The joy and dynamism which characterize Sr. Olivette Blais SNJM certainly also marked the celebration of her 100th birthday on March 17th.. At the beginning, Sr. Beverley Wattling, provincial coordinator warming highlighted the life of this centenarian who devoted herself “in service to others”.
Prior to the Mass, Sister Beverley recalled aspects of the life of Sr. Olivette who was and continues to be attentive to others. Sr. Olivette began her career as a teacher in elementary school. She devoted more than 40 years to her students, "whom she loved dearly and loved her dearly too.”
An active retirement
Her retirement from teaching may have marked the end of a long career in teaching, but it was definitely not the end to “her life of action”. “With her eyes always open to the needs around her and her heart forever centered in Jesus”, Sr. Olivette was both sacristan and receptionist for 25 years.
At the same time, she had a “green thumb” and was curious and interested in current events. In some ways, she was a resource person who shared news with others long before the arrival of social media, such as Facebook. Indeed, she followed current events and recorded interesting television programs in order to share them with the other Sisters who might be interested. We can well imagine the conversations that ensued, including the innumerable sharings regarding her passion for hockey, especially the Montreal Canadiens…
Woman of Prayer
Sister Beverley stated that, when Sr. Olivette arrived at Maison Jésus-Marie in 2011, she gave a personal touch to her ministry of prayer and action. “For several years, she considered it a privilege to go to the chapel the morning of a funeral to quietly sit in prayer and gratitude for the Sister who had died.” After meals she helped with the tidying up by placing appropriate articles in the recycling bin.
Sister Beverly said, “Thank you very much, Olivette, for having been and continuing to be a woman of action more than a woman of words. Thank you for your life of contemplation in action…”
An unforgettable moment
Following the Eucharistic celebration, the celebrations continued in the afternoon in the community room of Saint-André Pavilion with family members and some SNJM friends. A tribute by Archbishop Lionel Gendron, of the Saint-Jean-Longueuil Diocese, was read, followed by a video presentation enriched by comments and memories shared by those present
Gifts, flowers, cards, a festive collation and a special private time with family culminated with a big surprise: the six centenarians at Maison Jésus-Marie joined Olivette and her guests – an unforgettable, precious moment for her.
Photographer: Sr. Suzanne Brault