Blessed Dina Belanger was born and baptized on 30 April 1897 in St-Roch, Québec, the daughter of Olivier Octave Belanger & Séraphia Matte. Her parents lived at 168 Notre Dame des Anges in the Parish of Jacques Cartier, Portneuf County. Dina was baptized at St. Roch, Québec. She studied music and planned to become a concert pianist. While studying in New York, Dina lived with the Religious of Jesus-Mary. She returned home and decided to enter the religious life in the Congregation of Jesus-Marie at Sillery, where the nuns had their mother house. She entered the convent at the age of 24, in August 1921. She entered the order of Jesus-Marie in February 1922 and received the name Sister Marie Sainte-Cécile of Rome and took her final vows on 25 August 1923. As a nun, Dina Belanger taught music.
On two occasions the sisters sent her to teach at Saint-Michel of Bellechasse but both times, illness brought her back to Sillery where she stayed (teaching music) until her death. She could have taught in many areas as she had excelled in all her studies but due to her having shown such great talent in music at a young age and her continued education at the Conservatory of New York from 1916 to 1918, her superiors judged her best qualified to teach music.
Dina had a brother who died at the age of 3 months. Dina's father was an auditor and her grandfather operated a grocery store in the St Malo district of Québec. Her ancestors (Pierre, Joseph-Marie and Nicolas) all came from Charlesbourg.
Dina died on 4 Sept in the Couvent de Jésus-Marie, Sillery and was buried on 7 Sept 1929 at the age of 32, in St-Colomb de Sillery, Québec.
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By Justin Soutar
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