Sr Marie-Thérèse ARSENAULT (Sr Blandine Maria), 1924 – 2024

Sr Marie-Thérèse du Secteur Moncton, Canada, est décédée est décédée le 7 janvier 2024 à l’hôpital Georges L. Dumont, à l’âge de 99 ans, dont 76 ans de profession religieuse.

Les visites au salon funéraire Frenette de Moncton auront lieu le 11 janvier 2024 à partir de 9h00, suivi d’une liturgie de la Parole à 10h00.

Marie Thérèse was born in St. Joseph du Moine, Nova Scotia, July 30th 1924, in a family of eight children, of whom two were half-brothers and two half-sisters. After several years of experience in the world of work, at the age of 21, she entered the novitiate in Trois-Rivières and became a Fille de Jésus in 1947.

Marie Thérèse lived most of her active religious life in Nova Scotia and almost entirely in Cape Breton. After her studies in Arichat, she dedicated her life to teaching for twenty-three years, fourteen of which in Louisdale. She loved her profession and her pupils; she knew their parents and was always very interested in everything that was part of their lives. Her pupils highly appreciated her teaching, her dedication, and her simplicity. And some of them have continued to visit her until these last few years.

However, Marie Thérèse left the teaching profession in 1971 and was one of the first sisters to work in Father Fiset Seniors’ Home in Cheticamp. Here she dedicated herself thoroughly to the service of the elderly people as she had done with the children in elementary school. This experience gave her a liking for the care of the sick and elderly, and the following year she entered the School of Nursing in Kentville, N.S. Having obtained her certificate of Nurse’s Aide and taken a year of spiritual renewal, she returned to Cheticamp and worked with the elderly citizens until 1992. Moreover, as she was a good cook, she loved to prepare the meals for the community when needed.

Then she went to Sydney and was very attentive to the needs of the residents at MacGillivray Guest Home until the sisters withdrew from this diocesan service in 1999. She was then 75 years old and she offered to do part-time volunteer work at the Cheticamp Seniors’ Home. In 2009, she retired at Canterbury Hall, in Riverview, where she continued to appreciate the good things of life. In due time, she gradually slowed down and adopted a more quiet lifestyle in keeping with her health condition and her age.

What characterizes the life of Marie Thérèse is her simplicity, her sense of hospitality, her love of others and her need to serve them, her compassion for ordinary and needy people, her attachment to her family, and her dedication. She saw God present in all the small events of life, and showed her gratitude by simply repeating: God is good! This seemed to express her deepest and most heartfelt feelings.

On January 7th, 2024, she passed away peacefully, trusting completely in the loving God who had called her and whom she had followed and served by simply trying to be herself. She was 99 years old and in her 76th year of religious life. May she now be welcomed in the peace, love, and joy of God.

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