Soeur Genviève Pichon, MSC

In Memoriam

Marie-Josèphe Pichon was born in Laval, in Notre-Dame d’Avesnières Parish on October 24, 1914. She had two sisters, one of which, her twin, accidentally died at the age of three. Her father died in the war and her mother had a hard time raising her two children. After the death of their mother in 1928, the two girls went to an orphanage, Marie-Josèphe remained there until the age of 21. Because of her health, she was sent to Berck-Plage for three years for treatment. Then she joined her sister in Précigné where she worked in the Préventorium infirmary for a few years with Sister Colomban.

She expressed the desire to be a Marianite in 1946, and on September 14 she entered the novitiate in Précigné. She took the habit April 14, 1947 and received the name of “Sister Geneviève.” She made her final vows on April 14, 1951 in Sante-Croix Church in Le Mans.

Sister Geneviève received her first obedience in 1950 – the Solitude of the Savior in Le Mans.  She arrived there with Sister Michel on April 19, 1950 for cleaning and preparing for the move of the Sisters to the Generalate who were leaving Precigné to come to La Solitude, the House of our Father Founder, which became the Mother House of the Marianite Sisters.

From 1950 to 1970, Sister Geneviève remained at the Solitude: responsible for the laundry, welcoming guests and the chaplain’s house. In addition to these activities, were the visits of the Sisters of Providence, who know her seamstress skills and especially her great availability to render service when it was necessary to change the habit! It is easy to understand that she became very fondly known as our “grandmother”!

In 1970, she was appointed to the technical school in Laval, where she introduced first-year students to the basics of sewing and prepared studies for the entire school. She did service work for the Youth of Mary Immaculate Home and remained an assistant-instructor.

While staying in Laval, she began her retirement in 1991 but was not inactive. She visited the elderly, in a retirement home.  She also continued her vocation of seamstress and embroidered with pleasure, for families with children, to offer pretty little dresses as gifts! In addition, with a sister of Ruillé, she participated in the making of priestly vestments for the diocese. What a busy life!

On her return to La Solitude, in the year 2000, she took advantage of the International Sessions to sell the embroidered pieces that she had left in order to benefit the children of Haiti.

When she reached the age of 100 her vision no longer allowed her to sew or embroider. This was a cause of sorrow and disappointment to her.  Her activity was reduced to the activities of the community in the afternoons and the evenings of prayer. She missed nothing and actively participated in all that was offered. In her room, she listened to the daily news and remained very attentive to the world which she brought to prayer.

She was a demanding, persevering, courageous religious. She suffered spiritually and physically, which did not prevent her from being mischievous and joyful. She had a relationship of true friendship with the staff of La Solitude and all appreciated it. They cared for her with great attention, patience and delicacy. Sr. Geneviève always expressed her gratitude for them.

Sister Geneviève left us on the evening of July 14, 2018, in serenity accompanied by the sisters and the staff during her final two days. Father John de Riso, parish priest of Sainte-Croix accompanied by Father Michel Patry, friend of the community celebrated the burial mass in the chapel of La Solitude. Family members and friends of Laval with the sisters took her to her eternal resting place in the cemetery of Sainte-Croix.

“Grandma, may God keep you in his peace”