Notre-Dame des Petits Moineaux/Our Lady of the Little Sparrows
I used to have a friend who used to tease me about having gone to Catholic school. He referred to the school as Notre-Dame des Petits Oiseaux (Our Lady of the Little Birds). In fact, my school was called St. Joseph de l'Apparition. I remember it as a place where the nuns, who came from all over the world, could have used lessons in compassion and kindness; it took many years for me to get over the damage done to me personally. However, there was one bright light, even though it arrived after the damage was done: a Mother Superior from Rennes, in Brittany, who took me in hand and nurtured me in the last couple of years that I was there. I will never forget her. She was feisty, down-to-earth, and caring. She poured balm into my childhood wounds; she even tried to get me into a school in Rennes because she saw such potential in me. But the parental wouldn't allow it. It is because of her that I got through my adult bitterness at the cruelty of some nuns who saw me as the bad seed because my parents had divorced. Did Sr. M. go to confession every day and confess her bad temper spewed at us almost daily? Did Sr. J-B confess that she called my mother a very bad name for divorcing my father (never mind that it was a very necessary divorce), and to my face at that? I didn't know what the word meant, so I looked it up in the dictionary.; it seared me, because I missed my mother so much that I cried myself to sleep every night. It didn't matter in the end, because Mère Augustin made up for all of it. Wherever her spirit is, I hope she know I didn't let her down.