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Catechetical Saints: St. Mother Théodore Guérin
Mother Théodore Guérin came from France to cultivate the seed sown in the wilderness of Indiana. Her difficulties were that which none of us really experience today, unless we are truly in mission territory. However, we do share similar obstacles: the seed falls on the rocky soil or falls on the pathways, but we must understand that we can cultivate the soil so that the seed may come to fruition. “The Gospel seed makes fertile the history of mankind and promises a rich harvest. Jesus also cautions, however, that the word of God grows only in a well disposed heart.” (GDC 15) Mother Théodore certainly had reasons to shed tears in her life as a pioneer evangelist and teacher in the woods of Indiana. She was born in Britttany, France in 1798. She was given the name Anne-Therese. Like many of the French saints, she was born into the aftermath of the French Revolution, in which the Reign of Terror sought to destroy the Catholic Church by killing thousands of priests and religious. Her religious upbringing was guided by her mother. When she was 15, her father was murdered and her mother was totally distraught, so the care of the other children and the family farm was left to Anne-Therese. Despite the reluctance of her mother to allow her to become a religious, she finally entered the Sisters of Providence in 1823.