Apr. 2, 1895 – To Genevieve

House of Providence, Kingston
Apr. 2, 1895
My dear Genevieve:

I trust my long delay in writing has not disheartened you, I never would have kept you in such suspense had it not been for a severe attack of illness from which I am only now recovering. Returning from Montreal I found it quite impossible to call at Lancaster although I would have been greatly pleased to see even one member of the family in passing.

Now my little Genevieve, let us deal with our “Religious topic”. Your request to be admitted as a member of our Novitiate has been carefully considered and permission to enter is most cheerfully accorded you. The date for leaving home may be fixed by you and your good parents. In giving you this decision of the Community I feel obliged to counsel you to weigh well the importance of this step; more especially since your esteemed Mother is impressed with the idea that the matter has not been maturely considered. You know, my dear child, that the religious life has its trials and difficulties as well as its sweet peace and contentment. A candidate to be successful must be ready to give up her own will and judgment on all occasions, this is often more painful than the sacrifice of parting with our friends. I may add too, that the life of a “Sister of Charity” is one of labor, for within our walls are always to be found God’s Poor for whom we must sacrifice our own comfort. At your tender age and inexperience a parent’s advice is necessary and submission to their directions will merit a blessing on your undertaking; I wish, however to assure you that I am confident it is no hasty resolve of yours and I will be heartily glad to number you among my spiritual children as soon as you are prepared to leave home.

I enclose a list, advising at the same time to purchase very little; materials may be purchased here in the city and time will be given to make the different articles after entrance. A change of sheets, pillow covers and towels can be prepared according to the measurements; the list need not be completed before profession.

My concluding request is that you continue your music lessons and diligent practice until the very eve of your entrance. During these solemn days of devotion and penance I shall pray fervently for the accomplishment of your noble design of consecrating your young life to the service of the Divine Master.

Kindly present my best wishes to your worthy parents, my friends Clara and Clem, believing me to be your deeply interested friend.

Mother M. Edward, Sup. Gen.
Notes: This letter is a typed copy pasted into the copybook.
Source: 105-C, General Superior's fonds, Correspondence series, Copybook, pp. 204A-205, Archives, Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.
Catherine McKinley’s Letters

This letter is part of a large database of correspondence written by and to Catherine McKinley, who is considered one of the founders of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. As a Sister of Providence she was known by her religious name Mother Mary Edward.

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