Sr. Mary Motte, FMM, passed away on March 12, 2022, at the age of 85, in North Providence, United States. She has been a great supporter of SEDOS through the years, and was the co-organizer of the former SEDOS Mission Symposium of 1989. We give here the word to one of her co-sisters.

What a tribute to God through Mary Motte’s life!!!  For, “God is what God does” and indeed, God did marvelous things throughout her life. Her death reminds us that Creation is God’s temple and Mary’s life was one of them allowing her Creator, day by day, to unfold God’s love, kindness and care for all Creation.

As you can see below, I have added footnotes and this is significant because days before she died she asked me what she could do to help with her care. I said that she was very brave and didn’t need to do anything, but she could promise one thing, not to argue with me while providing her with appropriate care. At that moment, Mary straightened up herself in the recliner and became silent for a few seconds. Then, she said in her stoic voice: Yes, I made a resolution not to argue with you, but remember there are footnotes to it. We started to laugh and I asked her if the footnotes could be erased. Again, Mary now in her robust voice said that she would, but I have to remember that there were the endnotes and they are the same as the footnotes. This became our joke lasting to the end of her life.

Both of us were born on the same day, December 4th, though not the same year.

Mary very often reminded me that girding herself with strength was inscribed into the fourth of December, so questioning her stubborn but loving heart and mind would be no more an argument. Our journey, especially at the end of Mary’s life, became a secret space. I believe, in her heart she knew her journey was leading her back to the Father’s House. Two days before she died, she told me that all will be well. My obligation was to visit my family as I had planned for May this year. She said I should go and not to worry about anything, she will be fine and she will take care of it. So she did!

She went with dignity after being diagnosed with Multiple myeloma in November, 2021, a blood cancer that, not unusually, penetrates bones. Hers located itself in the lower back in a form of pathological growth causing fracture to one of her vertebrae and consequently the pain she had to endure to the last moment of her life. As I reflect back on the events, I am convinced she endured more than I ever will know.

On the day of her departure, a peace lily plant in the Mission Resource Center started to blossom. It reached its peak on the day of her funeral reaching high to the Franciscan Cross that hangs on the wall next to it. Mary once again embraced the Mystery of Christ’s Death and Resurrection she incarnated fully into and throughout her life.

Mary, thank you for being truly our Sister and friend to so many of us, in fact we will never know how many lives you have touched through your love, kindness and sincere care!!!

Personally I would like to express my gratitude to my FMM family, our Fruit Hill extended family: maintenance, kitchen and all care providers for the support you all have extended to me in one form or the other. Most of all, thank you for your prayers.

In gratitude,

Sr. Barbara Dopierala, FMM


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