News Archive

March for Life - January 21, 27

March for Life - January 21, 27

Theme - The Power of One

The mission of the March for Life is to provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person. Both in January, on the anniversary of legalized abortion in the US, and throughout the year we bring together pro-life leaders and groups to organize, unite and strategize around a common message, and to communicate this message to the government, the media and the nation in a way that is powerful and life affirming.  This year's theme is taken from J.R.R. Tolkien, "even the smallest person can change the course of history."

January 22, 1973 is ingrained in the minds of pro-lifers because on that infamous historic day the Supreme Court invalidated 50 state laws and made abortion legal and available on demand throughout the United States in the now-infamous decisions in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton.

 The March for Life in Washington, D.C., began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world.  The peaceful demonstration that has followed on this somber anniversary every year since 1973 is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand.

At the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, we mourned the death in 2012 of Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life and the “Joan of Arc” of the pro-life movement. In October 1973, months after the Roe and Doe decisions, a group of thirty pro-life leaders gathered in Nellie’s home in Washington, D.C. to discuss how to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Roe.

There was a fear that January 22 would pass as any other day rather than allow for a moment to reflect upon how legalized abortion had hurt women and taken babies’ lives over the course of the year. That was the day that plans for the first March for Life began.

How your Diocese is getting involved 

Contact your local Carmelites  

Walk for Life San Francisco

 

 

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World Day for Consecrated Life

World Day for Consecrated Life

February 2, 2017

In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church (Feb 4,5).

World Day of Consecrated Life Prayers of the Faithful pdf

World Day of Consecrated Life Prayer Card pdf

 

 

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Five New Postulants

Five New Postulants

New Candidates enter the Province

On January 20, 2017  the community of Mount St. Joseph in San Jose, CA welcomed two new postulants, which now brings the number to five young men who have entered in the past three months. 

In the picture above from left to right: Colin Livingston, Wes Nagel, Frank Sharma (who is entering for the Canadian Region), the Postulant Master/ Vocation Director, Fr. Robert Barcelos, OCD, and our two new postulants, Dustin Vu and Matthew Knight. 

We ask you to keep all these men in your prayers, as well as our other friars in formation.

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International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18-25, 20017

The theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is "Reconciliation-The Love of Christ Compels Us." (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-20). According to Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII). . . , "it was in the context of the Reformation Anniversary that the Council of Churches in Germany took up the work of creating the resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017. It quickly became clear that the materials for this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity would need to have two accents: on the one hand, there should be a celebration of God's love and grace, the 'justification of humanity through grace alone', reflecting the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther's Reformation. On the other hand, the materials should also recognize the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the Church, openly name the guilt, and offer an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation."

See U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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National Migration Week - January 8-14, 2017

National Migration Week - January 8-14, 2017

Creating a Culture of Encounter

For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week which is organized and directed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  This is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking.

The theme for National Migration Week 2017 draws attention to Pope Francis' call to create a culture of encounter, and in doing so to look beyond our own needs and wants to those of others around us. In the homily given at his first Pentecost as pope, he emphasized the importance of encounter in the Christian faith: "For me this word is very important. Encounter with others. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others."

 With respect to migrants, too often in our contemporary culture we fail to encounter them as persons, and instead look at them as others. We do not take the time to engage migrants in a meaningful way, but remain aloof to their presence and suspicious of their intentions. During this National Migration Week, let us all take the opportunity to engage migrants as people of God who are worthy of our attention and support.

Prayer Resources:

National Migration Week 2017 Prayer Card

Petitions at your National Migration Week Mass or any celebration

Variety of Prayers for the use in your National Migration Week

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50th World Day of Peace

50th World Day of Peace

Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace

This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2017.  Pope Francis has talked about the worrisome surge of violence that has taken over the world.

 He wishes that this 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of his pontificate, be a beacon of diplomacy and good will. The Pope wants to underline the prevalence of law in international affairs as a way to ensure a peaceful future.

