Sr. Jeanne Dunoyer
of Montmin, Haute Savoie
who died at Grand Chêne, Vieugy
on 4th March 2021
aged 95 years, 75 of Religious Profession.
Mr and Mrs Dunoyer, farmers in Montmin, Haute Savoie, brought up four children in a deeply religious household: two boys and two girls. One of the boys entered the Congregation of the Christian Schools. On 6 August 1926, Jeanne was born, but she was not alone. She was one of three triplets. One of them died as soon as they were born and the second was stillborn. At that time, it was taught that an unbaptized child remained eternally in limbo, a mysterious place, without suffering but where the God of Pure Love, was absent. This was so hard for the parents to think of their children suffering like that for all eternity. However, today we know that these three lives, with such different paths, were willed and welcomed equally from all eternity by the Father. "Can a father or a mother forget their child?
Jeanne was baptized on the very day of her birth, immersed in the Life of Jesus, and engraved forever on the palm of His hands. Her long life was to be a slow maturation, a growing into the likeness of Jesus; a life punctuated by important stages in which Sr Jeanne's "yes" became more and more conscious, free and total: her first communion, confirmation, entry into the novitiate in 1944 at the age of 18, her first vows two years later, and in 1950, definitive commitment, an unquestioning "yes" to the unconditional love of Jesus. She was 24 years old when she made Final Profession.
Having passed the elementary school certificate, she worked with children for 44 years in St Martin, Monnetier-Mornex, Combloux, Cran, Annemasse, before joining the Marseille community. Here she was responsible for catechumenate and literacy. She stayed there for 6 years, from 1993 to 1999. She returned to Samoëns for 2 years, then to Les Campanules in Thônes from 2007 to 2017, before finally joining the Grand Chêne community at Vieugy.
All of Sr Jeanne's life is characterised by simplicity, kindness, trust, welcoming others, and a radiant smile; in a word, the spirit of childhood praised by Jesus: « If you do not become like this child, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. » Her cheerfulness, her natural playfulness, her sense of humour helped to solve the inevitable problems of any community life. Kind, helpful, attentive to others, she was appreciated by all, including the staff of Le Grand Chêne, despite the health problems of her age.
She drew her strength from prayer, and an unshakeable faith that she was keen to deepen. To this end, she took up the study of Hebrew in order to better understand the Word of God. She had a deep devotion to the Virgin Mary: the Good Mother of Marseilles, but especially Our Lady of the 7 Fountains of Montmin. Eager to share her faith and to deepen it through contact with others, she was a member of several prayer groups: the retired people's movement, and the charismatic renewal, among others.
She was very attached to her family, and they really appreciated her. She always remained in close contact with them.
Did she have only qualities? She was very attentive to her exterior. But is that a flaw? The outside often reflects the inside. God alone knows intimately our areas of darkness and light. Let us allow ourselves to be judged by his Fatherly Love.
Goodbye, Sister Jeanne. You have joined your family, especially your two little sisters who died at birth. You have joined our great religious family. Soon we will join you. Please pray for us.