Quotations

Quotations, 1856-1860

The following quotations are selected from the numerous letters of Mother Joseph preserved in the Providence Archives, Seattle. The excerpts are arranged in chronological order; bold print indicates phrases that could be used separately from longer quotations (for posters, cards, etc.).

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"It seems to me we shall be happy to recall, in later years, these small beginnings." > To Mother Caron, Superior General (Montreal), December 21, 1856

"It is with the deepest trust and union with this good Mother, and in the name of the Heart of Jesus that I set foot on this land of Oregon, in order to labor with all my strength to carry out the designs of God for this work…. The thought of being in charge of guiding others and of managing our house, of training young Sisters with my inexperience, my unpleasant nature, my ignorance, all of this felt like such a burden…. In fact, the Divine Heart knew the simple motive which prompted me to offer myself, leaving all in order to do His will, and it seemed that this was the whole reason behind the new career awaiting me. With this, my trust was open to all eventualities." > To Mother Caron, December 21, 1856

"We need Sisters who can make themselves all to all in order to attract the people." > To Mother Caron, December 21, 1856

"Our works! Alas, they are very small as yet." > To Bishop Bourget, December 29, 1856

"We must not expect great achievements in the near future, but we must be able to do what needs to be done … to do what others do not want to do." > To Father A. F. Truteau, Vicar General (Montreal), April 19, 1857

"We entrust ourselves to Divine Providence and do our best…. More and more, I feel that to be happy, I must reach out and relieve the destitute." > To Bishop Laroque, August 15, 1857

"From time to time I seek to hide myself in the Heart of our Lord." > To Bishop Larocque, August 15, 1857

"If I can but bring glory to God, even at the expense of my own spiritual interest I will rejoice." > To Bishop Laroque, August 15, 1857

"We all embrace in advance the works that God may choose to aid us in our endeavor to make Him known and loved." > To Mother Caron, November 19, 1857

"The devotion to our Mother of Sorrows is the precious heritage which our dear Mother Gamelin has bequeathed to her family, as well as to our little Community." > To Mrs. Francois Leclaire, a friend in Montreal, April 8, 1858

"We have had much consolation in having begun a small hospital." > To Bishop Bourget, December 8, 1858

"I do not think that we should wait until we are as well organized as in the East before we act to respond to the needs. It seems to me that we should be glad to feel the pinch, in order to do good." > To Bishop Bourget, December 18, 1858

"We have accepted all that Divine Providence has sent us [and] try to remember that you have called us to be Servants of the Poor." > To Bishop Bourget, December 27, 1858

"Everyday I renew my oblation, happy to have sacrificed all for love of the interests of our sweet Jesus who more and more holds me captive in spite of all my miseries." > To Bishop Bourget, December 27, 1858

"I have a longing to serve our Lord and I know He loves me in spite of my unworthiness." > To Bishop Bourget, February 1859

"All the Sisters are cheerful and seem happy, while undergoing the sacrifices which distant missions always impose, the first of which is being deprived of seeing you and hearing you." > To Bishop Bourget, January 1860

"And now a word on our hopes for the orphan girls. You may have heard that we are building them a temporary lodging, which should be ready next week. The Bishop has furnished the lumber; as for the rest, Providence will provide." > To Bishop Bourget, January 1860

"We shall not hesitate to continue our works. God will not allow them to fail." > To sisters at the Mother House, January 14, 1860

"We would be remiss in not trusting Providence, which has served us so well thus far." > To Father Truteau, Vicar General (Montreal), October 21, 1860

Quotations, 1861-1902

The following quotations are selected from the numerous letters of Mother Joseph preserved in the Providence Archives, Seattle. The excerpts are arranged in chronological order; bold print indicates phrases that could be used separately from longer quotations (for posters, cards, etc.).