 The World Day of Peace is a project started by Paul VI in 1968. It is celebrated the first day of every year, and it is usually an occasion where the pope makes important statements about the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

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Fr. Michael Buckley, O.C.D. 1920-2016

Fr. Michael Buckley, O.C.D. 1920-2016

Lead Kindly Light

Fr. Michael Buckley, OCD passed to eternal life, Thursday, December 22, 2016. He died peacefully at our House of Prayer in Oakville, CA. 

Funeral rites and ceremonies where on December 28 and 29. He was interred at our monastery cemetery in Mt. St. Joseph in San Jose, California (See Official Obsequial Letter to the Province).

Before the presence of his Carmelite community, his family, and friends, the following homily was given by Fr. James Geoghegan, OCD in San Jose:

 

Fr Michael  Buckley, O C D    Burial Service  Mt. St. Joseph   12  29-2016

In this holy season we recall the circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ  and we are painfully aware  of the tragedy of  civil war in the Middle East  and the sufferings of refugees.  It is appropriate to think of these as we bid farewell to Father Michael..In November on the occasion of his 96th birthday he wrote to me  “I think at this time always of the rough ride my mom made , on the run, to save her little boy from the Tans in Tournafulla.  And my birth within an hour or two as she just reached the sanctuary of her brother's home in Castleisland”   It was during the Irish War of Independence in 1920.  Fr. Michael's father was hiding from the British Army  and his mother got a horse and cart and set out for her brothers home to avoid harassment.  A couple of hours after her arrival she gave birth to Michael.

Three years  later in the tragic civil war in Ireland  there was disruption again.  Fr. Michael's father , Patrick Buckley  was taken prisoner by the government forces and murdered,  leaving behind a very young family of which Michael was the baby.  In a new book the Irish historian  Tim Pat Coogan  tells of this tragedy  and how the government  “in a mean spirited and ungenerous approach” then refused to give any compensation or help to the widow and children of Patrick Buckley.  Coogan's father,  a high ranking officer in the government police force said of the family  “they have no visible means of obtaining a livelihood”.

That was the beginning of Fr. Michael's life.  When he was 3  his mother sent him to school with the other children of the family.  I remember Fr.  Michael's mother  when she visited the seminary  when Fr. Michael was our teacher.  She was described by one of the priest's as like Our Lady of Sorrows.  Kitty Scholl of  Napa who grew up in  Castleisland said the her mother described Mrs Buckley  'as so kind and gentle that you could  go to confession to her”.   I think we have enough evidence to know how difficult was Fr. Michael's childhood.  Recently he told me that he had no bitterness in his heart and that time had healed the divisions of the country  He was a brilliant student and received an excellent education.  He studied in the National university of Ireland and in the Carmelite seminary in Dublin

After ordination he was sent to Rome where at the Angelicum and the Biblicum  he received degrees in Theology and Sacred Scripture.   He spoke fluently English, Irish, Latin, Italian, Spanish  and could read Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and French.  Always interested in sports  he played soccer for the university team.  One of the other players  was a young Polish seminarian  called Carol  Wojtyla  later known as Pope John Paul II.

After Studies  in Rome he returned to Dublin as professor of Scripture.  Some of us here had the privilege of studying under him  He was so clear and a marvelous teacher.  Over 60 years later  I   attended one of the classes in Oakville.  At 95 he was as  clear as ever. He loved the Scriptures,  they were the living presence of Christ. He loved to teach, he loved to share.

 

He went as a missionary to India where he taught in the major seminary at Alwaye.  While there he was involved in ecumenical work.  Eventually he came to California  where he was elected Major superior.  During his time we Carmelites  founded a house in Washington State. Because of  his success  here he was then elected  Provincial Superior of the Anglo Irish Province, which at that time embraced Ireland, England, United States, Australia, and the Philippines.  At the end of that service he returned to California.  When  Fr. David Costello went to Africa  Fr. Michael took his place as superior of our House of Prayer in Oakville. 

