Sister Blandine Turcotte

“Listen! I am standing at the door knocking…” (Rev. 3, 20)

June 27, 2015, Sister Blandine Turcotte, 
in religion Marie-Léonida
went home to God. 

She was 85 years old and had been professed for 63 years. 

Born in East-Angus, Quebec, she was the 7th – 8th of the 15 children 
of Fortunat Turcotte and Léonide Tardif. 

Into this simple and modest milieu, after 6 boys, twin girls, Blandine and Thérèse, were born. Four other girls and three more boys would follow. They grew up in a Catholic home where prayer (the Mass and the rosary) was part of daily life. It was there that Blandine saw the dawning of her call to religious life. She attended the convent, under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, where she completed her commercial studies and entered the SNJM Novitiate in Montreal when she was 19 years old. 

Sister Marie-Léonida spent 43 years teaching at both at the primary and secondary levels. When she retired from teaching, Sister Blandine immersed herself in service to the community: accounting, maintenance, receptionist… From the time she was 35 years old until she was 70, she lived in East-Angus, her native village. Then, for 10 years, she was co-responsible for a vacation house in Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts: a ministry of coordination, of presence, of listening and of sharing tasks. For the last 5 years she lived at Résidence Ste-Émélie, in Montreal, faithfully responsible as the receptionist. 

The unexpected death of Sister Blandine came as a total shock to the community. One morning she was simply no longer there. The Lord had come for her during the night. 

“Sister Blandine was a humble, simple and discreet woman who had a keen sense for responsibility and work well done. Good for all those around her, she knew how to gain the trust of others.”

Sister Blandine wrote: “Certain nostalgia was always with me. Many expectations were never fulfilled. In hindsight, I consider my life to be an unfinished symphony” (from an undated text).

God came unexpectedly (Rev. 3, 3) to fulfill Sister Blandine’s eternal desire.