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Obituary | Mary Elizabeth Godefroy, VHM

A funeral Mass was celebrated for Sister Mary Elizabeth Godefroy, VHM, Aug. 18 in the chapel of Visitation Academy in Town and Country. Sister Mary Elizabeth died Aug. 15 at the Visitation Monastery at Catherine's Residence in Frontenac. She was 91.

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1926, she was the oldest of four children. Because of the persecution of Catholics in Mexico during the first quarter of the 20th century, the children received their religious education in secret. They went to a private home for catechism instruction and their First Communion.

Her father investigated Visitation Academy in St. Louis as a place to educate his girls. Late in the summer of 1940, Sister Mary Elizabeth boarded the Missouri Pacific Pullman with other pupils en route to St. Louis from Mexico.

In her junior and senior years at Visitation, Sister Mary Elizabeth discerned that she had a religious vocation. After graduating from Visitation Academy, she entered the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary in St. Louis in 1944. She received the habit in 1945, keeping her baptismal name. Sister Mary Elizabeth pronounced temporary vows in 1946 and final vows in 1949. She graduated from Fontbonne College and earned a bachelor's degree in French in 1958, and later a master's in French from St. Louis University.

For many years, she taught French at Visitation. In her later years, she served as librarian of the grade school where she enjoyed fostering the little girls' reading and making friendships with parents, faculty and other librarians.

Sister Mary Elizabeth grew up speaking both French and Spanish as well as English. She prayed with a Bible written in French. She loved to read, and working in the library was her delight. Most of all, she was a woman of prayer and contemplation who found God in beauty, nature, and poetry. She was deeply devoted to our Blessed Mother Mary. For many years she also served the Visitation Ladies' Sodality as their moderator.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery. 

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