Stationed here in San Jose he was in charge of the Carmelite Secular Order for eleven years.  Wherever he was stationed he made a big impact  because of his intelligence and his quite holiness.  He cooperated with the Central Office in Rome on various projects  and of course was always a brilliant contributor to issues affecting us her in the Western Province.  He was a free man, unafraid of anyone or any idea.  In fact he was the burr under the saddle of our Provincials always reminding them to fulfill the tasks assigned by the Provincial Chapters.

 

In his later years he led a quieter life,  always interested in Ireland and its football teams,  and always a perfect example of Christian kindness.  A man of prayer  and study  he was a wonderful confessor, preacher, writer  and lecturer,  and ever a contributing member of his religious community.  Toward the end he suffered  partial paralysis of his face  and blind in one eye. He wrote to me “Well praise God for his testing:  because a good share of that now and its hard to smile with a paralyzed  face.  But a share of smiling goes on inside I believe”  He kept going, still teaching class  and sharing in the work of the monastery.

 

A man of his word and of The Word he loved the Bible  and literature in general  .He loved poetry , especially  Newman's

lead kindly light   amid the encircling gloom

lead thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home

Keep thou my feet;  I do not ask to see

the distant scene – one step  enough for me.

 

Tennyson's

Twilight and evening bell,

and after that the dark!

And may there be no sadness of farewell,

When I embark

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crost the bar.

 

And  Robert Louis Stephens  epitaph.

This be the verse you grave for me

Here he lies where he longed to be :

Home is the sailor , home from the sea,

and the hunter home from the hill

.

I think that his favorite passage from literature was a section from Uncle Tom's Cabin  that describes the death of Eva the young girl and friend of Tom.  40 years ago he wrote it out for me.” In that book (Bible)  which Eva and her old friend (Tom)had read so much together, she had seen and taken to her young heart the image of one who loved the little child:  and as she gazed and mused,  He had ceased to be an image and a picture of the distant past,  and come to be a living  all- surrounding reality.  His love enfolded her childish heart  with more than mortal tenderness;  and it was to Him, she said,she was now going, and to His home” 

 

 That too could be a description of  Fr. Michael's death.  He died peacefully like a little child  and went home to the one whom he had studied and loved for so long..

 

Michael is now at home joining his beloved mother  and meeting the father he did not remember and could say in the recent words of  an  Irish poet  Paul  Durcan 

“and now I put the key for the first time 

Into the door of my father's house.”

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Carmelite Missions Newsletter - December 2016

Carmelite Missions Newsletter - December 2016

Merry Christmas from Uganda!

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OCDS - Secular Carmelites

OCDS - Secular Carmelites

OCDS Provincial Statutes

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Solemnity of St. John of the Cross

Solemnity of St. John of the Cross

His Dying Days

On December 14, 1591, at the age of 49, Saint John of the Cross passed to Heaven and joined with the choirs of angels to sing the mercies of the Lord.

In the months before his death, Saint John headed  for the monastery of La Peñuela, which belonged to the Province of Andalucia. It was a simple community. He arrived in August and during this time, the community worked in the fields tilling chick peas (garbanzo beans). John spent many hours in his cell, likely using his time to revise The Living Flame of Love, or making copies of The Spiritual Canticle.

After about a month in La Peñuela, he began to experience small episodes of fever. As the fever intensified, the superior thought it best to take him to the monastery in Ubeda, where he could be placed under the care of a doctor. St. John himself thought that his stay in Ubeda would be short and that he would be back in La Peñuela, to his assigned monastery.

He arrived in Ubeda on the evening of September 28, 1591. The community was small, simple, and deprived of many commodities. The attending doctor, Amobrosio de Villarreal, diagnosed St. John of the Cross as having a cellulitis infection diffused in his right leg. The illness caused him extreme pain. The pain intensified as the infection spread from his leg to the foot, but the Saint patiently dealt with this excruciating pain with serenity.

The doctor treated the infection by performing surgery and cauterization to prevent further infections, procedures that only added to the anguish and pain, to say the least. Yet the doctor attested to the peacefulness in which John bore his medical treatment. Saint John did not have rest from his pain, except for a small cord that hung from the ceiling to his bed; he would clutch it with his hands to distract himself from the pain in order to speak to visitors.

