“I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”-John 10:10
Born and raised in Tewksbury, Mass., Sister Claudia Blanchette, SNDdeN, was encouraged by a high school teacher to apply to Emmanuel College in Boston.
This serendipitous advice led her to not only apply, but also receive a scholarship and meet the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
While earning a bachelor's degree in French and Spanish, Sister Claudia learned more about the congregation.
After graduating from college and teaching for a year, she entered Notre Dame in Waltham, Mass. in 1961. While in the novitiate, she completed a master's degree in French.
Having no experience in Catholic schools, Sister Claudia had much to learn about the culture of Notre Dame education. She learned it from other Sisters and from her students.
Then, in 1967, she was sent to Strasbourg, France, to study the new theology of Vatican II.
Returning to the U.S., she was missioned to Emmanuel College to help design and to teach in a graduate program focusing on religious education and pastoral ministry. Sister Claudia ministered in this program for 30 years, educating women and men who were pursuing professional roles in ministry.
In 1999, having transitioned into Clinical Pastoral Education, Sister Claudia began her ministry of training chaplains.
She is currently a Certified Educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE), providing Community CPE units at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Mass., and continuing to educate women and men for chaplaincy and other ministries.
Now in her 80s, Sister Claudia is most grateful for all the threads that she followed through her life—from teaching French to preparing people for ministry. Appreciating diverse cultures, honoring people’s life stories, and being both teacher and learner have been integral parts of her ministry in Notre Dame. She is grateful for all the people who inspired her, shared significant moments with her, and helped her grow.
Sister Claudia's Ministries
1964 Notre Dame Academy, Worcester, Mass.
1964-67 St. Mary High School, Lynn, Mass.
1968-98 Emmanuel College, Boston, Mass.
1999-Present Holy Family Hospital, Methuen, Mass.