Sister Maria Letícia

LetíciaSister  Maria  Letícia             ND 4184                ⇒PDF Download
Otilia Letícia Donato

Our Lady Aparecida Province, Canoas, RS – Brazil

Date and place of birth:               March 28, 1925             Passo Fundo, RS
Date and place of profession:    February 12, 1948       Passo Fundo, RS
Date and place of death:              September 23, 2013   Recanto Aparecida, Canoas, RS
Date and place of burial:             September 24, 2013    Convent Cemetery, Canoas, RS

“My heart exults, and with my song I will praise him” Psalm 28.7

Ângelo and Elisa Donato, the parents of Otilia Letícia, were farmers from Italy: Vicenza and Verona, respectively. They had 10 children, three boys and seven girls, and gave them values and a deep Christian faith. When she was 17, Otilia Letícia, the youngest of the family, left her parents´ house to give her life to serving the Lord, entering as a postulant in the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. One year after entering religious life, her sister, Sister Maria Armelinda also felt called and followed in the footsteps of her youngest sister. Both retained a great friendship during religious life while remaining very close to their family.

Sister Maria Letícia, in the beginning of her religious consecrated life, dedicated herself to teaching and carried out the duties of an educator for 12 years. In 1960, she was trained to work in the Clinical Laboratory. From 1961 until 1994, she worked with great efficiency and dedication in the Laboratory of the Charity Hospital Dr. Victor Lang in Caçapava do Sul. She was recognized for her responsibility and accuracy in the laboratory tests. Giving up this work in the lab, she continued in the same hospital as administrative assistant and afterwards, as a volunteer, thus reaching 50 years of selfless service in the Hospital Dr. Victor Lang. The activities she carried out with professionalism and love made her known and loved by doctors, staff and the people of Caçapava.

From the Legislature of the City Council she received a “Merit Award” for the outstanding services done in Charity Hospital Dr. Victor Lang and a special recognition for her exemplary character and the zealous work done for the people of Caçapava do Sul. With the ending of the presence of the religious community in the Hospital in 2011, the City Council expressed “to the Sisters of Notre Dame, affection, appreciation, gratitude and recognition for the outstanding services provided to the people of this land in the religious, social and professional spheres…”

From this date on, Sister Maria Letícia was a member of the Provincial House community. In 2012, needing more health care, she was transferred to Recanto Aparecida. Sister Maria Letícia was a sensitive and dedicated person in her relationships. In the religious community, as local superior and co-sister, she was immersed in the boarding school, she cared for and formed with maternal love the adolescents and young ladies. She was shy by nature, but social. She cultivated friendship and liked parties. Love for the Congregation, the spirit of gratitude, apostolic zeal, dedication to work, love for the Church were characteristics of her life. She enjoyed singing. We believe that Sister Maria Letícia, with her low, harmonious and refined voice, will continue to sing in eternity the praises of the Lord.

In her journey through this world, she left in the communities and places where she lived her mission, deep marks of the irresistible goodness of God. In the beginning of September, Sister Maria Letícia had strong bouts of pain and was hospitalized. Following all of the exams, she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. On September 13th, Sister returned to Recanto Aparecida where she received complete nursing care and the company of her co-sisters, especially from Sister Maria Armelinda. On Saturday, September 21st, she asked for the anointing of the sick which was given to her in the presence of many sisters. Sister experienced it consciously and serenely although expressing physical suffering. On September 23rd at 4.30 am, she went to the happiness of eternity. Her name in Latin, Letícia, means joy.

Sister will be missed by the sisters and her family because she was loved and admired for her way of welcoming, her simplicity, her spirituality and her witness of fidelity to the Notre Dame charism. Certainly, Our Lady, to whom she was dedicated, conducted her to her Son, Jesus.