The treatment, needless to say, did not work. The early weeks of December were for John, days to prepare for death. In the last hours of his life, eyewitnesses recount how  St. John of the Cross directed his gaze of faith on the Love of the Lord. The friars gathered in his cell and recited the prayers of dying, in which John devotedly responded. At about midnight on the clock church, Brother Francisco Garcia, the bell toller, came out of John’s cell to toll the bell for Matins. As he finished ringing the bell, St. John gave his last breath on earth.

It is said that in his final hours, Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross asked for three graces which the Lord granted: 1) the grace to die where nobody knew of him so that neither in life, nor in death should anyone honor him. This was the grace to be small and unnoticed. 2) He asked that he would die without ecclesiastical honors (such as a prelate or superior) in order to exercise humility. 3) Finally, he asked that the Lord grant him a purgatory while on earth.

A friend of St. John of the Cross, Ana del Mercado Y Penyalosa, obtained from the Provincial, Nicolas Doria, permission to bring the body from Ubeda to Segovia. Nine months after the Saint’s death, Ana and her brother enacted the transfer. Almost two years later, the coffin was opened, only to find St. John incorrupt.

The body finally arrived in Segovia on May 1593 for its final resting place in a niche on the wall near the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The remains of the Saint continued to call pilgrims from all parts of Spain, as they were experiencing healings and various miracles. Around the body, witnesses recalled smelling sweet fragrance.  After the death of the Provincial Nicolas Doria, the new provincial moved the remains out of the wall and placed it in a large urn in the shape of sarcophagus in the center nave for the proper veneration of all.

Pope John Paul II, who wrote his doctoral thesis on St. John of the Cross, visited his body in Segovia on November 4, 1982. In 1993, he named Saint John of the Cross patron of all Poets.

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St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Canonization October 16

Letter of Fr. General in the occasion of the canonization of Elizabeth of the Trinity

Click Here

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Carmelite Missions Newsletter - October 2016

Carmelite Missions Newsletter - October 2016

Greetings from Uganda

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Carmelite Missions Newsletter - May 2015

Carmelite Missions Newsletter - May 2015

Greetings from Uganda!

The May 2015 Carmelite Missions Newsletter is available here.

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Carmelite Missions Newsletter - December 2014

Carmelite Missions Newsletter - December 2014

Greetings from Uganda!

The December 2014 Carmelite Missions Newsletter is available here.

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The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

From a homily by Rev. Bro. Leonel Varela

I would like to draw out two points from today’s Gospel about the Angel Gabriel sent by God to the Virgin (Luke 1:26-38) that might be of help in living our religious vocation. Let me begin by noting the emphasis given to joy in the First Reading from the Prophet Zechariah (2:14-17) in the gentle imperative, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!” We hear much about joy throughout the scriptures, but especially during this season of Advent. It is a message that is heard even in the midst of chaos, war and suffering. It is, indeed, an imperative that the scriptures proclaim. And it is with this very imperative that the Angel greets Mary: “Rejoice (Chaire), full of grace (kecharitōmenē).”

We also are being asked to rejoice. “Why rejoice?” we might wonder. Because the Lord is with us. The Lord is in our midst in a way far more intimate than in the time of the Old Covenant. Mary is surprised by this greeting. In her nothingness she lets herself be surprised. She is like us in all things. In the eyes of the world she is just a young girl. She is not living in a palace. She is at her home, a home like her neighbors, and it is there that God has surprised her with a surprise that will change her life. Not only her life, the whole cosmos will be forever changed.

God always surprises us in the most ordinary ways of our lives as he did with Mary. He comes to us also in our nothingness, in our weakness, and He breaks our models, our expectations. He burst our categories. It is so easy for us as religious to be set in our ways of thinking. We already have an image of what it means to be a religious, a Carmelite. Yet God always wants to surprise us with something better, an even more beautiful image of our Carmelite religious life. We just have to give Him an opportunity, just as Mary did. This is the first point.

