Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Maria Zenaide 

Sister Maria Zenaide             ND 5364              PDF Download

(formerly Sister Maria Amábile)


Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, RS, Brazil

Date and Place of Birth:           December 18, 1938       Vista Alegre, Frederico Westphalen, RS
Date and Place of Profession: February 11, 1960         Passo Fundo, RS
Date and Place of Death:          August 6, 2020             Obra Social Santa Júlia, Espumoso, RS
Date and Place of Burial:          August 7, 2020             Casa Santa Cruz Cemetery, Passo Fundo

“A bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.””  Matthew 17:5

The good God granted to Sister Maria Zenaide Centenaro the grace of leaving this world on the wonderful Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. So many times, Sister had kept company with Jesus on Mount Tabor, heard the words of the Master and tried to live according to them.

Sister Maria Zenaide Centenaro was the daughter of Atílio and Carolina Centenaro and the youngest in a family of eight children. Sister received the Sacraments of Initiation in her home parish. The practice of religion and devotion to Our Lady were cultivated in her family. Sr. M. Zenaide followed her two sisters, Sr. M. Adila (in memory) and Sr. M. Enriqueta, into the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Sister completed her pedagogical training in 1959 and then began her apostolic journey. She taught in several schools and ended her education ministry in 1974. The following years, Sister dedicated herself to Evangelization. Her primary focus was catechesis. She developed good programs for the formation of catechists, provided the necessary materials, and involved families in the ministry of Evangelization. Sr. M. Zenaide always showed a special affection towards the poor. Their needs were her concern and frequent topic of conversation. Sister knew every corner of the neighborhoods, listened to everyone, visited families, organized the people into committees and went with them to local authorities to advocate for the basic rights of the poor. Wind, sun, cold and rain never hindered her endless walks and visits.

When her strength diminished, Sister joined the apostolate of prayer, helped out at the reception desk and took care of elderly. She also made herself useful by keeping people company, praying the rosary, and doing needlework. Together with her two religious sisters, Sister M. Zenaide cultivated strong family bonds. This year, her family was already planning a big celebration for Sr. M. Enriqueta´s Jubilee of Grace and Sr. M. Zenaide´s Diamond Jubilee.

August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration, was a normal day for her Community until 5:30 pm when Sister M. Zenaide went home to God, unexpectedly. All the children whom Sr. M. Zenaide had taught to read and write; all those with whom she had shared the Word of God and a love for the Eucharist, and whom she had taught to venerate Our Lady, are a legion. May they now, together with God, welcome her into the glory of the Transfigured Lord.

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