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Remembering ‘Aunty Babsie’

The Editor: Congratulations to those four women in the local Church on their reception of the Papal Award. They have made us proud. May God continue to bless them as they live out their vocation in the service of God’s people. Two of them are leaders of lay ecclesial communities.

My grandmother used to say, “What I do not live to see, the ants will bring the good news to me in the grave.” Hopefully that good news was delivered to Ursula ‘Babsie’ Bleasdell (deceased). With her winsome smile and provocative laughter, she must have said, “Well done, sisters!”

Youths and many other persons might ask, ‘Who is that person?’ To give a little insight, she was a remarkable woman who worked assiduously in her lifetime. She left an incredible, and for me an indelible, influence on the local Church during the latter part of the 20th century.

She was a teacher, politician, wife, mother, divorcee. God called her to a new way of life to live under the power of the Holy Spirit. She became author, storyteller, and an internationally acclaimed speaker. Through patient endurance and perseverance, she brought the Charismatic Renewal to the local and English-speaking Caribbean Church.

God used that ordinary woman to do extraordinary service for the common good.

A spiritual revival affected the Catholic Church in the region. Prayer groups, Life in the Spirit seminars, local and Caribbean conferences, lay ecclesial communities, were born out of the Charismatic Renewal. ‘Word of Life’ in Arima is the brainchild of this Arimian personality.

The work of the Holy Spirit became a conscious reality in the life of regular churchgoers. A new anointing revisited the Church and those who were willing to listen to the voice of the Spirit.

It is not too late to introduce her to the youths of this millennium and remind older folks of this icon who left a rich legacy on her passing. She is gone but must not be forgotten.

Information can be found in one of her books Refreshen Your Life in The Spirit which she co-authored with Deacon Henry Libersat. See how the Holy Spirit works in the life of ordinary men and women. Practical and inspirational insights are found there. No-one is perfect but God in His mercy is always at work.

Let us pray that God’s limitless merciful love be given to her as a reward to live in His presence for all eternity.

May she rest in peace. Know the Holy Spirit continues to renew the face of the earth.

—Pearl Clarke Alfred,

Sangre Grande