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"I frequently fear the weight of responsibility which I bear as the foundress of our mission and the formation of the sisters. I feel that the example which I give will remain as one of the souvenirs of this mission. What a pity if I were to give a poor example." > To Bishop Bourget, January 30, 1861

"It is too much to speak of crosses and sacrifices in religious life, when a quarter of an hour of union with our Sweet Spouse will compensate for years of sorrow and regret." > To Mother Philomene, April 28, 1861

"I don't know what you will do about raising cash to pay for the washing machine and other things we asked you to buy for us without giving you a single penny, besides warning you not to go into debt. . . . We could not help laughing at ourselves after you left." > To J.B. Brouilet, July 22, 1861

"I shall reform my life, O Lord! I shall reform my life." > Retreat notes, August 1861

"I greatly encourage those of our Sisters who are generous enough to come shall smell the sacrifices of missionary life. If it has its difficulties, its trials and its loneliness, it has also its consolations." > To Mother Caron, November 19, 1861

"Our Lord will never let himself be outdone in generosity." > To Mother Caron, November 19, 1861

"We embrace in advance all that God may choose to aid us in the work of making Him loved and known." > To Mother Caron, November 19, 1861

"I shall reform my life, O Lord! I shall reform my life!" > Personal resolution at the close of annual retreat, 1861

". . . a terrible flood, and a very severe winter made us place all our trust in Providence only." > To Bishop Larocque, March 3, 1862

". . . we are in a bad financial condition. Still I hope that St. Joseph, our good provider, will not let us go bankrupt." > To Bishop Larocque, March 3, 1862

"Unity is strength." > To Mother Philomene, Superior General, August 10, 1863

"How admirable are the ways in which Providence directs our lives! …. Was it not Providence who directed me to the Asile of Mother Gamelin? Was it not Providence who directed our small group of five Sisters, and provided for our subsistence? Is it not Providence who guides all our transactions with wisdom and foresight?" > To the sisters in Vancouver, January 27, 1864

". . . we made one of our duties the study of English, a real necessity for us, in order to meet ever pressing needs." > To Bishop Bourget, October 5, 1864

"In spite of all these difficulties, I have hope, though I do not know why. After the storm must come the calm…. You say that you would like to have Sisters in Idaho City, and that a hospital is indispensable. You understand that the mention of a hospital to a Sister of Providence is like touching every fiber of her heart." > To Father A.Z. Poulin, Idaho City, April 24, 1865 (in response to his request for a hospital for the miners, which she had to refuse for lack of sisters)

"With all this I have hope though I do not know why. After the storm must come the calm." > To Rev. A.Z. Poulin, April 24, 1865

"How much more agreeable for me to remain at home. But with the large debt we still carry and the needs of the poor, the sick and the orphans pressing, it is with all my heart I leave my solitude, for the toilsome task of begging." > To the Carmelites, Montreal, June 11, 1876

"With the grace of God I do all in my power and leave the rest to Him." > To Sister Vicar (Praxedes), September 25, 1876

"But, dear Sisters, we cannot always run things as we would like. Providence has its ways, with which we should not interfere." > To Mother Praxedes, Vicar, April 27, 1877

"Prayer can obtain all things. Nothing is more true." > To Mother Praxedes, June 3, 1877

"The ways of Divine Providence are sweet and gentle and move slowly." > To Mother Praxedes, September 27, 1877

"Perhaps I am not doing any good, but I believe I am where God wants me to be. The fear of meeting new difficulties is not to me a sufficient motive to withdraw from my mission." > To Mother Praxedes, September 27, 1877

"Oh, if I were young, we would do much good on a mission where there would be misery, and where it would be necessary to make sacrifices. Nowadays, we look for too much comfort in this land which offers so much." > To Mother Cecile, Assistant General, April 11, 1897

"It is justice to our holy founders to nourish, to develop, to increase the works they had in view at the time of our foundation." > To Sister Mary Olive, July 3, 1898

"I have our dear West so much at heart. You know that I love it…." > To Mother Mary Antoinette, Superior General, February 15, 1900

"If in making a foundation we wait until we do not have to deny ourselves, we shall never take on a new work, for we shall never be without work." > To Mother Mary Antoinette, March 22, 1901

"Ever since my entry into religious life, I have made it a habit to pause before the chapel door when I pass it, and beg our Lord to hide me in His Divine Heart, and send a ray of light into mine. He has given me more than a ray, He has given me a flame, and made fruitful my striving for union." > To Mother Mary Antoinette, April 15, 1901

"Permit me to recommend to you the care of the poor both in our institutions and outside them; have no fear to assist the poor and to receive them--then, you will have no regrets. Do not say: ah! this does not concern me, let others attend to them. My Sisters, whatever concerns the poor is always our affair." > Last words to the sisters at her bedside, January 8, 1902