For over 80 years, Sister Marie Mathilde, lsp, has lived a life of joy in service to God and others as a Little Sister of the Poor. She is currently the longest professed Little Sister of the Poor in the world!
Born on March 7, 1913, in Colombia, Sister began her journey as a postulant there before traveling to France to the Motherhouse for her formation and profession. She comes from a large family, and they have remained very close over the years and visit with Sister each year.
In fact, several of Sister Marie Mathilde’s relatives were Little Sisters of the Poor, and she was inspired to become a Little Sister in part, by hearing the joy of their lives. She recalls, “With much prayer, I recognized the beauty of their vocation and decided to join.”
Sister has had many responsibilities over the years, including serving as Mother Superior in several homes, as well as serving in fundraising and public relations. She has joyfully cared for the elderly poor and her community in France, as well as in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Washington, DC.
Now, getting about in her wheelchair, Sister continues to spread joy to the community, staff and volunteers at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Washington, DC where she resides. Whether through song – Sister loves to sing and play guitar (with the help of another Sister) – a kind word, a smile, or the assurance, “I will pray for you,” Sister faithfully lives the joy of her life as a religious, and in doing so, brings God’s loving presence to each person she meets.
Sister Marie Mathilde is someone who truly continues to “wake up the world.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor is an international order founded in France in 1839 by Saint Jeanne Jugan. The order cares for poor and low-income elderly. They received a grant from SOAR! for wheelchairs in 2014.