The Journey Continues: The Ship Has Sailed
The ship has sailed! In those early days at sea, can’t you imagine Julia and her companions sharing their experience of preparing for the voyage they were now experiencing? Did the Beaulieu Sisters speak of the resistance that they had endured?
According to “An Old Account of New Beginnings” the tale is told:
“It was an extremely difficult time for the Beaulieu Community. At first, there was a great number of Sisters interested in the missionary project. Although nothing definite had been decided, when the parents of Sisters and students heard about the missionary project, they were extremely upset and angry. The people came in large numbers and made life miserable for Mother Teresa, the Beaulieu Superior. The pressure and fright she endured also made life difficult for the Community. Of the 14 sisters interested, only 8 from Beaulieu would join the three Sisters from Boulogne.”
Money was necessary and the Beaulieu Community contributed 35,000 francs and a trousseaux for the Sisters. At times they would dress as “poor peasant women” until they were securely settled in America. Any attempt for them to leave France could only take place at night to avoid the crowds of people outside the convent.”
However, in the pages of “The Cross in the Wilderness” the description of the opposition is even more dramatic:
“Neither nuns nor money shall go out of France, cried the indignant people of the provincial town. The number of nuns to go oozed down to eight; funds now might not surpass twenty or twenty-five thousand francs. No nun’s dower might be withdrawn from the convent of Beaulieu. The parlors at the convent were buzzing; crowds under the windows; the persuasion of the civil law was brought to bear, and there came the close of a day when the Sub-Prefect of the Department, the Mayor, and the Municipal Council, stood in all regalia, at the Ursulines’ door, to protest against this hazardous enterprise. The hysterical inhabitants of this French village had had visions of tomahawks and war-dance, cannibals, and what not!”
“It is easy to see that Satan is not pleased with this project,” wrote Msgr. Macheboeuf piously to Boulogne. “He is moving heaven and earth against it!”