|Sister Mary of Carmel
|"I venture to enclose a short account of my first meeting with Mary in
the parlour of our former Monastery at Tavistock South Devon.(late 1960's) She came to ask prayers for a project
of the Philadelphia Society, who wished to open a house in the country. You may like to read it at the Meeting."
"I am very pleased to write to you : you have so often been in our prayers at Mary's request. We will pray for the success of the Meeting. I was sent to the parlour to see her, as the Prioress was engaged. We had of course heard of her.
After a few minutes in the parlour, a very slim and slight Miss Mary Barnes entered,and,after the greeting she accepted the invitation to sit down.
She opened the conversation explaining her principal reason for coming was to elicit prayers for the project of finding a suitable building for the Philadelphia Association in the country.
She did not look up at all, and spoke so rapidly that I was unable to get an absolutely clear picture of what she was trying to say. But I got her to write down names that I might forget. And I certainly felt much sympathy for her, and her very unselfish desire to put all her professional skills and her own sad experience at the service of anyone she could help.
She then got up to go : and I could feel her sadness - the interview, I felt, had not had total success. I had a last idea. We said goodbye and I asked her to keep in touch. She turned and put her hand on the door handle
to leave, and then I said " Goodbye for now and my love" She turned round quickly, lifted her head, and opened her eyes wide. A minute pause - she smiled for the first time. Then she said thank you, and departed. I little
knew then what a priviledged friendship it would be across more than 30 years of visits and letters.
May her dear soul rest in peace."