Sister Mary of St. Joseph, Good Friend of Sister Stanislaus

“Sister Mary of St. Joseph, O.C.D.” (Mary Joseph Daly) was from the Gesu Parish, as was Sister Stanislaus of the Blessed Sacrament, O.C.D. (Helen Kelly).  They were very close, and died on the same day five years apart.  When Sister Stanislaus died, Sister Mary took up the work for St Therese.

Sister Mary of St. Joseph and and Sister Stanislaus were schoolmates at Notre Dame de Namur.  They were both assigned later as Portress.

3 Carmelite Nuns From Philadelphia Started The Spread Of St. Therese’s Spirituality In The U.S.

Sr. Stanislaus Kelly

photo of Sister Stanislaus Kelly
Sister Stanislaus Kelly, the first connection from the United States to Lisieux

Sr. Stanislaus was the young sister who first read the French copy of Saint Therese of Lisieux’s Story of a Soul and was really the key in the contact with Lisieux Carmel and all that flowed from that before the Beatification.

Sr. Stanislaus of the Blessed Sacrament (Helen Kelly), 1879-1911.  A native of Philadelphia, she entered the Carmel of Boston in 1896, at the age of seventeen, and was chosen to be one of the foundresses of the Carmel of Philadelphia in 1902, at the age of twenty-three.  During the early years of her religious life, she read one of the first editions (in French) of the Story of a Soul, and became an ardent disciple of Sr. Thérèse.  She began communication with the Carmel of Lisieux and God used this contact as a means of spreading devotion to the “Little Flower” in the United States.

Sr. Teresita

photo of Sister Teresita, extern nun, Philadelphia Carmel
Sister Teresita, extern nun

She was an Extern sister; she lived outside the enclosure and served the community by assisting the visitors and delivery men. She is the sister who gave the Story of a Soul to then Archbishop Doughtery.  He read it promptly, became infatuated with the Little Way and then became an important promoter of St. Therese’s cause.

Sister Mary Daly

photo of Sr. Mary Daly
Sr. Mary Daly

After the death of Sr. Stanislaus (1911), Sister Mary of St. Joseph (Daly) continued the work of promoting the devotion to St. Therese.

Philadelphia Carmel’s Relationship With Lisieux

“Philadelphia was the first city in the United States to recognize the sanctity of Little Theresa many years before she was canonized by the Church in 1925.

photo of Sister Stanislaus Kelly
Sister Stanislaus Kelly, the first connection from the United States to Lisieux

Sister Stanislaus, of the discalced Carmelites of Philadelphia, introduced the life of the Little Flower to me about twenty-three years ago. It was written in French. Afterwards she showed me a record of some of her miracles. Then I began to preach about her twenty-one years ago, off and on, and for the last fifteen years every Sunday afternoon. The preaching made a demand for more knowledge of her; and our Carmel distributed thousands upon thousands of pictures, pamphlets and relics. There followed a call for these from all over the country and our Carmel supplied this new demand for every State in the Union.

Philadelphia’s Carmel stood alone in this work of spreading devotion to Little Theresa, all over the United States; and Philadelphia was the first city to recognize with our Carmel the glorious virtues and power of the Little Flower.

I am therefore only too glad to write an introduction for the first book on Little Theresa that has been written in Philadelphia, the birthplace of devotion to the Little Flower in this country, now aglow with love for this Little Saint.

My friend, Father Stepanian, has asked me if I think he has caught the spirit of St. Theresa as expressed in the extracts from her life and letters, that he has put into his little book.

I can truly say that I think he has caught her spirit. He has done what he set out to accomplish, to impart her spirit in a reading of an hour to those who have neither time nor inclination to study the complete Autobiography.

The beauty of this book is that it recounts the inner life of Little Theresa in her own words and in a simple order that can be quickly seen and relished.

Here we have religion in action taken from a life in our own times; here in this book is love at its highest and best, Little Theresa’s love for God and souls.”

 

REV. JOHN J. MOORE,
Chaplain of Mt. Carmel Convent, Phila., Pa.
Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16, 1927.

A_Bouquet_Of_Roses_BookThe Introduction from
A Bouquet of Roses
by Rev. Stephen Stepanian
Published by Rev. Stephen Stepanian
140 North Robinson Street, PhIladelphia, Pa.
(copyright 1927)

 (Fr. Moore was the first Chaplain of the Carmel of Philadelphia at the time of its foundation in 1902 and remained in that capacity until his death in 1928, the year after writing the above Introduction.)