 The second point is that Mary does not hesitate to say yes to God, yes to His surprises. Thus her response: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Mary does not seem bothered. It is not an inconvenience for her. We know that she goes and serves Elizabeth after this encounter with God. How much are we bothered by one another? Are we bothered by the fact that we are called to service and ministry?  Would we be bothered if God called us to a distant land such as our mission in Uganda or any other place, to be messengers of his love and joy? If we let ourselves be surprised by God then we will experience joy. To be joyful and to be Christian are synonymous. In today’s feast we see this model. Mary lets herself be surprised. She rejoices and brings Christ to Elizabeth and to Juan Diego, and Juan Diego in turn did the same. So today let us be surprised by God. And let us respond in haste so that we can experience the joy of being Christians.                    

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Carmelite Missions Newsletter - December 2013

Carmelite Missions Newsletter - December 2013

Greetings from Uganda!

  Our children of the Mission joyfully thank all our benefactors for their wonderful support throughout the year. Their happy faces and smiles reflect the joy of the shepherds at the birth of Jesus and make us wonder at His presence today among the poor and little ones of our world. “Our special gift to all the friends and benefactors of our Mission will be a Novena (9) of Masses offered by me at Christmas time. May the joy of Jesus’ Birthday fill your hearts and homes with lasting peace and many special blessings.” 

 

Fr. David

P.S. Our December Newsletter is availabe here.  Enjoy!

 

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St. Teresa 5th Centenary Celebration

St. Teresa 5th Centenary Celebration

Celebrate the 500 year anniversary of St. Teresa of Avila's birth.

Celebrate the 500 year anniversary of St. Teresa of Avila's birth with the Discalced Carmelite family of Friars, Nuns, Sisters, and Secular Order members in the western United States. When: August 21-23, 2014

Where: San José, California For updated information as it is available, please visit us:

Facebook - www.facebook.com/StTeresaFifthCentenaryCelebration

Website - www.stj500westernus.com

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HM Teresa of Jesus & the New Evangelization

HM Teresa of Jesus & the New Evangelization

A Homily by Fr. Stephen Watson, O.C.D.

Feast of St. Teresa of Jesus

October 15, 2013

By:  Fr. Stephen Watson, O.C.D.

Rector and Student Master

Carmelite House of Studies

Mt. Angel, OR

            I want to pick up on that part of the homily Fr. Laurence (Poncini, O.C.D.) gave yesterday where he spoke of the call to the new evangelization. On a day when we solemnize the memory of our holy mother St. Teresa of Jesus it is a good thing to ask ourselves what she might have to say to us about this new evangelization. First of all there is no doubt that she would be all for it not only because of the evident need for it but because it is the ecclesial movement of our time, not just any ecclesial movement whatever, but an endogenous movement, that is to say, something produced or growing from within the heart of the Church.

            On Saturday I mentioned the document of the second Vatican Council on the adaption and renewal of religious life, i.e. Perfectae Caritatis. In a couple of years we’ll be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Oh, what a big deal that document was. One of the key principles of renewal enunciated in that document was that the founder’s spirit and special aims be faithfully held in honor. What I want to reflect on briefly is how our holy mother’s spirit and special aims harmonize with the new evangelization called for by the Church.

            First we must ask about this “new evangelization”. What is it? It was Blessed Pope John Paul II who first called for a new evangelization when he addressed the Episcopal Conference of Latin America, March 9, 1983, in Haiti. “Look to the future,” he said, “with commitment to a New Evangelization, one that is new in its ardor, new in its methods, and new in its expression.” This now famous phrase is as far as I can go this morning in, if not defining, at least describing in some way the new evangelization. Interestingly, I came across a similar expression used by the then newly elected Pope Paul VI when he opened the second session of the Second Vatican Council, September 30, 1963. He said the Church must move “towards new ways of feeling, wishing and behaving”, an attitude which surely anticipates the new ardor, new methods and new expression of the new evangelization.  

