Soeur Bathilde Lebert, MSC
Sister Bathilde, named at birth Simone Lebert, was born on June 13, 1926, in Sille-le-Philippe in the Department of the Sarthe of France. She spent her childhood with her family in Bouloire. Having a weakened health condition, she spent time healing in Précigné and it was at that time that she was introduced to the Marianite Sisters. She felt called to give her life to God and to the service of the sick. She asked to enter the novitiate which was located in Précigné at the time. She began her preparation for religious life there in 1952. She received the habit on October 7, 1952 and was given the name Sister Marie-Bathilde, made her first vows in 1953 and her perpetual profession in 1957. She was then appointed to live and minister at The Solitude where she served as sacristan of the chapel and assisted in making the sisters’ habits for five years.
In 1962, she returned to Précigné, for a year of rest, after which she began to care for young children along with Mr. Paul for whom she had great respect. The older boys considered her “like a big sister: firm, just and good!” She accompanied them in various activities. She also assisted in the daily maintenance of the chapel, the preparation of the altar and the flowers for liturgies.
This was a time for changes of the preventorium to the opening of the Basile Moreau Medical Center. Sister Bathilde was very active in local community living and contributed fully in the life that the sisters shared.
In 1980, he was entrusted with the care of the elderly in the Center’s Retirement Home. The following are excerpts from a conversation with her niece: “I remember pleasant moments while visiting with her in Précigné, her generosity with the elderly, the love and attention she gave to the children, the most vulnerable people, always with a kind and compassionate look she had for people with disabilities. All of this, she shared with my sister and me when we went to spend time with her.” Her niece adds, addressing us: “I thank you all for being full-time missionaries of the gospel and for choosing to witness God’s grace in your life.”
In the surrounding villages, people whose parents she care for refer to her with reverence and respect. They speak often about Sr. Bathilde’s willingness to help and to relieve tired family members who were caring for their loved ones. She did this with great patience and gentleness.
In September 2010, she moved to The Solitude in Le Mans as she herself was in need of care, and the transition was difficult for her. She felt uprooted and deeply missed her family members, as well as, the community she knew so well in Précigné. Soon after her move, she experienced grief at the time of the death of her sister.
However, little by little, she participated fully in the community life of The Solitude and integrated it with a good heart. She enjoyed the daily activities, especially the games of skill. Her joy was evident by hearty laugh. Her deteriorating health, despite the attentive care that she received, became a concern of the staff and the sisters. She left us quietly in her sleep, the morning of February 28, 2018 after much suffering.
The mass of Christian burial took place in the chapel of the Solitude, on Monday, March 5, 2018 concelebrated by Father Camille Raimbau, Father Bouvier , CSC, and the Priests who had known her well in Precigné. Her brother along with faithful nephews and nieces accompanied the sisters during the prayerful celebration, to the Holy Cross Cemetery where Sister Bathilde rests with all of our sisters who preceded her.
GOD KEEP HER IN HIS PEACE, HIS LOVE, AND HIS JOY
MARIANITE CONGREGATIONAL CENTER
21388 Smith Road + Covington, Louisiana 70435
Ph: 985-893-5201 + Fax: 985-893-5190
Lord Jesus, source of all that is good, you inspired Blessed Basil Moreau
to found the religious family of Holy Cross to continue your mission
among the People of God. May he be for us a model of the apostolic life,
an example of fidelity and an inspiration as we strive to follow you.
May we imitate Basil Moreau’s holiness and confidently seek his intercession
before you, Lord Jesus, in our times of need. Amen.