The Flint community lost a longtime champion of the less fortunate as Sister Judy Blake has passed away at the age of 78.
Sister Judy was co-director of Flint’s St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center, co-founded in 2002 with her dear friend, Sister Carol Weber. Together, they helped change countless lives. The two received several awards for their service to victims of abuse and poverty who turned to this refuge for food, job-training, education and acceptance. “Thousands of men and women have come through these doors for help and I’m so grateful to be of service to them,” Sister Judy once stated. “I’m here because God trained me for this ministry beginning at a very young age.”
Born in Phoenix, AZ Judith Blake and her brother were raised by their mom, a single parent, and they lived with her grandmother. Sister Judy often credited her grandma with teaching her to care for others. “She taught me by example,” Sister Judy shared. “As her inheritance to me, she left me a compassionate heart.”
Sister Judy was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth, MI at the time she entered into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth in August, 1977. She pronounced first vows on July 25, 1982 and final vows on June 8, 1985. Sister Judy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science at Eastern Michigan University, a Master of Ministry at Marygrove College and completed course work for a Doctor of Ministry Degree at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary. She began her ministry of teaching junior high students at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores, and St. Pius X in Flint. She later transitioned into pastoral ministry at St. John the Baptist, St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Agnes and St. Luke parishes in the Diocese of Lansing, MI and was pastoral coordinator of St. Luke Parish in Flint.
Also an accomplished author, Sister Judy wrote the best-selling book, Beyond Survival to New Life – Unleashing the Power Within Each of Us.
A public memorial mass for Sister Judith Blake was held on October 26 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Flint. Her passionate and mission-driven leadership will be missed by the entire community.