Sister Genevieve Sensat, MSC

In Memoriam

Genevieve Sensat joined our host of saints in Heaven early this morning, March 18, 2013. We lift her up to the Lord and pray that she intercedes for us. May “Vee” rest in peace.

Born in Lake Arthur, Louisiana on January 15, 1933, Sr. Genevieve grew up in the small town of Iota. She was the daughter of Frank P. Sensat and Alice Guidry. One of six children, Genevieve was preceded in death by her four brothers and is survived by her only sister, Joyce Sensat Maynor.

On February 2, 1952, Genevieve went to New Orleans to enter the novitiate of the Marianites of Holy Cross at Holy Angels on St. Claude Avenue. Some months later, along with her novitiate companions, she received the holy habit and was given the name Sr. Mary Alice. She pronounced her temporary vows on August 16, 1954 and made perpetual profession on August 16, 1956.

As a young sister, Vee was a classroom teacher at St. Mary of the Angels, St. Cecilia, and St. Christopher in New Orleans; and at St. John, Franklin; St. Charles Academy, Lake Charles; and Sacred Heart, Ville Platte. She also served briefly as principal at both St. Cecilia and at Sacred Heart.

In 1976, Sr. Alice was sent to study French at the University of California on her road to becoming a capable and respected translator. After a couple of years teaching at Immaculate Conception School in Lake Charles, the Marianite congregational administration chose her as their official translator. She then moved from Louisiana to Potomac, Maryland with her superiors.

When the administration changed, Sister spent some time ministering in adult education at Our Lady of Holy Cross College and continued perfecting her French. Named Directress of Form -ation, Vee served in this position from 1985 to 1988. During the seven years following, she worked as congregational secretary /translator both at the Solitude in France and in Washington, DC.

In preparation for Third World ministry, Sister spent several months in training and was happy to be assigned to work with the Sisters of Holy Cross at Regina Assumpta College in Cap Haitian, Haiti. Her ministry there lasted some eight years and Vee loved every minute of it.

Her ability and ease with the French language endeared Vee to her Marianite sisters in France and to the Haitian people as well as to the Sisters of Holy Cross with whom she worked.

When she returned from Haiti, Sister helped in various schools in New Orleans while living with the sisters at James Court in Gretna. As her short-term memory failed, Genevieve was sent to Prompt Succor Nursing Home in Opelousas where she lived until her death.

Sister Genevieve was a faithful woman of God. She was a disciple who heard God’s call to follow, left all behind, and traveled wherever God led. Ever devout with a loving compassion for the poor, she possessed a non-judgmental listening ear as well as an ever open, humble, and compassionate heart in her acceptance of others. Her sacraments were a celebration of people who are the church.

Her community mindedness was evident at all levels of her living. She was a pleasure to live with in religious community. Her genuineness called forth others to live their faith more authentically. “Vee” was ever ready with a smile or laugh to lighten the situation.

To her own family Vee was a faith-filled companion. Vee was animated when speaking of the generous love of her parents who imparted the love of God and faith to herself and her siblings. Her sister, Joyce, and her aunt, Sister Zita Guidry, MSC, were always two special family members. Speaking of her home town of Iota and the role her town played in her upbringing gave her much joy.

On March 18, 2013, the Lord call Genevieve to Himself.   Her funeral Mass was celebrated in the chapel at Prompt Succor Nursing Home on March 20th.   This followed a brief wake service at which her family and friends recalled memories of this gentle soul who had touched so many lives. Her body was buried in St. Landry Cemetery in Opelousas.