Sister Gracelyn Soignet CSJ, a sister of St. Joseph for 64 years, passed away at Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita, Kansas on Sept. 14 at age 82.  

She was born in New Orleans to the late Mertyle Michael and Grace Walker Soignet and baptized Gracelyn Ann. She is survived by her brother Donald Soignet and his wife Jeanne.  

Sister Gracelyn graduated from St. Joseph Academy in New Orleans in 1956 and entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in New Orleans that same year. She professed first vows in 1959 and perpetual vows in 1964 and graduated from Dominican College in New Orleans in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Sister Gracelyn completed the program at Dominican College in teaching the mentally handicapped in 1972 and became a licensed practical nurse in 1980 after studies at Jefferson Vocational Tech in New Orleans.  

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Sister Gracelyn Soignet CSJ


Her dedication to 55 years in the ministry of Catholic education and healthcare began in 1959 at Our Lady of the Rosary School in New Orleans followed by six years at Sacred Heart School in Baton Rouge and two years at St. Pius X in New Orleans. Sister Gracelyn’s next eight years were spent ministering in special education at Sacred Heart-St. Agnes Vocational Rehabilitation Center for the Diocese of Baton Rouge.  

After earning her LPN degree she worked in New Orleans for three years as a nurse at St. Joseph Infirmary and 16 years at Nazareth Inn Apartment Complex as a nurse and arts instructor. From 1999 to 2005 Sister Gracelyn was nurse and administrator at St. Joseph Convent in New Orleans.  

As nurse and caregiver for the infirm sisters she evacuated with them during Hurricane Katrina, first to Menard High School in Alexandria, then to the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Barling, Arkansas and finally, on Sept. 5, 2005, to Mt. St. Mary Convent. Sister Gracelyn remained in Wichita caring for the sisters and working first for one year as a charge nurse and then assisting the director of nurses and the charge nurse by accompanying sisters to medical appointments and reporting doctors’ orders until 2016 when she retired.  

She continued to offer assistance as long as her health permitted.  

Special thanks to the sisters and staff at Mt. St. Mary Convent for their devoted care of Sister Gracelyn as her health declined.  

A Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Father Joseph Gile was celebrated Sept. 24 at Mt. St. Mary Convent. Burial immediately followed in the convent cemetery.  

Donations in Sister Gracelyn’s memory may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 3134 Hundred Oaks Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.