Dougherty_14June1916

Dougherty_14June1916

 

Bishop’s House

1035 Delaware Avenue

Buffalo, N.Y.

June 14th, 1916.

Rev. Mother Beatrix of the Holy Spirit,

Carmelite Convent,

66th Ave. & York Road,

Oak Lane,

Philadelphia, Pa.

 

Reverend dear Mother Beatrix:

 

I thank you sincerely for your kind letter of June the 8th, in which you offer me your congratulations for my installation and in which you inform me of the prayers of your Community for my welfare, and in which, finally, you had the kindness to enclose a relic of the dear “Little Flower”, which I shall prize both for her and your sake.

 

Please to accept my sincere thanks for so much kindness and be assured that I shall be grateful to you for it.

 

I mislaid my own copy of the Chinese life of the “Little Flower”, so Monsignor McCloskey promised to send you his copy and he may have done so by this time. No doubt he overlooked it in the hurry and bustle which preceded his coming to Buffalo; however, I shall write to him at once and request him to please send it to you as a souvenir of our trip through China, and as a token of our affection for the dear little saint.

 

I beg you to give my very kindest regards to each one of your community, but I especially beg you to continue your prayers for me that my coming to this Diocese may not be disastrous to it.

 

Very devotedly and gratefully yours,

 

                              (signed) + D. J. Dougherty.

                                             Bishop of Buffalo.

 

DJD/IMC 7.

 

Dougherty Recounts Trip To Lisieux 1913

HOTELS ST JAMES 211, RUE St HONORE

& D’ALBANY 202, RUE DE RIVOLI

TELEPHONE: 238-97

TELEGRAMMES: HOTEL St JAMES-PARIS        PARIS 15 Nov. 1913.

 

Rev. and dear Mother Beatrix:

 

On Wednesday evening at 4.30 of the 12th inst. I landed at Cherbourg; at 5.06 P.M. of the same evening I took the first train for Lisieux and arrived at nearly 9 P.M. that night. It was raining, had rained for weeks and kept raining there until this morning, when I left. Now and then the sun came out during my stay.

 

The town lies in a valley, among low hills. It raises cattle; and grows apples from which an excellent cider is made. It is pretty, prosperous, and has (I was told) 17,000 inhabitants, nearly all (even the Carmelite Sisters) the picture of health. They have clear complexions, bright eyes and deep-red cheeks.

 

I said the community Mass for the Carmelite Sisters each of the three mornings that I was at Lisieux; the first to receive Holy Communion each time being, of course, Rev. Mother Agnes, “the Little Mother” in the world of the Little Flower, and now as you know the Mother of the Little Flower’s own convent.

I requested the Sisters to show me the convent, and they, at my suggestion, fixed three o’clock that afternoon for my visit.

 

Before making the visit, I called to see the Cathedral where the Little flower, whilst living at home, was wont to hear Mass. In it are still the very chairs and prie-dieux at which she, her father and her family heard Mass, and in the very spot in the cathedral in which they used to be then. They have on them brass tablets with the name of Guerin, probably the mother’s family name. There I saw the Arch-priest to whom the Little Flower made her first confession and whom she afterwards said to Pauline that she should have told that “she loved him with her whole heart,” because he represented God. I send you a picture of this Church.

 

At three o’clock, accompanied by the Carmelites’ chaplain, I entered the cloister of the convent; was there met by four nuns covered with black veils, who at once knelt for my blessing, and in rising lifted their veils, and showed me four smiling countenances. I asked if their Mother Superior had that morning received a letter of introduction which I had given the Sister Portress from yourself. Then the smallest of the four, smiled broadly; said she was the Superioress, but that she does’nt know a word of English, and referred me, on that subject, to a young Sister, one of the four, who knows English. She is from Montreal; and was invited to meet me, to be interpreter. But we all pulled through in French.

