– December 2011

December 4

Sr. Joseph de la Presentation Pierron was born in France in 1907.  After making her profession she volunteered to be sent to Trinidad and embarked on the trip alone at the start of the Second World War (1939-1944).  She worked with the senior boys of the orphanage at two different periods:  1939-1952 and 1958-1960.  In between these two periods she was assigned to the new foundation at Ville Jacques Cartier in Montréal, Canada.  She returned to France in 1960 to take up an appointment as Prioress of the Chaudron convent.  In 1963 Sr. Joseph went back to Montréal as Prioress of the community of Ville Jacques Cartier.

Sr. Joseph’s deep faith in God helped her not only to surmount the many obstacles she met on her way but also to adapt herself to the heat of the tropics and the bitter cold of the north in order to fulfill the various missions the Lord entrusted to her.

She died in France in the Levallois convent on December 4, 1973 at the age of 66.  She had been professed for 38 years and spent 15 years in Trinidad.

December 14

Sr. Marie de la Presentation de Verteuil was born in Arima in 1893.  It was through her father, Dr. Ferdinand de Verteuil, who was a the medical doctor at Cocorite leprosarium, that young Lena became acquainted with the Dominican Sisters.  She entered the novitiate in Trinidad on November 21, 1917 but received her full religious formation at the Etrépagny novitiate in France.  She was given the Dominican habit on October 24, 1918 and began her novitiate.  After making Profession Sr. Marie returned to Trinidad and was assigned to the Holy Name Convent where she taught at the school.  Her next assignment was at the St. Dominic’s Convent in Belmont where she served until 1926 when she was asked to help with the transfer of the Sisters and patients from the Cocorite leprosarium to the island of Chacachacare where she worked for the next 20 years.  In 1945 Sr. Marie was assigned again to the Holy Name Convent and began a ministry of visiting patients at the Colonial hospital situated next to the convent.  Sr. Marie also shouldered responsibility as the Vicaress of the General Prioress over the Dominican Convents in Trinidad for a number of years.

She died in 1966 at the age of 73.  She was professed for 47 years.

December 15

Sr. Bernadette du Sacré Coeur Robert was born in France on August 2, 1911 into a Christian family.  Two daughters entered religious life, a Dominican and a Benedictine.  Yvonne became the Dominican and entered our Congregation in Etrépagny on June 23, 1934.  She made her first Profession and in 1937 arrived in Trinidad assigned to the Holy Name Convent.

Sr. Bernadette taught Domestic Science at the school until 1948 when she was appointed Prioress of the convent and Vicaress of the General Prioress for the Convents in Trinidad.  Difficult and serious decisions were required of her including the withdrawal of our Dominican Sisters from the Hansenian settlement in Chacachacare in 1950.  However, she had the joy of witnessing the establishment of a local novitiate in 1946.  She foresaw that in the future Trinidad sisters would have to take their future in their hand and assume full responsibility.

In August 1963, Sr. Bernadette was elected 7th General Prioress of our Congregation and served in this position until 1965.  It was another difficult period for her as she was required to return to France after 26 years in Trinidad, and to face the many adjustments to religious life following the Second Vatican Council.

In 1975, at the end of her second mandate, Sr. Bernadette was elected General Councillor and Prioress of Etrépagny convent where she undertook important works of renovation.  In 1985, she was elected Prioress of Colombes convent, a duty she discharged until 1989.  In 1992, she was assigned to Vaison.

Sr. Bernadette maintained a great love for the Sisters of Trinidad whom she visited on many occasions and is regarded by many as the architect of our Dominican Province.  She passed away in 2007 at the age of 97.  She was professed for 74 years and served 26 years in Trinidad.

December 19

Sr. Catherine Lucy Graham was born in San Fernando, Trinidad on November 18, 1920.  At the age of 27 she entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters attached to the Holy Name Convent.  She made her first Profession on April 29, 1950 and was Perpetually Professed on October 10, 1953.

Sr. Catherine Lucy was endowed with the gift of a charming simplicity which attracted many to her, including the children of the St. Dominic’s Home in Belmont, the students of the Secondary School in Barataria, the retreatants at the Veritas House of Prayer in Point Fortin and finally the undergraduates at the Catholic Chaplaincy of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus.  She spent many years working in these apostolates and had a great impact on all.

She was famous for her amusing stories and facial expressions as well as her infectious laughter.  The depth of her prayer life was reflected in the loving care she gave to others and her help was greatly appreciated by the sisters engaged in various Caribbean missions.

Sr. Catherine Lucy died in 2005 at the age of 84.  She had been professed for 56 years.

December 22

Sr. Marie Guala was born in England in 1876 and was welcomed into the Etrépagny novitiate by Our Foundress herself.  After making her Profession she volunteered to be sent to Trinidad and was assigned to the Holy Name Convent.  It is said that she was glad to be able to speak her native language once more.  The climate and culture were difficult for her.  Nevertheless, she went on to give 30 years of service in Trinidad, especially at the Holy Name Training Centre.

Sr. Marie died at the Holy Name Convent in 1942 at the age of 67.  She had been professed for 36 years.

Sr. Jeanne Marie Thiébaut was born in France on May 19, 1901.  This was the year in which the Government of France passed a law separating Church and State.  The situation became extremely difficult for Catholics, including the parents of young Gabrielle Thiébaut, who settled eventually in a rural area.  Gabrielle began her education at a boarding school managed by Ursuline Sisters but it was interrupted by the First World War.

Over time Gabrielle became acquainted with the Dominican Sisters at Etrépagny and entered the novitiate.  After her First Profession she was assigned to Chacachacare where she remained until the withdrawal of the Sisters in 1950.

She was assigned to the St. Dominic’s Convent, Belmont in 1950, then to Holy Name Convent.  She also worked in Guadeloupe for a short period and then returned to France where she died in 2005.  She was 104 years of age and had been professed for 80 years.  Sr. Marie may have spent at least 40 years in Trinidad.