150 Celebrations

Truest Joy

To those of us who think we are too old to do something, we have only to look to Philippine Duchesne for inspiration. At nearly 50, she left home for Louisiana, and at 72 she trekked to Sugar Creek, Kansas, to live among the Potawatomi. When, at a certain moment, we may say, like the disciples on Mt. Tabor, “We will sit down now and do no more,” Philippine invites us to move off the mountain into the mud of life, from altitude to sea level, from Grenoble and Paris to New Orleans and St. Louis. When, amid despair and powerlessness, when language fails us, Philippine, the woman who prays always, beckons us to courage and confidence born from unceasing contemplation, as if to say, “Excuse me, but we have God’s work to do.”

Mary Hotz, RSCJ, Province of the United States - Canada
Image: Harry Webber

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