Sister Mary Louise (Catherine Anthony) Blanchard

“Souls of faith are unshaken by all the events of life.” – Julie Billiart

Sister Mary Louise Blanchard entered into the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1953. “I think I was destined, when I was a baby,” she says with a laugh, recalling how, as an infant, her grandmother brought her to meet with the Sisters in Salem, Massachusetts.

Sister Mary Louise is a native of Salem, born there in 1932 to Samuel Blanchard and Mary (Loftus) Blanchard. She was one of three siblings. For her twelve years of school, she was taught by the Sisters of Notre Dame at St. James School in Salem.

After high school, Sister Mary Louise worked for four years. Then, in 1953, she entered into the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at Waltham, Mass. She earned her BA from Emmanuel College and her M. Ed. from Salem State.

After becoming a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Sister Mary Louise went on to enjoy a long career as an educator, teaching at many schools in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Her first mission was at the Presentation School, in Brighton, Mass. After this, she was sent to Salem, New Hampshire, to open St. Joseph’s School with Sister Mary Elizabeth Delaney. Of all her ministries, this one stands out to her in particular, because of the sense of community she found there. She remains in contact with students from this time.

After this, Sister Mary Louise worked at many schools throughout Massachusetts, teaching 2nd grade through 8th grade. She was moved around a lot because she was one of the first Sisters to have her driver's license.

Looking back at these past 70 years, she is grateful for her time as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, and in particular for the community in Ipswich, Mass., where she now resides.

Watch this video reflection taken at the time of Sister Mary Louise Blanchard's 70th Jubilee:

List of Missions: 

Presentation School                              Brighton, Mass.

St. Joseph’s                                           Salem, NH

St. John’s                                               Worcester, Mass.

St. Mary’s                                               Lynn, Mass.

St. John’s                                               Peabody, Mass.

St. Mary’s                                               Winchester, Mass.

St. John’s                                                North Beverly, Mass.

St. Mary’s                                               Beverly, Mass.