Sister Michelle Henault

I’ve had the privilege of being present to people who come to the House of Prayer and Villa Angelica in Carmel. I feel my ministry has been one of welcoming/hospitality to those who want to step away from the busy chaos of their lives to nourish their inner spirit and find, once again, the relationship they have with their God! I have witnessed their transformation as they leave with a greater sense of the Source of their life, becoming a more peaceful and loving presence in the world.

My work as a volunteer chaplain at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula gives me a cherished opportunity to be with and listen to people as they approach the God who calls them Home!

My approach to all my ministry is based on a poem from Tagore:

In all the events of life
I stand  before my Beloved,
Face to face!
Let me take Your TOUCH for this day…
Let me take the confidence of Your friendship
Knowing that I will never be alone,
Face each day with Your touch of love for me today!


These words express for me that “touch of love” that I must bring to each day and share with those I meet!

Sr. Michelle Henault arranges flowers at the Carmel House of Prayer.

My ten years in Zimbabwe as the Director of the Pastoral Center for the Diocese was a very special time in my life. I felt I was working with the “early church” as we trained lay people to work in the many “outstations” of their parishes where priests were able to reach them only once a month. In between their visits, these lay pastoral workers would prepare people for the sacraments, visit the sick, bury their dead and conduct Sunday services for their people. I felt I was in touch with the “real church” as it was in the early church.

Sister Michelle with baby Eurita.

Little Eurita, pictured here, is an AIDS orphan who is also dying of aids herself. I lived in a society dying of AIDS, and helped the teenagers who were becoming ‘parents’ to their younger brothers and sisters. This became a new image of family for me — caring, devoted brothers and sisters, quite young, yet strong.

This is the attitude I wanted to bring to Africa;

My task in approaching another people
Another culture, another religion
Is to take off my shoes, For the place I am approaching is holy
More precious still – I may forget
That God was there before I arrived!

Sister Michelle paints a new building at the Carmel House of Prayer.

I want to be quietly grateful to God this Jubilee year for so many blessings, especially…

  • for God’s wonderful loving, JOYFUL presence throughout these 60 years;
  • for all my wonderful friends who image a variety of God’s love in my life;
  • for the wonderful spirit and charism of this Notre Dame community;
  • for the reality that I am still able to serve God’s people here in Carmel

Sister Michelle's Ministries

Sr. Michelle performs at a gathering of Sisters.


Elementary and Junior High Schools (Teacher and Principal); Leadership Team; Province Formation Director.


House of Prayer, Carmel (Staff, Retreat Director; Community Hospital of Monterey (Volunteer Chaplain).


Pastoral Center; SNDdeN Formation; Pastoral Council.

To make a gift to the Sisters of Notre Dame in honor of Sister Michelle, please click here.


  1. Sister Michelle,
    Congratulations on your wonderful Jubilee! You have made a difference in so many lives around the world. I have been privileged to get to know you through Carmel.

  2. Congratulations, Sr. Michelle! You're an inspiration and I was honored to meet and spend time with you in Carmel. Tammy Robinson

  3. Sr. Michelle, congratulations on your Jubilee! Thank you for welcoming our family and friends in such a loving way on the day of Sr. Kay's internment at the House of Prayer. It was a memorable, lovely day thanks to you and the other sisters in attendance. We all left so uplifted and grateful.
    Susan & Dennis Chaconas and Family

  4. Congratulations Michelle on your sixtieth jubilee! WOW that is quite an accomplishment. It has been years since I have seen you but you look exactly the same– you haven't aged a bit. This short summary of all you have done over the years is quite a tribute to you and your lived dedication to Notre Dame and God's people. I cherish the memories of my time at St. John's in Peabody which led to my present marriage of 40 years to (Father) Denis Coleman. Together we have three amazing children who are all married quite happily. We have 5 grandchildren soon to be 6 and enjoy having them all close by. We call our home the Coleman Compound because we have many gatherings of family and friends very often.
    God bless you Michelle and thanks for the time we spent together.

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