Sister Judith Coreil, MSC

In Memoriam

Judith Dayle Coreil was born in Ville Platte, Louisiana on March 21, 1936 to Moise Morelle Coreil and Judith Billeaud Coreil. After graduating from Sacred Heart High School as “Homecoming Queen”, Judith entered the Marianites of Holy Cross on September 8, 1953, received the habit the following year and made perpetual profession on August 14, 1958. Her first years in ministry were spent in primary education as teacher and principal. A graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans, Sister taught at St. Basil, Plaquemine; and at St. Rita, New Orleans. In 1963 she became the founding principal of Christ the King School in Terrytown, and from 1972-74, Sister was principal of Lourdes Community School in New Orleans.

After serving in the Archdiocese of New Orleans as Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Judith became the first Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, a position she held for five years prior to moving to the Washington, DC area where she was Director of Curriculum Development for the National Catholic Education Association.

In this role she influenced Catholic education throughout the United States and beyond. With Sr. Carleen Reck, SSND, Judith introduced the Vision and Values Curriculum into American Catholic schools. Judith’s constant determination and kind manner changed minds and hearts as she strove to merge values such as peace, justice, the role of women and care of the earth into the school curriculum. Judith cared deeply about all these issues and saw educators as central agents in teaching about them, thus creating a good and meaningful future for humankind.

Judith was a connector between and among people. She was not a judger. She had the gift of uniting people. Thus she brought out the best in everyone with whom she worked.

At the Congregational Chapter in 1989, Sr. Judith was elected congregational assistant of the Marianites and served in leadership for twelve years. During those years, she had a profound influence on the International Session in Holy Cross Spirituality held each summer in Le Mans, France. As director of these sessions, her love for and devotion to the history and charism of the Congregation permeated all she did.

Following her years in community leadership, she served for over five years as Director of Public Relations at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Nursing Home and was then asked to be the Director of Religious for the Diocese of Lafayette. In these positions, she was ever kind and attentive to the spiritual needs and development of her fellow religious as well as to her co-ministers in the other diocesan offices.

Failing health necessitated her resignation from that position and her move to the nursing home in 2013. Having opted not to seek any treatment for the cancer which had invaded her body, Judith spent her last year at Prompt Succor Nursing Home. Her enthusiasm and interest in others made her a welcome addition to the Nursing Home community.

Sr. Judith’s heart overflowed with love – love of family, of Holy Cross, and of the God whom she served so faithfully. If you were in her presence for more than a few minutes, you were no longer a stranger because your life had now become intertwined with her own.

When it became apparent that her death was imminent, the halls of Prompt Succor were filled with Judith’s family, her close friends, and so many others whose lives she had touched. They spent their time reminiscing and praying for their dear friend. The end came late in the evening of January 4, 2015.

Sr. Judith was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Eugene Coreil. She is survived by her brother, Gordon Coreil and a number of nieces and nephews.

To celebrate her life, a wake/prayer service was held at Prompt Succor on January 8. It was continued at St. Landry Church on January 9 prior to the Mass of the Resurrection at 10 a.m. Judith went forth with a “bang” – two deacons, seven priests, and the Bishop of Lafayette were there to honor her along with lots of folks from her hometown of Ville Platte and from all the areas where she had worked.

Following the funeral, Judith’s body was interred in the Marianites’ tomb at St. Landry Cemetery, Opelousas.

May her soul rest in peace!