Sister Marie Theresé Laborie, MSC

In Memoriam

Marguerite Laborie was born on June 23, 1930, the youngest of thirteen children born to Louis Gay Laborie and Josephine Messina in New Orleans, Louisiana. The loving baby sister of twelve siblings, Marguerite entered the postulancy of the Marianites of Holy Cross on May 8, 1947 when she was just sixteen years old. She had already finished Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Marrero and Holy Angels Academy from which she graduated shortly before entering the community.

In 1948, Marguerite received the Marianite habit and the name Sr. Marie Therese. Following a year as a novice, Sister pronounced temporary vows on the ninth of May, 1948 and perpetual vows on August 9, 1951.

Trained as a teacher, she studied at Holy Angels Normal College, Loyola University, Incarnate Word College, McNeese State University, and LSU in Baton Rouge. Therese earned her B.A. in education from Holy Angels College in 1953 and her Master’s Degree from Incarnate Word College in San Antonio in 1969.

Sister began her teaching career at St. Rita in New Orleans and followed at St. Mary of the Angels, New Orleans; St. Alphonsus, Ocean Springs; St. Charles, Lake Charles; St. Basil,

Plaquemine; Holy Name of Mary, Algiers; St. Edmund, Eunice; St. John, Franklin. She served for several years as principal at St. Basil’s in Plaquemine and then at St. Julian Eymard, Algiers.

In 1975 Therese became an Instructor in the Education Department and Assistant Supervisor of Student Teaching at Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Leaving the College in 1978, she took a position as Assistant Librarian at All Saints School in Gretna and served there for six years. From 1984 to 1986, her work was as bookkeeper at St. Cletus School in Gretna. This was followed by service as receptionist at Wynhoven Health Care Center, also in Gretna.

Always of fragile health, Therese was ever joy-filled and loved people. She had a missionary spirit that prompted her to study Spanish and to spend more than one summer ministering in Mexico. In the summers of 1981 and 1982, she had a mission experience in La Arena, Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico, among T’Sel-tal Indians. When back home, Therese prayed for and supported her missionary friend, Jesuit Father Francisco “Paco” Ornales, who became like a member of her family.

Once she could no longer do a lot of physical labor, Sister retired to a life of service to her Marianite sisters as driver, visitor, and encourager of others. She lived with her sister, Sr. Elizabeth Ann Laborie (also a Marianite), at Nazareth House in Gretna until her final move to Our Lady of Wisdom Health Care Center in 2006.

Sr. Marie Therese died peacefully at the age of 84 on Saturday, January 17, 2015. She was preceded in death by her parents and eleven siblings: brothers Charles, Andrew, Louis, Eldred, Edgar, John, and Henry; and sisters Anna Harvey, Louise Ragusa, Mary Ragusa, and Carmelite Rihner. She is survived by Sr. Elizabeth Laborie and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held in the chapel of Our Lady of Wisdom on Wednesday, January 21. Visitation was from 9 to 11 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian burial. Interment was in Our Lady of Holy Cross Mausoleum.

May Sr. Marie Theresé rest in peace!