– June 2012

June 9

Sr. MARIE THOMAS  DE STOPPELEIRE was born in France in 1876.  After her Profession, she offered herself to be sent to Trinidad to take the place of a young sister who had just died there.  Sr. Marie Thomas was well educated and spoke English fluently so she was assigned to the Holy Name Convent where she taught school.  After a number of years she became afflicted with deafness, yet she continued to be interested in what was going on in her community.  Though she suffered much, she never complained.

Sr. Marie Thomas died at the Holy Name convent on June 9, 1952.  She was 76 years old and had been professed for 42 years, of which 31 years were spent in Trinidad.

June 14

Sr. MARIE CLEMENTINE POIROT was born in France on November 11, 1893.  As a young child she was abandoned by her parents who left her in the care of a family.  From the age of 12 she was required to work in a hospital, run by religious Sisters who showed her much affection.  Having heard of our Congregation and the care its Sisters were giving to lepers in Trinidad, she felt attracted to it.  She was accepted in our Congregation, and after making her perpetual profession in Etrépagny, Sr. Marie Clémentine was sent to Trinidad to work at Cocorite.  In 1926, the leprosarium was transferred to the island of Chacachacare.  Sr. Marie was placed in charge of Sr. Rose de Ste Marie, a fellow Sister who had become a leper and lived in a small cottage built a short distance from the convent at Saunder’s Bay.

When the Sisters withdrew from Chacachacare in 1950, Sr. Marie Clémentine was assigned to the St. Dominic’s Convent in Belmont where she looked after babies of the nursery.  Finally the passing of the years and the hard work she did for so many weighed on her so she was put in the infirmary.  There she still managed to help her companion Sr. Petronilla, who had become blind.

Sr. Marie Clémentine had been admirable in the way she lived her religious life.  This is what Archbishop Anthony Pantin declared at her funeral, which happened the day of her death, June 14, 1981, “May the Lord send us many persons like Sr. Clémentine, who only seek God’s will and his glory.  Let us pray that there will always be persons in our country to answer God’s call.”

Sr. Marie Clémentine was 88 years old, had been professed for 64 years and spent 57 years in Trinidad.

June 17

Sr. Rose de Sainte Marie Vebert was born in France in 1865.  After making her first religious profession she offered herself to be sent to Trinidad.  Her assignation was for the Holy Name Convent and soon her many talents were greatly appreciated:  she was intellectually gifted, was an excellent educator and administrator.  She made her final Profession on November 21, 1893.  For the next 17 years Sr. Rose assumed the responsibility for the management of the Catholic News printery which had been set up on the grounds of the Holy Name Convent by Archbishop Patrick Flood in 1892.  She was also in charge of the girls of the Holy Name Training Centre who were employed at the printery.  Sr. Rose even found time to visit patients at the colonial hospital next door to the convent.

In 1904 Sr. Rose was appointed Prioress of the Holy Name Convent and served for nine years.  During this time she supervised the construction of a most beautiful chapel which was blessed by Archbishop Patrick Flood on February 11, 1906.  A few years after this remarkable achievement, Sr. Rose was appointed Prioress of St. Dominic’s Convent in Belmont.  It was a time of great poverty and deprivation, and the First World War.  Life was difficult.  By the year 1919 it was discovered that Sr. Rose had contracted the dreaded disease of leprosy.  Arrangements were quickly made to have her hospitalised at the Cocorite leprosarium.

The years 1919-1926 were years of silent suffering for her.  However, there was also mutual support because her nurses were none other than her own Dominican Sisters.  Sr. Rose moved to Chacachacare when the leprosarium was transferred to the island.  She lived in a small cottage near the convent for the next 11 years.  She became engaged in various activities with the patients and became fond of them.  They called her cottage “la santa casa.”

Sr. Rose passed away on June 17, 1937 at the age of 72.  She had been professed for 47 years and spent 45 years in Trinidad.

June 20

Sr. ROSE ALCAZAR was born in Canada in 1858.  It is not known how she reached Trinidad but it was in Trinidad that she entered our Congregation.  From here she was sent to Etrépagny for her religious formation.  After her Profession, Sr. Rose returned to Trinidad and was assigned to the Holy Name Convent.  She had a great love and devotion for the Holy Mass, which she used to say was the greatest joy of each day.

Sr. Rose died at the Holy Name Convent on June 20, 1945.  She was 87 years old and had been professed for 61 years and spent 58 years in Trinidad.

June 25

Sr. MARIE FELICITE COLLYMORE was born in Trinidad in 1863.  She did her novitiate in Etrépagny and after her profession was sent to the Delle convent.  Unfortunately, the climatic conditions affected her health so she was sent back to Trinidad.  For three years she assisted with the foundation of the Holy Name Convent as well as the visitation of patients at the colonial hospital next door to the convent.  It was while she was taking some rest in our Belmont convent that St. Marie Felicité died on June 25, 1893.  She was only 30 years old.

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