Mrs. Mee Enters into Eternal Life
INTERNATIONAL | MEMBERS
Mrs. Mee, a consecrated woman in Regnum Christi, passed away at the age of 97. Hers was an extraordinary life full of wisdom, humor, and great love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
On Friday, May 16, 2008 at 10:10 a.m., the “grandmother”
of the consecrated women passed away peacefully, surrounded by the
prayers of the entire formation center for consecrated women in
Greenville, Rhode Island. In the obituary below, we salute an
extraordinary woman who embraced her married vocation and her consecrated
vocation as two phases of a life that had always
been dedicated totally to God.
|Mrs. Mee waving hello to the consecrated women from her window on her last birthday.|
A Life Spent
Close to the Eucharist
Gabrielle D. Mee was born on
June 10, 1911, on the feast of the Sacred Heart
in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. She was the sixth of nine
children in a family of French descent. Gabrielle received a
strong religious formation at home and was educated by the
Sisters of Jesus and Mary, from whom she learned the
Memorare, a prayer that was deeply meaningful to her.
When she was 12 years old, she made the decision
to go to Mass every day. She asked her mother
for permission and her mother answered, “What a blessing for
the family!” For the next 84 years, Gabrielle would receive
Jesus in the Eucharist every day.
1948, she married Timothy J. Mee, an eminent banker in
the area, with whom she shared her deepest religious values.
Childless, they dedicated the greater part of their time, talents,
and material means to help the Church. After her husband
passed away in 1985, Mrs. Mee began searching for a
work of the Church that she could support, and got
to know the Legionaries of Christ. Upon entering the chapel
and seeing that the tabernacle was in the center, she
realized that the Legion was a faithful religious congregation and
became a benefactor.
|Fr Álvaro Corcuera greets Mrs. Mee during a visit to the formation center.|
Some years later, she met the
consecrated women in the days when Maricarmen Perochena was the
director of the formation center. She began going to Mass
with them, and one day spontaneously asked Maricarmen if she
could be consecrated. On November 7, 1991, she consecrated her
life to God along with a young woman, Mimika Garesché,
in the formation center for consecrated women in Rome.
Gratitude for the Gift of Life
Mrs. Mee constantly
spoke of her love for Christ and also of her
love for life as one of God’s greatest gifts. She
began every day saying, “Thank you, God, for another day
In December of 2005, one of the
consecrated women who was taking care of her transcribed one
of her spontaneous “contemplations”:
“I’m glad to be here.
One day I made that decision. One day I was
on the street walking, somewhere, and it crossed my mind…
Out of the blue sky I thought… I have a
life! What’s it all add up to? What a gift!
“We have life… body… soul… intelligence… Think about it!
I have a life. This is something enormous!
what do you do with it? This is potential. Think of
everything involved in it. What will I do with it?
It’s not like a leaf on a tree or an
apple… It’s a life!
How would a young person
reflect on this? What would he do with it? It’s
not a sum of money. You can really do stuff
with a life!
God-given… Where’s it going to
bring me? Or where am I going to bring it?
Right now, I have a life! I’ve come into
existence. God gives it to me… a lot of possibilities.
We each have this gift but at some moment
the question arises. What’s he going to do with it?
A lot of choices to make in this life given
WOW! It floors me! Reality…. actuality…
having something in my hands… A life. A puzzle. A
How will I use it? How will I
I’m not just a little bird at
the end of a branch looking around. What’s a bird
have to offer compared to me? I have a life!
It can be scary or happy or a puzzle… A
Thank you, God!”
She also dedicated herself to
spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart through the Memorare prayer,
which she had translated and printed in 14 languages, including
To the very end, Mrs. Mee’s days
were centered around the moment of receiving Communion. She also
enjoyed participating in special activities with the team, like Christmas
Dinner, the feast of the Epiphany with its comedy show,
or talks with major directors who came to visit the
With her rich personality and keen
sense of humor, she gave as much to the team
as she received. For many consecrated woman, she was a
model of accomplished femininity, a reminder of the strength of
a woman before the days of the feminist revolution. Mrs.
Mee was strong and definite in her decisions, yet always
graceful and dignified in her manners. She combined a strong
sense of how things ought to be said and done,
from proper diction to the right way to prepare tea,
yet she was also sensitive, kind, and obliging, ready in
spirit to stand up and serve even when her body
was no longer able.
In her conversation, she
listened with interest to others, asking perceptive questions and reflecting
deeply on what was said. And when it was her
turn to speak, her words showed how she lived with
a contemplative spirit, with a long-range vision of what is
most important in life against the horizon of eternity. Anything
could make Mrs. Mee speak of heaven and of God,
from the bird perched outside her window to the snowflakes
falling at dusk.
She took a great interest
in the people living alongside her, and relished her role
as the “grandmother” of the center. When young visitors came
to call, she delighted in offering them specialty chocolates while
telling them (quite audaciously at times) her experience of human
and divine love. She never expected, she would say, to
fall in love again after her beloved Tim passed away.
And yet, Christ had truly stolen her heart. For Mrs.
Mee, the vocation to the consecrated life was precisely that:
the soul’s unique love relationship with Christ, a response to
a mysterious call that could come at any time in
life, even at the ripe old age of 80.
On April 23, Mrs. Mee’s journey to eternity began
to accelerate as she entered the hospital, always accompanied by
two consecrated women. Visitors and well-wishers were not lacking, as
cards and messages poured in from all over the world.
Fr Álvaro, LC, sent her a card expressing his desire
to accompany her in her suffering; and the bishop of
Providence, His Excellency Thomas Tobin, spent some time with Mrs.
Mee while passing by the hospital.
return to the center on May 7, she was given
all of the necessary medical care and the constant attention
of the consecrated women who kept her company. During her
last days, the members of the center visited her in
small groups to pray with her and sing her Marian
songs. Each member had her turn to say goodbye to
Mrs. Mee, who was conscious and who was able to
respond several times with a word or a gesture.
|On Mrs. Mee’s tombstone: one of the Sacred Heart prayer cards by which Mrs. Mee spread her devotion.|
On Thursday, May 15 in the afternoon, her breathing
became labored and her agony began. By around midnight, she
fell into a coma, and the next day, around 10:10
a.m., after the consecrated women finished praying the Rosary, Mrs.
Mee breathed her last. She was accompanied in her final
hours by Mónica Treviño, Luly Fernández, and several other consecrated
women. Fr Alonso, LC, then led the team in the
prayers for the dead.
Two hours later, Bishop Gelineau,
the emeritus bishop of Providence, visited the center to express
his condolences. He spoke to the team of consecrated women
about Mrs. Mee and the value of life, and then
prayed with them, commending her soul to God.
6.00 p.m., Mrs. Mee’s body was brought into the chapel
for the wake, and Fr Alonso presided over the Mass.
During the homily, he said that throughout her long life,
Mrs. Mee had kept a part of her heart reserved
for God alone, and spoke of the great love that
she irradiated to the entire community. The consecrated women then
kept vigil in turns throughout the night.
May 17, Fr Joseph Burtka, LC, the territorial director of
New York, celebrated the funeral in the center. Fathers Alonso,
Andrew McNair, and Javier Fayos, LC, concelebrated. Afterwards, there was
a procession to the cemetery, where they buried her alongside
her husband. During the burial, the consecrated women sang, and
after the burial, expressed their farewell with a strong applause.
After a long life lived in fidelity, gratitude,
wisdom, and love, Mrs. Mee had triumphed. Now her true
life is just beginning.
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