Journals and Letters week 8: Indiana arrival
[Today we are discussing “Journals and Letters“: page 53 In Indiana to page 60 The Journey’s End. Join us in reading a portion of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin‘s writings every week in the coming year.]
As I read Mother Theodore’s detailed account of meeting the poorly clothed priest, I wondered if later she was embarrassed by her conversation about his having no housekeeper. Indeed that “would have been pure luxury” as far as the priest was concerned, as he went on to describe his meals and sleep habits. As Mother Theodore got into the stage, was she still mulling over her remarks, wondering if she had offended him? Embarrassed perhaps? Was she pondering what might face her in terms of dwellings and food?
She also described “the hut” which served as his church and home and school. This is not the only comment she makes about the conditions of the places which served as “temples to the God of heaven.” When she arrived in Vincennes and saw the church there, she exclaimed, “What a Cathedral!” And she says she was “shocked” and “wept bitterly.
When I gave tours of the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Shrine at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, (pre-Covid), I often pointed to the framed photo of the Cathedral in Séez and said, “I tend to forget that Mother Theodore came from a rather sophisticated France with great Cathedrals, actual roads, and thriving businesses, etc.”
In another writing, she remarked about the Cathedral of Séez being one of the last things she saw prior to leaving France. To me, this would have made the conditions in pioneer Indiana even harder to bear. Did she ever have second thoughts, I wonder, as she was thrown out of the carriage into mud and water? Or when she saw Terre Haute and remarked, “… yet, it is not pretty”?
Your time to share!
Mother Theodore and her sister companions faced many challenges in these eight pages! Had you been one of her companions, which would be your greatest challenge and why?
Mother Theodore’s emotions ran the gamut in this short section. To me, it was her humor that was most amazing. Are you able to manage lightheartedness in the midst of hardship?
What in this passage did you reflect on?
Next week > page 60 The Journey’s End to page 70