            How can a religious order like ours look back to its founder, in our case holy mother St. Teresa of Jesus, and be faithful to her spirit and special aims and at the same time be fully engaged in the new evangelization characterized by this new ardor, new methods and new expressions? It will soon be time for you to go to your classes at the seminary so the best I can do now is get you to reflect on this question. The answers you come up with may prove very important for the future direction of our Province and Order.  I’d like to suggest a few places to start reflecting with Teresa in reference to her writings.  In the first chapter of the Way of Perfection Teresa clearly states her aim. “All my longing was and still is,” she says, “that since He (Our Lord) has so many enemies and so few friends that these few friends be good ones.” Do we identify with Teresa’s longing? It’s not just whatever longing but “all my longing”. Continuing, she says, “My heart breaks to see so many souls lost…I would not want to see more of them lost each day…O my sisters in Christ, help me beg these things of the Lord. This is why He has gathered you together here.” We should ask ourselves why we have I come here. Later on in chapter 16 of the Way she expresses a wish: “God deliver us, Sisters, when we do something imperfect, from saying: ‘We’re not angels, we’re not saints.’ Consider that even though we’re not, it is a great good to think that if we try we can become saints with God’s help. And have no fear that He will fail if we don’t fail. Since we have not come here for any other thing, let us put our hands to the task, as they say, c.16,12.”  Have we come here for some other thing than to be holy? Then she says this, “The presumption I would like to see present in this house, for it always makes humility grow, is to have a holy daring.” It is important for us to realize that holy daring, launching out into the deep as Our Lord told Peter, is compatible with humility. But, she exclaims: “O Lord, how true that all harm comes to us from not keeping our eyes fixed on You,” c. 16,11. This centrality of Christ for St. Teresa is beautifully illustrated in the second reading of her Office,. “Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example,” Life 22, 6-7,14. This, by the way, is the first principle of the renewal of religious life in Perfectae Caritatis, the document I mentioned at the beginning of this homily.

            There is one last excerpt from the writings of our holy mother that I want to share with you as a possible help to your reflection on the new evangelization a la Teresa.  It is from the Interior Castle towards the end where she is describing spiritual marriage. In this state of profound intimacy in which the Lord dwells in the soul in so particular a way, a person cannot think of his or her own rest, or care about honor or esteem. A person’s only concern is how to please Him more and how or where he or she will show Him the love he or she bears Him. “This,” says Teresa, “is the reason for prayer, the purpose of this spiritual marriage: the birth always of good works, good works,” Interior Castle, VII, 4, 6.

 

            The few points of reference I have made here to the writings of our holy mother St. Teresa of Jesus indicate, for me anyway, her spirit and aims. Her spirit was truly evangelical. She wanted to live the evangelical counsels as perfectly as she could, occupied in prayer for the Church and a world “all in flames”. She had a “holy daring”, “trusting in the great goodness of God who never fails to help anyone who is determined to give up everything for Him.” In her holy daring St. Teresa certainly brought a new ardor, a new expression and a new method to the spread of the Gospel in her day and age. It is her spirit and aims that will guide us in our time to a new ardor and new expression and new method of living and sharing the Gospel with a world that doesn’t seem to realize how desperately it needs Jesus Christ. We must be open to new ways of feeling, wishing and behaving precisely to be true to the spirit of our holy mother whose very life was the sweet odor of Christ, fresh, new and uplifting.  Holy Mother St. Teresa, protect this vine which you have planted.  It grows in a soil and climate quite different from your 16th century Spain but it is still invigorated with your spirit and cared for under the guidance of the sound traditions and patrimony bequeathed to us by your sons and daughters. Impart to us your intense apostolic love for the Church as She spreads the Gospel with new ardor, and new methods and new expressions. Amen.

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Carmelite Missions Newsletter

Carmelite Missions Newsletter

September 2013

Proverbs and riddles contain great wisdom in many cultures.  On my recent retreat at the Trappist Monastery in Vina, I came across these 3 riddles written by Brother Louis Cortez in the Monastery Newsletter...

