60 years: Yvonne LeBlanc, SP

Sister Maurille

Sr. Yvonne LeBlanc, SP
Yvonne Marie LeBlanc was born in Tacoma, Wash., on May 1, 1934, to Agnes Mulcahey and Ernest LeBlanc. Her brother Paul preceded her by 16 months. “As children, we were fortunate to have our grandparents living six blocks from our home. We could walk to their house with our dog Mickey running ahead,” Sister Yvonne recalled.

“Many good times were spent with cousins from the McDougall, Mulcahey and LeBlanc families. Following Paul’s marriage to Linda Anderson in 1972, my sister-in-law became a treasured member of our family.”

Piano a constant in her life

Yvonne attended Sacred Heart Grade School, where she was taught by the Sisters of Providence and remained in contact through the parish sodality. Her high school years were spent at Aquinas Academy. Since age 6 and throughout these school years, Yvonne studied piano, which has been a constant in her life. As she celebrates these 60 years as a Sister of Providence, she is honored to be part of a music trio with Sister Mary Catherine McGuire and Sister Patricia Eley that provides liturgical music with the sisters at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

She made first profession of vows in 1954, receiving Sister Maurille as her name in religion. Her first mission assignment was in Yakima, Wash., where she was mentored in the art of teaching piano by Sister Dolores Mary. When one of the sisters became ill at the grade school, Sister Yvonne was asked to “step into the classroom” and teach fifty seventh-graders. Yvonne recalled receiving a note from a student’s mother that read: ‘He is absent because he has no shoes.’ “Sister Dolorita, (our resident Mother Gamelin in Yakima), went with me to visit the home, bringing money for more than shoes to this family with several children living in three small rooms,” Sister Yvonne said.

A child’s dream sustains

A high point in her life journey was the year (1976) she spent in clinical pastoral education in Houston, Texas, at the Harris County Hospital (Ben Taub). Chaplain LeBlanc received her first night call from a pediatric nurse. Yvonne made the drive from her apartment to meet a very excited little 7-year-old boy with a brain tumor. He had awakened from a dream where he had been in a beautiful flower garden. The memory of this dream stayed with Darrion Singleton and his family as he died four months later.

“Why am I celebrating 60 years of religious life so soon after my 50th celebration?” Sister Yvonne asked herself. “Because a friend told me that it gives me the opportunity to witness God’s grace in my life and to congratulate my family and friends as they reach milestones of grace in their own lives. “Providence of God, I thank you for all!”