This time three years ago we were awaiting the ‘soon’ arrival of our daughter, Ceitidh (Katie). Happy Birthday Ceitidh! We already had in mind at that point that she’d be called Ceitidh, not so much in the fashion of General Catherine Booth, but Katie Booth-Clibborn (la Maréchale), daughter of William and Catherine.
At the age of 22, she was taken to Paris by her mother and left there with a small group of equally young women to introduce L’Armee du Salut to France.
Within a week she was “sworn at, jeered at, and pelted with stones and mud …” But her incredible tenacity and sincerity of purpose gradually won through. They nicknamed her “La Capitaine” at first … and then “La Maréchale” (the Marshall).
The first meetings in Paris were in a dingy building in a rough quarter, where, as the police sergeant remarked, “they have got in that crowd half the cut-throats of Paris”. Yet these hardened men were dazzled by the innocent and dedicated zeal of the young ladies pressing upon them a gospel which their religion-hating culture had denied them.
After no result from exhausting effort a Christian lady advised Katie to return to her mother in England. The reply came, “If I cannot save France, I can die for it!” Young Catherine won her first convert by going to an old washer-woman at the back of the meeting, hugging her and telling her how much she loved her.
With the assistance of a dozen other young women under her remarkable leadership – ever in the forefront of the battle for souls – the Maréchale planted the Salvation Army also in Switzerland, Belgium and Holland.
As time went on, Katie’s path changed course, leaving the Army, but remaining an ardent soul-winner.
When I dedicated my Ceitidh to God, I chose to surrender here entirely to the Lord. I pray that she will follow Him all the days of her life. I pray that she wil be part of a revolution generation in our midst who will comfort the disturbed and disturb the comforatable. My little Maréchale! Happy Birthday sweetheart!