Obituary Sister Meir Montiel, FMSJ

Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of


Who died in hospital in Quito on Saturday 28th April 2018

Meir Mery Montiel Alcivar was born on 17th September 1963, the first of the nine children of Brigido Montiel and Elena Alcivar. She had four brothers and four sisters and was baptised on 1st December 1963. Meir was educated in Colimes and in nearby Daule. She entered the Congregation on 1st May 1983 in Colimes and became a novice on 22nd April 1984. She made her First Profession on 22nd April 1986 and her Perpetual Profession on 1st May 1991.

Meir was never happier than when she was in a crowd and especially if they were children. It was obvious from the beginning that she would make a good teacher and she was therefore sent to the Catholic University of Guayaquil to train and obtained a Bachelor of Education Degree specialising in infants. She was equally at ease with large numbers of youth and maintained contact with some members of these groups long after they were adults and had children of their own.

For many years Meir dreamed of going to work in Kenya and was full of enthusiastic missionary zeal. Her dream became a reality when she was appointed to Kenya in October 1996 and she was to serve there in Nyabururu and Witu for a total of twelve years. She contributed a great deal to the Kenya Region, serving as both Vocations Promoter and later as Juniorate Director. Her charismatic personality, ready smile and great sense of humour
drew many people to her and she made many friends.

When Meir returned to Ecuador in 2008 she found it hard to settle down again and often yearned to return to Kenya. She did Vocations work but there were few people interested compared to the same work in Kenya. Once again it was the children she was attracted to and this time she asked to do special needs training. She began a Masters Degree in Special Needs Education. It was an arduous task made more difficult by sickness and the fact that some of the specialist books were only available in English but she persevered and obtained her Degree. She had a beautiful presence with the autistic children she visited in schools and a great affinity and understanding of the needs of both the children and their parents.

About five years ago Meir was treated for cancer, an illness which had killed both her parents at a young age. She recovered well but then about eighteen months ago the cancer returned and she was told if she had chemotherapy she would live for between six months and a year. Her positive attitude and the prayerful support of the Sisters and her family meant that once she recovered from each dose of chemotherapy she was out and about again and living life to the full.

Last week Meir became unwell and went to the Emergency Department where she was found to have an infection and was admitted to the hospital. Her weakened immune system left her with little strength and the anti biotics also failed. In her final days Meir was constantly accompanied by members of her family and Sisters Nuala and Frances. She was conscious and able to hear messages on the phone but unable to speak.

At 6.30pm local time on Saturday Meir quietly made the final journey to the Lord she had so generously and lovingly served for thirty two years of professed Religious Life. Her funeral Mass will be held in her home parish of Santa Rosa in Colimes on Monday 30th April. The Sisters will spend Sunday travelling in order to be there as it is a very long and difficult journey. Afterwards she will be buried in the local cemetery.



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