Béziers , Bon Pasteur , 2021-12-03
Dear Father Gailhac
I am happy to write to tell you how privileged I feel to have known you since I was twenty years old. In this first letter written, my words cannot do justice to your presence in my life, but I’ll try to express a little of it in recent years.
When I was a young professed sister, Sr Maurice spoke so much about you and above all, she witnessed so much to your life. Her words, her prayer, her passion touched the young professed that I was.
Much later, during my mission at the Mother House, I had the opportunity to introduce you to many people. So in this letter I want to tell you about that.
It is impossible for me to count the number of people who came to the Mother House during the long years I spent there. It was my turn to make you known, of course in the context of a community and with lay people who were seduced by your passion of love for Jesus Christ and for all.
During each visit of a person or a group, it was an adventure lived in faith: the witness that I was moved to the second place and you, Father, joined each visitor or pilgrim in their life journey. Thank you, Father Gailhac. There were many signs of this, but far from being a passing feeling, many people later bore witness through their writing, their commitment or simply their lives. Certainly, their testimonies remain engraved in my heart and through these encounters I have intensely experienced the reciprocity of relationships. I have also grown in my knowledge of your spirituality and over time you have helped me to live it with more passion.
While respecting the confidentiality of what I have heard and seen, I cannot remain silent. Today I say again a moving thank you for so many graces received through your intercession: a birth that is announced, a new found peace, a discernment accomplished, a strength to live the illness, a courage to face a whole life of handicap, a decision taken, a cure, even if the doctors do not indicate it, an opening to discover this Jesus Christ who inspires you.
For those who cannot join you in an explicit and expressed faith, you remain a source of inspiration in the service of the poor. But I also know that you live in deep humility and therefore you relate all this to God: “without God you can do nothing” or “do everything for the glory of God”.
You love personal letters. I also know how faithful you are in answering each person. Often I also find you in the letters you wrote to such and such a sister. Our elders have had the wisdom to keep your letters. Thank you for the signs throughout the days. At the moment it is your letter of 17 December 1878 that helps me to get to Christmas.
Bernadette Mc Namara