of her eternal life, she offers us the spiritual treasures of her fidelity to prayer and compassionate presence, her dedication to education and her religious vocation, and her steadfast faith in the midst of bodily diminishment.  These are the pearls of great price which we find revealed in the mystery of her life.  

We rejoice with you, Sr. Janet,  as you are freed from all infirmity and enter joyfully into eternal life.  We ask that you continue to pray for us in the spirit of one of your favorite psalms:   “Shepherd us, O Lord, through the dark valleys, to restful waters, to green pastures.  Shepherd us, O Lord, with your rod and staff which give us courage.  Shepherd us, O Lord, beyond our wants, beyond our fears from death into life.”  (Psalm 23)

To celebrate her life, a wake service was held from 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM on Friday, July 21, 2023 in the chapel at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home.  Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at 10:00 AM in the same chapel followed by burial in St. Landry Cemetery in Opelousas, Louisiana.

The Marianites of Holy Cross want to express our profound gratitude to the staff of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home for enhancing, in countless ways, the quality of Sr. Janet’s life.