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October 13, 2020

Sr Elizabeth our ‘dou-dou’ was a gift

Sr Elizabeth Blanc OP died on Republic Day, September 24. She was 87. The Eucharistic celebration of the life of Sr Elizabeth took place on Thursday, October 1. Sr Marie Thérèse Rétout OP writes:

It was in the early morning of Thursday, September 24 that the Lord Jesus came for the Dominican Sisters’ beloved ‘dou-dou’, a term of endearment that she used often when approaching others.

Her last years were spent at the convent of the Dominican Sisters located on Calvary Hill, Arima. She had completed her 87th year on February 6, 2020.

Noreen Blanc was born in Port of Spain to her father Cyril Blanc, her mother Langlia (of Italian descent). She had a sister and two brothers.

As a young girl, she was a student at the Holy Name Convent school from which she graduated. Afterwards, she pursued a secretarial course and was subsequently employed in an insurance company. However, God had another plan for Noreen other than her secretarial duties.

The Holy Spirit led her to the Novitiate of the Dominican Sisters situated on the grounds of the Holy Name Convent and there she was received on June 20, 1957.

After three years of formation in the way of Dominican Religious life, Noreen (who had become Sr Elizabeth) made her first religious Profession on April 30, 1960. She made the decision to give herself completely by sealing her commitment through her Perpetual Profession to the Dominican life on April 30, 1963.

In turn, Sr Elizabeth took loving care of the little children at the St Dominic’s Children’s Home. Then in Point Fortin she gave retreats to young people at the Dominican Sisters’ Veritas House of Prayer.

When Sr Paul Clarke OP responded to Archbishop Anthony Pantin’s call to religious sisters to help in rural parishes with no resident priest, Sr Elizabeth gladly went to help her in Toco and the villages of the northeastern coast of Trinidad.

After a few years of dedicated service, Sr Elizabeth was sent to Toronto in Canada to assist in the running of the West Indian Centre. After the bitter Canadian cold, she was called back to the tropical sun of Trinidad where she continued to give herself without counting the cost.

Then she went on to the missionary project in Delaford, Tobago. This was followed by her ministry to the students of the RC Chaplaincy of The University of the West Indies.

Sr Elizabeth had the pleasure of travelling to Venezuela to witness the ordination of her nephew Fr Christopher Llanos SJ, the son of her sister Eileen.

The Dominican Superiors appreciated her gift of the human and spiritual relationship with people and appointed her Prioress of the Dominican community in the convents of Belmont, Holy Name, Point Fortin and Arima where she was loved and appreciated.

As Novice Mistress, she moulded the minds and hearts of those who wished to become religious sisters in our Dominican Congregation.

Sr Elizabeth was also a good traveller which took her to countries such as France and Canada. In the United States, she attended a course at Duquesne University on Religious Foundation. Our sister ‘dou-dou’ radiated and gave the true love of God to so many. It was therefore time for her to receive her loving reward.

The Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena and the family of Sr Elizabeth Blanc would like to thank all those who extended kind words and prayers as they reminisced about the encounters they had with our dear sister. She was indeed a gift to us and to the Church.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O’ Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May she rest in peace.