Sister Elise Gimblet, CSJ
We celebrate the life of Denis and Elizabeth Gimblet’s first born of five children ~ Catherine. Her siblings, Elizabeth, Ellen and James are deceased. Her youngest sister, Denise, here today, has been a faithful and loving sister unto the end.
At age eighteen Catherine became known as Sister Marie Elise and later as Sister Elise Gimblet, CSJ ~ a cycle of change.
The theme of this reflection is based on the life cycle of the butterfly, a favorite of Elise.
The 1st stage is the egg~ after 5 days a tiny worm like creature will hatch from the egg.
The 2nd stage is the caterpillar ~~ it grows really fast ~ gets too long for its skin ~ gets new skin.
The 3rd stage is the chrysalis ~ pupa ~ a resting and changing stage ~ its shape changes.
The 4th stage ~ the chrysalis opens and out comes the butterfly.
Butterflies are very colorful. When they emerge they are tired but when rested they are ready to fly.
Life cycle starts all over.
These stages are descriptive of Elise’s 74 years as a Sister of St. Joseph. She started her religious life as an elementary school teacher; became a high school social studies teacher in Puerto Rico for 7 fruitful years.
Returning to the United States she became an elementary school principal then back to teaching social studies at Stella Maris High School. The cycle ever changing.
Elise’s first love was nursing. In mid-life she enrolled in Caledonian Nursing School becoming an LPN ~ shedding that category she went on to Columbia where she became an RN with a BA degree. For a number of years she nursed at St. John’s Hospital and then as a school nurse at The Mary Louis Academy.
The cycle is ever-changing ~ Elise became a House Mother for a few years at Boys Hope/Girls Hope, a residential home for needy teenagers.
The cycle is still changing. Elise taught English as a Second Language in the Learning Connection followed by Pastoral Care in St. Joseph’s Convent, and the list goes on.
Elise saw, heard and knew of so many different areas of need and responded generously. She reached metamorphosis many times giving birth to many butterflies.
Elise was loved by her family, my family and the many lives she touched by her loving and caring ways. Her life was total giving and sharing even during the last years of illness and pain. What carried her forward to her eternal reward was her love of the Eucharist and her dedication to the rosary. Elise loved to dance, especially liturgical dance. In the early morning hour of July 1 she passed through glory’s morning gate and danced into paradise accompanied by a butterfly, a symbol of new life.
Joan Petito, CSJ
I met S. Elise when I was a student at The Mary Louis Academy and then again years later in my mother’s living room as they became friends through their catholic school nurses’ group. During their numerous dinners, or meetings, as they liked to call them, I so enjoyed talking to S. Elise about my own Nursing and then Physician Assistant career. Little did I know then that our paths would cross again, where we would minister to each other. A year ago, S. Elise gave me a CSJ pin, as she felt I lived the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph. To say I was honored is an understatement. I carry that pin with me every day to honor my friend S. Elise and will cherish it always.
Sister Elise Gimblet, CSJ died on July 1, 2022 in the 74th year of her religious life.