From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 12, 1908

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 12, 1908

 +Jesus             J.M.J.T.             12th May 1908

Darling little sister,

Our elections took place on 8th May and it is Sr Marie-Ange who was nominated prioress. Mother Sub-Prioress (Sr Marie of Angels) is keeping her position for another year. Mother Agnes of Jesus is 1st bursar and Sr Madeleine of Jesus is advisor or 2nd bursar.

You must know our new Mother well. She is the tall nun that we’ve mentioned many times, and who was sick. She still is, but not seriously enough to prevent her from fulfilling her duties perfectly.

I remember Venerable Mother Chappuis, who was given the office when she was extremely young and sick, and yet she lived a very long time, and I find that we were right to elect someone so worthy and so capable. It is better to be governed by a head without a body than by a body without a head. It’s very true that health is only secondary.

If only you knew what a lovely sight it was to see the whole community, led by the senior nuns, come and vow obedience to our Mother one by one! During the Te Deum, which everyone sang from their hearts, the Sisters’ faces shone. The sight must have brought a smile to the angels’ faces.

As for our Mother, she is worthy of the honour we are giving her, and it’s only natural that she be our superior, as she is superior in every way. I assure you, we won’t be miserable under her leadership. She loves Thérèse with her whole heart (she was the one who wrote the lovely poem at the end of the new edition: “I was then 16 years of age,” etc.) Also, she loves all 3 of us very, very deeply. She says we are her 3 roses. Sr Marie of the S.H., who always loves a laugh, advised her to adopt Mgr Amette’s blazon and to tell him this. The other day, on 5th May, the feast of Saint Ange (a martyr of our Order), Marie picked a little bouquet of forget-me-nots and offered it to Sr Marie-Ange, saying, “Remember me when you enter into Your kingdom.” You can imagine how hard we laughed. But this is a family secret, and as such we keep it to ourselves. The truth is that we venerate our Mother with a spirit of faith. Moreover, she commands this attitude, because she is of a very reserved character. She is very dignified, which naturally discourages all notion of familiarity, and this was true even when she was only a novice.  

The other day, I made “Little Mother” laugh. In the last spiritual direction session I had with her, I said that when the new prioress was elected I would begin a new life. “New lives!!” she said, “New lives!” You’re under an illusion as to “the starting point!” So I’ve masked my ardour, but not my determination, because I’ve resolutely decided to convert and become a saint. Pray for me, that I might succeed.

I love you with all my heart, your Céline

Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n. 

Happy birthday for 3rd June. My Communion will be for you. I didn’t forget 11th April. I think I’m going to change duties; I’m going to work in the refectory. I’m descending in rank!