 

I was astonished that the “petite” Sister, who smiled so blandly and looked like a good little business woman, was Pauline herself, The Little Mother of The Little Flower. Mother Agnes upon seeing me open my eyes must have thought that I wondered at her not being taller; for still smiling she said: “Soeur Therese etait plus haute que moi.” The ice was broken and we all went first to the Little Flower’s room. Her couch and furniture (?) are still there. On the jamb of the door Sister Teresa had scratched her own name, probably with a nail, and her signature is now covered with glass. The adjoining cell is converted into a repository of her relics. Among these I may mention the identical statue of the Bl. Virgin that smiled on her when she was gravely ill in her own home; her first-communion dress; her hair, thick, long, curling chestnut hair hanging down in a mass, inside a glass case; her prayer books, crucifix, hair cloth, discipline, barbed wire belt, writings, &c. The corridor outside is filled with ex-votos from beneficiaries of her intercession.

 

Next I went down stairs to the courtyard; visited the room in which she died and saw the bed in which she died. I went into the oratory in which she painted the decorations around the opening through which the Sisters adore the Bl. Sacrament exposed in the adjoining chapel. Lastly I visited the very sacristy in which the Little Flower loved to prepare the vestments and vessels &c. for Mass.

 

After that I drove to the outskirts of the city and there visited her grave in the town graveyard, in which she lies buried with her Sisters. Not far away in the same graveyard lies buried her father, and, I think, her mother.

 

The next day I visited the Benedictine Sisters’ Convent where she made her first communion, and had a conversation with Pere Domin who is her relative by marriage, and gave her her first Holy Communion, being then as now the chaplain there. He gave me the enclosed picture of her first Communion. The picture of himself is true. He knew her well, and saw much of her during the years she studied there, from her 8th to her 12th year, I believe. He told us anecdotes about her that were most interesting. Also of her father, whom he likewise knew well.

 

That afternoon I went to see her own house in Lisieux. They first showed me the dining room, containing the same furniture as when she saw it last: the round table about which the family sat when she was leaving them; her foot-stool &c. I went up stairs to her own room; saw where the Bl. Virgin smiled upon her when she was so ill; the original statue being now at the Carmelites, a copy is kept here. Nearby are her books and her playthings when she was a child. Another story up, brought us to the Belvidere or look out from which she loved to gaze on her parish church and the surrounding hills. She had here a nook in which she used to pray.

 

Next I went into the garden, saw the spot where she told her father she minded to become a Carmelite; her own little plot planted by her own hand with flowers, in front of a small Crib of Bethlehem; and the place where her father, ten years before his mind became clouded, appeared to her, who was looking from a window in her house, already as he afterwards became.

 

The last morning of my stay, after my mass at the Carmelite Convent, her three sisters came to the grill to say good-by to me. The three had their veils lifted. They knelt during our conversation, in spite of my invitation to arise. Mother Agnes told me she will send you the relics and souvenirs that you asked through me.

 

I must now end, as I’m leaving for Chartres.

 

My regards to all your community.

 

Very respectfully yours,

 

+ D. J. Dougherty.

Dougherty Postcard Lisieux 1913

This appears to be a very early postcard depicting T’s first communion; note that her name is not mentioned, perhaps because the apostolic (Roman) process hadn’t opened yet and there is a requirement of non-cultus to show no public worship before church okay’s it.

 

Enclosed with the Nov. 15, 1913 letter from Lisieux:

 

(1) Postcard

Front: Picture of the Cathedral with words:

14 LISIEUX. – La Cathedrale Saint-Pierre. – LL.

 

Back: “Cathedral in which the Little Flower was wont to hear Mass with her family. D.J.D. Lisieux 15 Nov. ’13.”

 

(2) Picture of St. Therese’s First Holy Communion

 

Front: ABBAYE DES BENEDICTINES DE LISIEUX

Renovation des promesses du Bapteme, un jour de Premiere Communion

CAEN. – IMP. DOMIN

 

Back: “Renovation of Baptismal vows by Sr. Teresa, on occasion of First Holy Communion. Presented to D.J.D. at Lisieux, 14 Nov. 1913. by Abbe Domin, who then officiated.”

Petition To Pope Introducing Cause of Therese

This letter appears to be a form letter (perhaps a petition) addressed to the Pope; as Therese is not called Venerable it must be before 1921, and probably before 1914, when her cause was introduced at Rome. My guess is that this petition to the Pope was necessary for the cause to be introduced at Rome (for that is distinct from, and after, the local church court in France).

 

Form letter to Pope
Form letter to Pope