Among those who have been served by RJM ministries in the United States is Blessed Dina Bélanger. As a young woman in Quebec, teachers saw great musical talent in Dina and convinced her parents to send her to New York City to study at the institute of music that became The Julliard School (the photo above is of Dina during her time in NYC).

While studying in New York, Dina lived at a unique RJM ministry called Our Lady of Peace with other young women who were working and going to school. Our Lady of Peace was a kind of boarding house and community in Manhattan where Catholic women from all over the USA and the world could live, eat, and pray under the guidance of the RJM as they participated in the expanding opportunities for work and education being offered to women. The RJM operated a similar ministry called St. Joan of Arc Residence that served young women in San Diego and a community in El Paso called the Queen of Angels Residence that focused on empowering young woman from the USA and Mexico to be involved in the Catholic Action movement. Later the RJM in the United States would use the Christian Communities model and the QUEST Volunteer Program to provide opportunities for lay women and men to live with and minster beside the sisters.

Dina returned to Canada after graduating and she became a touring musician for a few years before choosing to join the RJM and become a music teacher. Unfortunately, just a few years into her teaching ministry, Dina (known as Mother Marie de Sainte-Cécile de Rome) caught scarlet fever while taking care of a sick student and she eventually contracted tuberculosis. Because of these illnesses, Blessed Dina was forced to stay in isolation and give up ministering to others. While alone, she began a fervent interior prayer life and she decided to write about the ways in which she encountered Jesus even when she could not serve in the ways she thought Jesus had called her to. Her writings were published and proved to be very helpful to many on their own spiritual journeys. Dina Bélanger was beatified by Pope St. John Paul II in 1993.

Pray with us!

Father of everlasting goodness, You put into the heart of Blessed Dina Belanger the burning desire to offer you on behalf of all mankind, the infinite riches of the Heart of Jesus present in the Eucharist, and, to live, like Mary, closely united to Him whom she loved with an undivided heart.

May we, like her, find our joy in faithfully doing your Will, and since you revealed to her your great desire to pour out upon the world the abundance of your graces, hear the prayer which we make for your greater glory, and which we entrust to her intercession. Amen.

Blessed Dina Bélanger, RJM, is commemorated by the RJM and the Church in Canada on on September 4th

Learn more about about Blessed Dina and her spirituality

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