Marlborough – Sister Violet Arsenault, S.S.Ch. (Sr. Catherine de Sienne), died Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at Bethany Health Center in Framingham.
Born Jan. 1, 1925 in Rumford, Maine, she was the daughter of the late Joseph A. and Catherine M. (Martin) Arsenault. She attended the Juniorate for high school at St. Chretienne Academy in Salem. She entered the novitiate and pronounced her first vows as a Sister of St. Chretienne on Aug. 15, 1943 and her final vows on Aug. 15, 1948.
After a year at the Scholasticat (Normal School), Sr. Violet’s first ministry assignment was at Sacred Heart School in Amesbury. She was a natural as a teacher. She loved her students and had a wonderful influence on them, even lasting until the present day. After a few years teaching in the lower grades, she taught Grades 6-8 at St. Anne’s School in Salem. In 1968, she returned to Rumford, Maine as 8th grade teacher and Principal of St. John’s School. In the ensuing years, she became the Religious Education Coordinator for the parish and once again served as the school Principal.
Sr. Violet was deeply spiritual and her devotion to prayer informed her teaching and everything she did. She loved being a Sister of St. Chretienne, and she contributed greatly to the quality of community life among her Sisters. She had a special concern for the younger Sisters, encouraging them in their vocation and coaching them in their first years of teaching.
In 1995, Sr. Violet joined the team at Nazareth Center, our spirituality house in Newport, R.I. There she welcomed many guests and cooked delicious meals to enhance their time with the Lord. She made many friends through this ministry as she had everywhere she went.
In 1998, fulfilling a lifelong desire to live with the poor, she went to Beauty, Ky. in Appalachia where, with another Sister, she served the people of the area, bringing them God’s love through her own welcoming ways.
In 2001, due to health problems, she joined the community at the retirement house in Marlborough. There, too, Sr. Violet was known for her graciousness, her consideration for her companions, as well as her devotion to prayer. With her increasing age, in 2012, she became a resident at Bethany Health Center. There she received the best of care from the Sisters of St. Joseph and their wonderful staff. She will be greatly missed but always remembered as a gracious lady and a dedicated religious woman.
Sr. Violet is survived by her Sisters in religious life and by her nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her brothers, Raymond, Ivan and Richard.
Her funeral Mass was held Dec. 7 at St. Chrettienne Retirement Residence of Marlborough.