Soeur Jenny Cozannec, MSC

In Memoriam

Jenny was born on June 16, 1926, in the French department of Yvelines, to a family with a strong Breton faith. She grew up in a peaceful environment receiving a Christian education. She was part of the Eucharistic Crusade Movement. At the age of 10 or 11, she remembered hearing her first calls to religious life. Her peaceful childhood suddenly took a dark took as she was confronted with disease. Before turning 15 years old, she lost both of her parents in less than 2 years, which proved to be such a difficult experience her own health suffered from it.

So, she was sent to the Preventorium in Precigne to receive care. While she was there she met the Marianites and one of them sensed her moral suffering and helped her to discover that life was worth living when it was given to others and to God. From this experience, she found her way through the generosity and the devotion of the sisters and she once again heard the Lord calling her to devote her life to the Lord.

Jenny joined the Marianite Sisters in Précigné, in Sarthe, August 22, 1945 where she spent her postulancy and novitiate, and professed her First Vows on April 10, 1947. She stayed for one more year to help care for the sick children at the Preventorium.

From 1948 to 1956 she was a medical secretary at the Marianites Clinic in Le Mans. Although, it was a totally new work experience for her, it proved to be valuable training to better serve the sick and their families.

In 1956 she was called to serve in Loué, a small rural town where she helped the elderly in the local “hospice”. She adjusted well to the rural life-style and to the work that she did with the elderly people who she had only just met! At first it was a challenge, especially because the house was so lacking in modern comforts. However, Jenny was good at anticipating the needs of others and contributing to their well-being. In spite of its lacking, the house and its property actually possessed many hidden pleasures only waiting to be discovered. The work was very demanding and the small staff relied heavily on the Sisters in the community.

For four years, from 1969 to 1973, she worked as an assistant nurse at Saint-Joseph’s Clinic in Le Mans. From 1973 to 1978 she resumed her studies at Créhen then at the nursing school in Levallois-Perret to become a certified nurse. After her studies she returned to the Clinic in Le Mans and became the head nurse for 5 years. After receiving her nursing certification, Jenny started a new chapter of her professional life and became a home-care nurse and head of the community for 3 years in Loué

Many things had changed since her last stay in Loué. Most visibly the renovations to house had allowed for it to be converted into a nursing home; thus, improving both the lives of the residents and the work conditions for the employees.

In 1986, Jenny was assigned to serve in Normandy in Tourneville/Annoville. She became head of the nursing home “Basile Moreau”, she generously dedicated herself to caring for the elderly, was actively committed to the parish, lead a group called “Retired Christians Movement.” She loved decorating the church with flowers and put all of her heart into her art.

Often after visiting the sick, she would stop in front of the sea for a short time to relax, reflect and contemplate.

In 2002, the nursing home in Tourneville moved into a brand new building in the village of Annoville. The community now lives in Lingreville, in a very nice small house in the middle of this beautiful region.

In 2011 Jenny’s health started declining and she had to move to La Solitude in Le Mans where she could live out her retirement within the community, surrounded by professional health care workers. Jenny always wanted to remain independent and she often reminded of us of how proud she was to be from Brittany.

Unfortunately, she was hospitalized in April and then she peacefully passed away in God’s presence on April 25, 2017 at the Health Center in Le Mans.

At the Solitude, the sisters offered a time of prayer at the Oratory. The funeral services were celebrated by Father Rimbaud, at the chapel on Friday, April 28, 2017. In Father Rimbaud’s homily he pointed to the healing of Simon Peter’s mother in-law and three acts of Jesus to characterize Sister Jenny’s service in her professional career as a nurse. “Throughout her life Jenny stayed close to the sick and therefore the poor, those that were vulnerable, destitute and sometime forgotten. She was a continuation of the example of Jesus caring for the sick. Through her presence with them, she was in their lives at the service of Christ; she took them by hand, helped them to stand, and accompanied them physically and spiritually so that they would never feel alone.”

We accompanied Jenny and several members of her family and friends to the Holy Cross Cemetery where she has been laid to rest with our sisters.