A Legacy of Love:
Personal Reflections upon a Kind, Loving and Gentle Mother
|The new book about her mother Ruth Conroy is finally
in print and is now available directly from Susan, click here to order via Paypal or if you prefer, use this order form.
|From the back cover of the ~500 page book:|
|This book expresses what we love about our Mom. That is why it
is so long. I started writing it for the same reason I wrote about
Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa's
Lessons of Love and Secrets of Sanctity; Our Sunday Visitor,
2003): to share the story of a beautiful present-day model of love,
holiness, and heroic virtue. Ever since I was a little girl, I was
aware of the fact that I had a dream-come-true mother. And yet it
never occurred to me that I might write a book about Mom until just
before she was called home to Heaven. I became even more inspired
by her beauty, bravery and blessedness during her final agony, when
all her virtues were rigorously tested and yet continued to shine.
Her patience and peacefulness were pushed to the limit and still
did not break. Even when she was in the dark valley of suffering,
she was filled with the light of hope, the sweetest love, amazing
courage, and unfailing confidence in God’s goodness and mercy. Our
Lord was clearly leading her beside waters of peace. It seems to
me that her entire life was a miracle of God’s love and kindness—from
her birth into this life, all the way to her birth into Eternal
Life. While reading this story, you will see. There was so much
beauty in her heart and soul, in all of her ways. Just look at her
eyes! Look at her face! You will see the grace, peace, love and
joy. It is like looking through a window to Heaven.
Please be assured of my prayers for you and for God’s blessing on the loving memorial you are working on about your beloved Mother. May the lessons of love taught
and learned in your home continue to live on in those who read it.
| —SISTER M. NIRMALA, M.C., Mother Teresa’s
successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity in
|[Excerpts from Susan's book Mother Teresa's Lessons of Love and Secrets
From time to time,
my mother would order religious books for our family. She was the most peaceful,
happy, patient, and loving mother any child could ever hope for, and she
nourished us with good things in every way. I benefitted greatly from these
books, because my heart was always inclined toward God and holy things. I
am one of ten children. My parents raised our family in the Roman Catholic
tradition and they lived their faith beautifully. They kept us very close
to God and to the sacraments while we were growing up ... My parents always
referred to us as their "ten treasures," and the most important thing my
father taught us was to "keep the faith," so that all of his treasures would
arrive safely in heaven in the end. ...
Home has always been
the greatest classroom of love. It has always been the place where love is best
taught, learned, and lived. ...
I thank God for
my mother. It was my mother who gave me those first words I ever read by
Mother Teresa (on joy), and it was she who had ordered the beautiful set
of three little books by Mother Teresa which inspired me with such longing.
Yet, when I shared this dream [to go to Calcutta to help those suffering
in the Home for the Dying] with my mother, she could not accept it. Obviously
she had no idea what these letters and books were inspiring in me. She did
not realize at the time that God was using her as an instrument of grace
and a channel of divine influence in my life. If she had forseen the consequences
of her deeds, namely, the wishes that they would inspire in my heart, I imagine
she would never have followed through with them! It was obviously not her
intention to make me dream of helping Mother Teresa someday. It was simply
God's intention. ...
I tried to put aside my dream but within a short time, my yearning
to serve the poor in India came back, in full force, and continued to
grow. This is how I knew most clearly that it was God's will and not
my own. I would never have pursued something that left my parents in
great fear for my life unless I sensed clearly and strongly that I was
being drawn to make the journey. I knew that, truly, this was a seed
planted in my heart by God.
|"This book about Mom will naturally be
a lot about Dad too.
They were inseparable for about 56 years. And when it came to raising this family
of 10 children, they did it together. It will be a loving tribute to both
of them." The manuscript was mailed to the publisher March 26, 2014.
|- a recent email from Susan|
Webmaster's Note: Over the years I've heard a number of stories from
Susan about her parents Ruth and Francis Conroy, and what it was like
for Susan and her 9 siblings growing up in Southern Maine. This project
is a very special and inspirational memorial to two of the most important
influences of her life who are both now with God.
Susan's father Francis recently
passed away, and she shared this with me in an email at the time:
I am pouring my heart into finishing my book about Mom. ... The final
chapter has ended, so the book can now be finished. My joy and comfort is
that Dad is reunited
with the love of his life, and also in knowing – as Papa said even while he
was in a coma – “we will all be together again.” I am counting on it. I have
my heart set on that. I am holding onto those comforting words of faith, hope
and love. As Mom always said with a smile: “Ever onward and upward!” -