sister theresa desrochers

September 26, 1930 – October 21, 2012

It was August 1956 when Sister Theresa Desrochers requested to make final vows. Her superior, S. Mary Hilary Kratt, wrote, “Sister gives evidence of being always a good and devoted Sister of St. Joseph. She does well whatever task is assigned to her.” S. Theresa did just that throughout the ensuing years.

On September 26, 1930, Theresa was born in Rudyard, Mich., and two days later she was baptized because the family feared for her health. Her parents, Lloyd and Honora Haydon Desrochers; her sisters, Margaret, Evelyn, Rose and Nora; and her two brothers, Leo and James, welcomed her among them. Later her younger brother, Roy, was born. This large family was happy and shared the work on their small farm.

Family social life revolved around church. Too far away to attend Catholic school, the children walked to church every Saturday morning, where the pastor taught religion classes. Besides getting out of Saturday morning cleaning at home, the children looked forward to the end-of-session treats.

For most of his life, Theresa’s father was chronically ill with heart difficulties. When Theresa left home at age 18, he realized he would not see her in the habit. Indeed, two years later he died. He was very pleased, however, that her religious name was to be S. Honora Marie, which she received on March 19, 1949.

After her profession in 1951, S. Theresa taught in the primary grades, beginning at Holy Guardian Angels School in St. Louis. The children responded to her loving kindness and calm manner. Teachers too, appreciated that same kindness and calmness toward them. As teacher and later as principal in several schools, and as a superior in the community, she put others’ needs first, acted on their behalf, and encouraged them by her supportive attentiveness.

In 1958, S. Theresa earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Fontbonne College. And even though she shed tears at the thought of being a principal, she accepted the challenge and earned a master’s in elementary education administration from St. Xavier College in Chicago in 1967.

An excellent teacher and administrator, S. Theresa served at All Saints School, St. Thomas of Aquin School, St. Mary and Joseph School, St. Louis; Little Flower School, Mobile; Notre Dame School, St. Thomas the Apostle School, St. Anthony School, St. Adalbert School, St. Louis; and St. Patrick School in St. Joseph, Mo. For her 17 years in Catholic school administration, the Archdiocese of St. Louis honored her on May 15, 1983.

Beginning in 1984 S. Theresa was assistant treasurer at Nazareth Living Center. From 1992-2006 she worked in the institution’s business office. Determined to live a less stressful life, she agreed to become the bookkeeper for the Sisters of St. Joseph at Nazareth.

This faithful servant and dedicated sister, S. Theresa now receives her eternal reward. May she who loved her God now experience His loving presence. May she rest in peace.

S. Kathleen Karbowski
S. Rita Louise Huebner


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