Tuesday, October 02, 2007

St. Therese story


(I ought to have posted this yesterday, but I was a bit snowed in catching up on Pastorwork.)
I owe a St. Therese a great debt. She helped to convert my maternal grandmother. Here is the story.
My grandmother, Lois Eleanor Thayne Barnes was the daughter of a Mormon bishop. (This is not as impressive as it sounds--Mormon bishops are the equivalent of our pastors. They only serve part-time.) She was raised to fear the Catholic Church in general and priests in particular. She almost passed out from anxiety when she had to meet with a priest due to my aunt marrying a Catholic. Paradoxically, we later found out that she had secretly desired to be a Catholic from a young age. From her late teens, she was a non-practicing Mormon. (Preacher kid syndrome--yup, clerical marriage is SUCH a good idea--sarcasm off.) Anyway, she was always supportive of me becoming a Catholic and becoming a priest.
When the relics of the Little Flower made their world tour, one of the stops was Salt Lake City. My mom was by then a secular Carmelite. She helped the Carmelite sister in suburban Salt Lake when the relic stopped at the Carmel before going to the Cathedral. The sister gave mom some Third Class relics that had been touched to the reliquary. Mom gave one to her mother.
That night, my grandmother had a dream of a beautiful woman. When she woke up, the room smelled of roses. She asked my mother what this meant. Explained the rose smell to her and opined that perhaps it meant that she should become a Catholic. Not long afterward, she asked me to baptize her.
Dear St. Therese, thanks for the rose!
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