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The Feast of Mary Frances Clarke

As we celebrate the Feast of Mary Frances Clarke, a peacemaker, a woman whose background includes the Quaker tradition, we ponder how she would react to the acts of violence, the vitriolic rhetoric which is ever present in our world today, and the sadness of the many natural disasters of hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes which have affected so many people. Some of Mary Frances’ writings give us a clue to what she might say to us. (Below are her words and the date written.)

To BVM vowed members and associates:

“None but our dear Lord knows what, or how my heart feels for you. May he support and strengthen you. Have patience, May his most holy will be done.” August 1871

“Do not be uneasy, rely on God whose aid is never denied to those who ask it.” September 1885

“Help, O Lord, poor Ireland, my dear country and bless dear America for her great charity to all.” Unknown date

To people who have suffered natural disasters:

“It pained me to hear of your trouble, and also the sad state of our poor country.” January 1880

“May God have mercy on them all.” February 1878

“My Lord impressed and surrounded with difficulties, I know not what to do unless You aid me.” May 1877

“I am uneasy not hearing since you returned. I hope that you reached safe and are well.” October 1887

To grieving families:

“I gladly hasten to give you any comfort that I can, in your great sorrow. I am sure that the death of your dear child will never leave your poor aching heart.” November 1884

To the sick:

“I thought of you often and prayed for you, too. I thank God to hear you are gaining, although you are yet so weak. I trust in God and the kind care of your Sisters that you will soon be restored.” October 1884

“…nothing has been left undone to restore her—and yet she only lingers. …she is becoming so weak that she cannot walk many steps without assistance. Please continue to pray earnestly for her, dear Sister—she finds it hard to bear up, when she knows how grieved the family feel on her account; They have been so tenderly true to her. She cannot help grieving, although resigned.” June 1886

“….dangerous world. Don’t lose sight of them for a moment while they are under your care.” Unknown date

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