Paths of Daring Deeds of Hope


Theresa in Monroe: Father Joos to Bishop Lefevere

A critical moment occured on March 31, 1859. Theresa received an urgent message that she was needed at St. Joseph to resolve a serious difficulty. She sought permission to go to Pennsylvania, which permission was denied. Her frustration at this and the denial of her desire to open a mission in Reading lead Theresa to engage in an acrimonious conversation with Fr. Joos. Following is Fr. Joos' account of the occasion in a letter (which he immediately dispatched to Bishop Lefevere).

Father Joos to Bishop Lefevere

Right Rev. and Most Dear Bishop,

This morning I had a short but very important conversation with ... She asked me whether Your Lordship allowed her to go or not, and on me answering that you did not change Your mind "I am not," she said, "astonished; we have known since long that no one take interest in the Convent, and so all the Sisters know; therefore I have no confidence any longer neither in the Bishop, nor F. Hennaert, nor you, and so you may write the Bishop who can give me my demission." And so she spoke repeatedly.

You see, R.R. Bishop, that a final disposition must be taken lest she [destroy] the whole institution. Whatever Your Lordship decide about it I think that it is almost necessary that You should come Yourself as soon as possible and that precautions should be taken before she has time to involve the other houses in her revolt.

As for the Sisters I have known them always submissive and Sister Joseph (the only one I have spoken to) says they are all always disposed to submit; although they feel somewhat affected by mother's disappointment.

May God dispose of everything in the best way!
expecting Your visit tomorrow, if possible, I remain, R.R. Bishop, with all respect

Your obedient Servt and Son
Ed. Joos
Monroe, the 31st of March 1859