Veronica was the fourth of six children of Emery and May Anna (Mudri) Blasko. The family lived in Cleveland, Ohio until 1946, when they moved from the city to rural Newbury. The nearest parish, St. Mary’s in Chardon, was 10 miles away. The children attended catechism classes taught by the Sisters of Notre Dame. When St. Helen Church was dedicated in 1950, the Sisters also taught catechism there, and Veronica was invited to consider becoming an Aspirant, to further discern God’s call as a student at Notre Dame Academy, Cleveland. She accepted, though at the time, she said she wondered whether she would be happy doing the same thing day after day. “I learned to follow the ways of Our Lady,” she said, “through retreats, daily Mass, and spiritual aids that strengthened my soul.” On February 2, 1955, she entered the novitiate, together with her older sister, Sr. Mary Anne, a nurse who died in 2017. At investment, Veronica was given the name Sister Mary Thaddea.
Sister’s 33-year ministry of Food Service took her to large communities: the Provincial Center in Cleveland and Chardon; Notre Dame College and Regina High School, South Euclid; St. Michael School, Cleveland; and Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Virginia which served both day students and boarders. For 33 years, Sister prepared a variety of nourishing meals. The skill of large-quantity cooking combined with her personal touch, especially in home-made breads or soups, and delicious treats for holidays and celebrations. She was always ready with a cheerful greeting, a cup of coffee, and something good to eat for the maintenance and housekeeping staff, delivery truck drivers, and anyone who stopped by to visit. Her hospitality always included a promise of prayer.
From 1989 to 2010, Sister Veronica ministered as a teacher aide or office staff member at St. Peter’s Canton, St. Jude Elyria, Our Lady of Lourdes in Dunedin, Florida, and ND Elementary School, Chardon. Her return to the Chardon Provincial Center in 2002 found her busy making rosaries and crafts for the Boutique. Having taught herself the art of sewing, she made many items for home and kitchen. As an outreach to people in need, she sewed articles of clothing for children living in shelters. Later, though confined to a wheelchair, Sister Veronica teamed up with Sister Theresa Gebura to bake cookies and pastries, dozen after dozen, for the Country Kitchen at the annual Barbecue.
This past autumn, Sister Veronica took great delight in watching the cocoons of monarch butterflies complete their transformation, and then take flight to a place of great beauty. “The butterfly has always been for me a sign of renewed life,” she said. “God has given me new life again and again, across all my paths and in every time.” May the prayers she offered, her generous service, and her deep love of God, family, and community, bring added brightness to all the joys of heaven.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, December 9, at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:15. Mass will be live-streamed: https://boxcast.tv/channel/oy4qb7ildieu6vtwyicy.