From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - October 19,1928

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - October 19,1928

+ Jesus                                                           Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                     19th October 1928


Darling Léonie,

It’s your little Céline’s turn to write to you. Our roles have been reversed because it’s usually you who writes to me for the 21st! Yet it has been so long since I last wrote that in my heart I want to repay the debt.

I was snowed under for a while, it’s true. I was incredibly behind in all the affaires I was carrying out. Now things are beginning to subside but on Monday I’m resuming the painting work that needs finishing and as I have to handle my other affairs at the same time, I once again won’t have any time to lose.

On the 15th we welcomed our dear new Bishop [Mgr Suhard]. If only you know how much we like him already. He is so good and kind that it will be like having our own St Francis de Sales. I say “our own” meaning the whole diocese in comparison to that of Geneva.

To welcome him, the town was decorated with bunting and flags, especially our street. Father Germain went to a great deal of trouble making sure that everything looked good.

After seeing our Mother in the visiting room, and the gentlemen from our various associations, his Lordship asked for a report on the state of our affairs and the pilgrimage centre, but he insisted on telling us, that very day, the 15th, that we could begin the Basilica! What great news! After all we’ve suffered, only we can fully realise how significant this is.

Through his goodness and wisdom, his Lordship “converted” Mgr Le Boucher, who has gone from being hostile to our project to favourable. We have the impression that the work is entering a new era, and that this era can only be one of prosperity because we’re emerging from a long and arduous ordeal. “Unhappiness doesn’t stay under the same roof forever,” our dear Little Mother would say.

Did you know that there are nuns of the Apostolic Carmel looking after Alençon? Mrs Grant is staying in the house where Thérèse was born, and the Sisters are taking care of the pilgrimage centre and sacristies, because there’s also a crypt that they will use as a choir. I had a great deal of trouble organising it all and it’s not yet finished. I must grin and bear it until everything is running smoothly. I assure you that if I wasn’t working for God and God alone, I would never have the strength to take on so much. But it is our mission to help our little Thérèse with hers.

As for you, little sister, you too have much suffering to offer up to God. And I think that you’re ever so clever to say the Mass responses. I could never do that!

I’m going to say goodbye now by sending you all my love.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa u.c.n.