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† Sr. Chantal CHAMBON sscc (France)


"Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
I praise you because you have you hidden these things
 from the wise and learned, you have I revealed to simple people”.
(Mt 11, 25)
   Born on October 18, 1935 in Beaumont-sur-Oise, Sister Chantal came to know our religious family through the Brothers of St. Gabriel´s parish, in Paris in the 20th arrondissement where she lived with her family, her parents, her three sisters, seven brothers.
   It was in the Church of St. Gabriel´s Parish that Chantal made her perpetual profession on May 28, 1972 after having spent her postulancy and novitiate in the Grand'Maison in Poitiers, where she made her first profession on February 11, 1968.
   Before entering the Congregation she was a teacher and catechist, these were the two great vocations that Chantal persued throughout her forty-two years of consecration in the service to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
   She was a born teacher. Her teaching was of a high quality because Chantal passionately loved the children entrusted to her, and she responded to what the Good Mother asked of her children, namely: "That the children be happy with us."
   In Rennes, Paris, Boissy-Saint-Léger, La Verpillière, and again in Paris until the age of retirement, Chantal gave herself totally where she found herself, be it teaching, or headmistress, giving catechesis, animating summer camps and classes of discovery. It was one of those privileged places of apostolate, and it was there that she exercised fully her predilection for the very poor… Many of the children who are now adults have an unforgettable memory of her, because Sister Chantal guessed what each one needed to learn, but also to grow in humanity.
   In all these places, Chantal lived in community sometimes with many sisters, sometimes with only a few, and she loved telling stories of what had happened in her classes, on the way to school, in the classroom... It was never commonplace and all this was backed by a life of intense prayer and enlivened by her laugh.
   When she retired, Sister Chantal did not stop: she tutored in hospitals, visiting sick children and the elderly... And then exercised her talents for the Congregation. She spent two summers in Rome and did, a good job editing the letters of the Good Mother.
   When her health became more delicate, Sister Chantal went to the community in Boissy in September 2008. But the adjustment was hard until the day when she left Boissy a few months ago.
   Sister Chantal died suddenly on January 29, 2010, on the eve of the televised Mass in the chapel of Picpus a mass she would have enjoyed seeing.
   To one who lived her baptismal consecration with strength and diligence, and who gave the best of herself in the service of education, a ministry so essential to our ss.cc. charism, we have no doubt it that the Hearts of Jesus and Mary would have reserved a choice welcome. However, we recommend her to your fervent prayers.
Sister Jeanne Cadiou, ss.cc. Provincial