Medaille Jubilarians – 2021 – Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Medaille Jubilarians – 2021

Sister Dehra Elliot, CSJ

(Sister Mary Sheila)

70 years

Sister Dehra Elliot was born in 1932, one of nine children, and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in New Orleans on September 8, 1949. She earned a B.S. and M.A. in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans. She began teaching at Our Lady of the Rosary School (1951-54) in New Orleans. She taught at St. Joseph Parochial in Baton Rouge (1954-56), St. Rose of Lima in New Orleans (1956-60), and Sacred Heart/St. Ignatius in Grand Coteau, LA. She was summer camp counselor (1960-64) at St. Joseph’s Academy in Bay St. Louis, MS. She returned to Our Lady of the Rosary (1968-72) and taught at Sacred Heart (1972-74) in Norco, LA, St. Ignatius (1974-75) in Grand Coteau, and St. Frances Cabrini (1975-78) in New Orleans. Sister Dehra was administrator at Sacred Heart Elementary (1978-83) in Morgan City, LA and taught at the Sisters of St. Joseph School (1983-85) in New Orleans. After a sabbatical year she became house manager at Blessing Place (1988-90), a renewal center in Lacombe, LA, and Executive Housekeeper and Director of Activities at Wynhoven Apartments for the elderly (1990-93) in Marrero, LA. From 1993 to 1996 she was Director of Activities at Christopher Inn, housing for the elderly in New Orleans. For the following nine years she was involved in adult education, particularly with math education. After evacuating from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina, Sister Dehra volunteered for CSJ community service. She currently resides in New Orleans where she is active in prayer ministry.


Sister Rita Lambert, CSJ

(Sister Mary Matthew)

70 years

Sister Rita Lambert was born in 1930 in Brignac, a small town near Baton Rouge and is one of ten children. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in New Orleans on September 8, 1949 and earned a B.S. in Education from Loyola University in New Orleans and a Masters in Religious Education from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. She taught 17 years in elementary schools beginning at St. Rose (1951-53 & 1958-59) in New Orleans and continuing at Sacred Heart (1953-54) in Baton Rouge, St. Joseph Academy (1954-57) in New Roads, LA, St. Ignatius (1957-58 & 1959-60) in Grand Coteau, LA, St. Mary’s (1960-63) in New Roads, and Our Lady of the Gulf (1963-67) in Bay St. Louis, MS. Sister Rita was Religious Education Coordinator at Sacred Heart Parish (1967-79) in Morgan City, LA and Director or Religious Education at Our Lady of Divine Providence Parish in Metairie, LA and St. Mary’s Parish (1982-2009) in New Roads, LA. She currently resides in New Orleans where she is active in prayer ministry.


Sister Mary Ellen Proulx, CSJ

(Sister Monica Noel)

60 years

Sister Mary Ellen was born in Crookston, Minnesota in 1942, one of nine children – five girls and four boys in the Proulx family.  She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Crookston on August 15, 1960 and made final profession of vows in 1963.  She earned a Bachelor in Music Education from Viterbo College in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Beginning in 1966 Sister Mary Ellen spent 14 years in music ministry teaching choral music, music appreciation, guitar and piano classes; directing and assisting with school musicals; serving as choral director and/or liturgy coordinator; training organists and teaching organ.  She served in many parishes and schools over those years:  St. Joseph’s Academy in Crookston, Archbishop Brady High School and St. Joseph’s Elementary in West St. Paul, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Anne’s Parish in Crookston, St. Peter’s Parish in Mendota, Minnesota and the parishes of St. Joseph’s and Corpus Christi in West St. Paul.

In 1986 she was asked to serve on the CSJ Formation Team in San Antonio, Texas.  In 1992 she became Director of Music and Liturgy for two years at the Church of the Little Flower in St. Louis, Missouri.  She was accompanist for four years at St. Ambrose Parish in Woodbury, Minnesota and Director of Recreational Activities for eleven years at Health East Care Center – Marian St. Paul.  Sister Mary Ellen retired in 2011 and moved in January 2019 to Mt. St. Mary’s Convent in Wichita, Kansas where she joins with the community in prayer ministry.


Sister Cynthia Sabathier, CSJ

(Sister Maura)

60 years

Sister Cynthia Sabathier was born in New Orleans in 1940 where she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille and professed first vows in 1961, and final vows in 1966. From 1961-69, Sister Cynthia taught at Our Lady of the Rosary and at St. Pius X in New Orleans. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Mary’s Dominican College New Orleans, a master’s in English from UNO and a master’s in ministry from Creighton University in Omaha. She received her spiritual direction training from the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center in New Orleans. From 1969-76 she served as Principal at Our Lady of the Gulf in Bay St. Louis and St. Frances X. Cabrini in New Orleans. From 1976-86 she served the congregation as Coordinator of Ministries and Assistant Provincial and as Formation director from 1994-96. She was pastoral associate and director of adult faith formation for 12 years at Resurrection of Our Lord Church, New Orleans and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Belle Chasse. For the next 12 years, Sister Cynthia was Executive Director of St. Joseph Spirituality Center in Baton Rouge where she served for two decades as spiritual director. She currently resides at our center in Baton Rouge, where she continues spiritual direction facilitating Ignatian groups and is a volunteer chaplain on the Behavioral Units at Baton Rouge General Hospital Mid-City.


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