Journals and Letters week 16: Welcome support
As I read these pages, I found my mind going off in several tangents, trying to find a thread to hold my thoughts about these pages somewhat together. I didn’t feel that I really succeeded!
One thing that did stand out for me was the diversity and goodness of Mother Theodore’s benefactors and their importance to the mission.
Down to business
First, we have Mrs. Parmentier in Brooklyn, New York. Mother Theodore speaks so affectionately of her. She tells her “that the good God blesses the House that your charity has caused you to adopt and which looks upon you as a mother.” The Parmentier name surfaces several times in “Journals and Letters.” The first was when she welcomed Mother Theodore and her companions upon their arrival in Brooklyn and extended hospitality. Her generosity and that of her children continued to support the young community in a variety of practical ways.
I did have to chuckle when Mother Theodore wrote midway through the letter, “Let us come down to business.” She then proceeds to issue several “directives” to her friend to carry out for her. So I guess we sisters today come by it honestly when we always seem to have yet more to ask of our donors and supporters. We echo Mother Theodore’s words, “But again I must talk about money.”
Another friend was Father Kundek in Jasper. Mother Theodore had outlined her conditions for continuing the school, requesting a contract in writing. He evidently agreed, for Mother Theodore found “very satisfactory the arrangements” he was willing to make. She said, “We indeed owe a great debt to the one who was almost our first benefactor in Indiana.” What a consolation he must have been to her. They evidently could be quite frank and direct with each other, one of the signs of a trusted friendship.
The last pages are devoted to Louis Veuillot and Leon Aubineau, friends of another sort. These were esteemed businessmen whose contribution to the mission was to publish sketches of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods dictated by Mother Theodore in their publication Univers. Veuillot later made 500 copies of the articles into pamphlets which they distributed to readers, asking for donations in support of the mission. It was noted that the circulation of the paper “… reaches nearly everywhere, and we must not doubt that this publicity will bear great fruit. …” And it did. Later they printed Mother Theodore’s third journal which produced another source of income.
Our benefactors of today
Our present benefactors mirror these early supporters of our mission — a caring woman, a priest, two prominent businessmen — all in their own way, enabling the mission and moving it forward by their talents and contributions.
And as with Mother Theodore, we sisters can only “repay” our current benefactors for their faithfulness and generosity with our promise to use their contributions to bring about good in the world and with our undying gratitude and prayers.
What stood out for you in these pages?
Did anything surprise you?
Next week > page 146 Part IV, “Third Journal of Travel: to page 160 mid-page