Fr. Vincent Blake, OP died on November 26, 2022 and is buried at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois. He was 97 years old.
Born as John Daniel Blake in Perry, Iowa, on May 7, 1925, to Ethel West Blake and Alfred Blake, he attended St. Patrick Primary and Secondary School at St. Patrick’s in Perry.
After high school he went to Smyth Hall at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa for two years before entering the novitiate in River Forest, Illinois, where he received his Dominican habit and the religious name of Vincent on June 24, 1944. He made his first profession on June 25, 1945. Fr. Blake received a Bachelor of Philosophy in 1947 and a Licentiate in Philosophy in 1948 granted by the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, Illinois.
Fr. Blake was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 1951. He completed a Master of Theology degree at the Dominican House of Studies at St. Rose of Lima Priory in Dubuque in 1952.
After his ordination Fr. Blake began a ministry in teaching. First, he taught French at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois (1952-57), Religion at St. Joseph High School in Jackson, Mississippi (1957-58), and Philosophy at Marymount College in Salina, Kansas (1958-63). After his teaching career Fr. Blake went as Associate Pastor to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, Wisconsin (1963-69).
In 1969 Fr. Blake was assigned to Santa Cruz in the Dominican vicariate of Bolivia. Fr. Blake was challenged to address the extreme poverty he saw in young boys deserted by their families and sleeping in the alleyways. He established a home for these boys and taught them. He would make an annual return to the United States to solicit charity for them. Fr. Blake was then made Novice Master for the Dominican Friars of the Vicariate.
Experiencing declining health, in 1995 Fr. Blake returned to the United States after twenty-five years in Bolivia. Between 1995 and 2011 he lived in Dominican Priories in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; and Chicago. In 2017 Fr. Blake retired to Resurrection Life Center where he died on November 26, 2022. The Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at St. Pius V Parish, 1919 South Ashland Ave., Chicago on December 1, 2022. Interment was at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.