Sister Alzira Maria
September 24, 2017
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Alzira Maria BORDIGNON
Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil
Date and Place of Birth: May 30, 1926 Guaporé, RS
Date and Place of Profession: February 9, 1950 Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death: September 24, 2017 Casa Betânia, Não-Me-Toque, RS
Date and Place of Funeral: September 25, 2017 Casa Santa Cruz, Passo Fundo, RS
“I rejoiced with those who said to me: Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Psalm 122)
Alzira Maria was the first child born to Thereza Piva and Primo Bordignon. Eleven more children were born into the family, two of whom became Sisters of Notre Dame: Sister Maria Aurora and Sister Maria Ondina, who is deceased. In 1947, Alzira Maria joined the Sisters of Notre Dame as a postulant, was invested in 1948, and made first vows on February 9, 1950, in Passo Fundo, RS. In 2015, she celebrated her Iron Jubilee, 65 years of consecrated life. After 67 years and seven months as a Sister of Notre Dame, the good God called her to her eternal reward.
She ministered in boarding schools and hostels as local superior, treasurer, and teacher. With her knowledge of tailoring and sewing, she was able to help many people. Sister was a woman with a strong character and was rigorous with herself. At the same time, she was cheerful, patient, dedicated to work, and delighted in making small surprises for the community and each sister. She had a mother’s heart, very generous, always trying to help everyone. Sister showed special love toward the younger sisters, whom she supported and encouraged in their difficulties, so that they could continue living their religious vocation.
She stayed in close contact with her family, demonstrating interest in each member. Likewise, she was attentive to the needs of the sisters and visitors, serving and assisting all with joy. For 23 years, she ministered at Notre Dame School in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, serving as administrator and coordinator of that large institution.
For the last 9 years, she lived at Casa Betânia (Health Care Center), with poor health that demanded constant care, the use of a walker and, later, a wheelchair. She faced everything with courage, taking one day at a time, often singing Italian songs that she remembered by heart, which distracted her from her fatigue and pain.
Some of her brothers and other relatives attended the funeral, expressing their love and admiration for Sister through their testimonials. One of her brothers highlighted some aspects that he admired in Sister: humility, service, and self-giving. Father Darcy de Carli, the presider at the funeral, emphasized her consecration to God for the service of others.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on Sister. May Saint Julie Billiart be her companion in heaven. May Sister Alzira Maria intercede for us: for more vocations, for the Notre Dame mission in the world, and for the Holy Cross Province, which she loved so much and where she poured out her life.