Birth: March 21, 1919Profession: April 28, 1947Death: Feb. 25, 2013
Religious of the Sacred Heart Rose Guidroz, known for her prayerfulness and her prodigious fudge making, died Monday, February 25, at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California. Sister Guidroz served for 25 years at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Her life will be celebrated in a Memorial Mass Saturday, March 9 at 10:00 a.m. at Oakwood, 140 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027. Her remains will be returned to her beloved Grand Coteau for burial. The funeral Mass in Grand Coteau will be on April 6 at 1:30 PM in the Academy of the Sacred Heart chapel.
“As long as I have known Rose, she was ‘with God,’” said former U.S. Provincial Paula Toner, RSCJ. “I am rejoicing with her that she is now face-to-face (in our finite way of expressing things) or better, heart-to-heart.”
Rose Mae Mary Guidroz was born March 20, 1919, to Claiborne J. and Marie Matherne Guidroz in Franklin, Louisiana. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her twin sister, Anna (Mrs. Harold) Poché, a half-sister, Laura Guidroz, and two half-brothers, George Guidroz and Eddie J. Guidroz. She is survived by her nephew, Claiborne J. Poché of Daphne, AL, and three nieces, Anne Henley of Axis, AL, Mary Kilborn of Mobile, AL and Jeane Ann Guidroz of Lexington, KY. She will be remembered with fond affection by her sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart, former students and colleagues, devoted friends and the staff at Oakwood who grew to love her during her final years.
Sister Guidroz became acquainted with the Society of the Sacred Heart while teaching physical education at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau. She entered the Society on October 20, 1944 in St. Charles, Missouri, where St. Rose Philippine Duchesne first founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in the United States. She made first vows April 28, 1947 and final vows in 1952, both in St. Charles.
Following her profession of first vows, Sister Guidroz served within the convent in St. Charles at a time when Religious of the Sacred Heart were cloistered. From 1949-68, she took care of the physical needs of the Religious and the students of Villa Duchesne Academy in St. Louis. She served in the dining room and infirmary and took care of the housekeeping and maintenance for the convent and school. Then in 1968, she began her teaching ministry, as a religion and science teacher for primary grades at Villa Duchesne. The following year, she went to Grand Coteau, Louisiana, where she would remain for the rest of her active ministry. She taught biology at the Academy of the Sacred Heart until 1994.
At the age of 75, her hearing began to diminish, so Sister Guidroz gave up her classroom and began working at St. Joseph’s Diner, a diocesan-supported program in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Thensted Center in Grand Coteau, where she tutored school children. She reported this time as one of the happiest periods of her life. The poor and homeless were a continual source of inspiration and joy for her.
During her time of teaching at Grand Coteau, Rose began to make candy, in order to raise money for the school. Little did she realize that this was to be the beginning of a new career in the Society! In time, the sales for the benefit of the Academy began. As she described it, “After leaving the classroom, I had more time, so it mushroomed.” Soon she became known as “Sister Fudge.”
In 2010, Sister Guidroz entered a ministry of prayer and community service at Oakwood, in Atherton. As a resident of Oakwood, Rose not only delighted the community with a variety of chocolate goodies. She was an inspiration to everyone—gentle and smiling. Her severe deafness did not prevent her from being present at all community activities and she remained a presence to all to the end. She kept a current list of heads of state throughout the world and daily prayed for them.
Sister Guidroz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education, with minors in history and biology from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette.