Thursday, October 12, 2017
Philippine's Desire Finally Fulfilled!
Philippine continued to desire to go to the Indian missions even when she was in poor health over seventy years old. The fact that permission had been given to make the foundation was a joy for her even though she was not being included in the preparations. Then, Father Verhaegen appeared at the convent one morning to say that he wanted the nuns to go with him in July as he would be making a visit to Sugar Creek. As he talked with Mothers Gray and Mathevon, Mother Duchesne sat with them for he never called at the City House without asking for her. They were speaking about the steamship passage, what baggage to take, and the date of departure and reservations for three religious. For only three? The priest had expected four. He turned to where Mother Duchesne was sitting quietly and said: "But she must come, too. Even if she can use only one leg, she will come. Why, if we have to carry her all the way on our shoulders, she is coming with us. She may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us. Her very presence will draw down all manner of heavenly favors on the work." (Quoted in Callan's Life of Philippine Duchesne, p. 635).
Mother Mathevon, who had been received by Philippine at Grenoble and formed by her at Florissant before being named superior at St. Charles, was to be superior of the little group. She was reluctant to have responsibility for Mother Duchesne and Philippine sensed this. She repeated often the little prayer she had made her own:
"Lord, I lean on you alone for strength.
Give me your arm to support me,
Your shoulders to carry me,
Your breast on which to lay my head,
Your cross to uphold me,
Your Eucharist to nourish me.
In You, Lord, I sleep and rest in peace."