Click Here to read the September 2013 issue if the Carmelite Missions Newsletter

 

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RELICS OF ST. THERESE VISIT ST CECILIA CHURCH, STANWOOD WA

RELICS OF ST. THERESE VISIT ST CECILIA CHURCH, STANWOOD WA

All left feeling elated and blessed!

Sunday, September 15, 2013 – The crowd at St. Cecilia Catholic Church was among the largest gathered for the 9 AM Mass.  The parking lot was full and church was packed.  There was a large banner at the entrance of the church with a greeter alongside.

As one entered the vestibule, there was a table of literature & St. Therese bookmarks that, later on, people touched to the relics.  Of course, other items like Rosaries were likewise blessed.

During the quiet moments of the Mass, Fr. Paul Koenig, O.C.D. told the visiting Priest, Fr. Andrew Small, OMI about his 8 years in the Uganda mission fields.

The missions were a major theme in Fr. Small's subsequent talk as Therese is Co-Patroness of the Missions, along with St. Francis Xavier, SJ who was a real missionary. Confined to her cloister, Little Therese, of course, was their spiritual support.

Fr. Paul told the audience about the true life healing of a man assigned to the Relics of St. Therese that came to St. Cecilia 3+ years ago. Her actual bone - a first class relic – was included in that tour.

The man assigned to transport them from place to place was having immense back pain and could hardly maneuver about.  His family back home was praying he could continue for the entire circuit of churches.  He was able to pocket a few St. Therese relic rose petal cards and continued his journey.

On arrival home, he was nearly paralyzed with an extensive medical history of medical treatments and physical therapy.  His wife decided to do an immediate back massage - prior to going for a PT appointment the next day.  He pulled a rose petal card out of his pocket and his wife applied the card to his back. His pains vanished instantly!

The next day both the doctor and physical therapist were speechless.  The physical therapist sobbed for she knew well his extensive injury.  X-Rays proved his cure was without precedent or scientific explanation.  The man returned to his many venues - St. Cecilia Parish among them - and gave his testimony to in gratitude for his healing.

Fr. Small then came to the podium to speak.  He introduced the small portable wooden writing desk - which St. Therese used to pen her most intimate dealings with Mysticism and love.  This was a lap desk that was her daily companion for the last 3 years of her life, complete with dipping bottle of ink and fountain pen.  Her writings were copied onto original paper for an authentic view of her handwriting and style of prose.

St. Therese, a Doctor of the Church for her "Little Way" to union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is a major missionary model.  She never left the Lisieux cloistered convent, but by her intercession helped and recruited a generation of religious for the missions.

After Mass all were to write their intentions on a small square of paper and place it on your heart, thank God, and touch the relic case with it.  The intentions were given to Fr. Small who would return the relics to Lisieux and place all the petitions on the grave of the Little Flower.

After Mass, the congregants lined up and respectfully viewed the tiny relics.  Shortly, the next Mass was ready to begin and Fr. Small and Fr. James Zakowicz, O.C.D. were ready for another round.

Many came from Seattle - 50 Miles south - and Bellingham 40 miles north. Some dressed in ethnic costumes and others quite informally, bringing grandchildren and visitors who were all called by the Little Flower to attend her sweet, loving event.

It was a testimony of faith and gratitude - as many remarked getting roses, or scent of roses, in the days and weeks prior to this holy commingling - answering their pleas for help then, and in years past.

All left feeling elated and blessed!

 

To view more pictures of the event, visit our Facebook page!

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The Solemn Profession of Bro. Leonel Varela, O.C.D.

The Solemn Profession of Bro. Leonel Varela, O.C.D.

"Forever"

On July 5, 2013, Bro. Leonel of Jesus and Carmel, O.C.D. made his Solemn Profession of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience with the words, "forever". The ancient ritual took place within the Eucharistic Sacrifice at St. Therese Church, Alhambra.

In a total act of surrender to God, Bro. Leonel prostrated on the floor in the sign of a cross while the community interceded for him by the chanting of the Litany of Saints. Please pray for his faithful perseverance. May he be a saint!

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Fr. Jerome Lantry, O.C.D

Fr. Jerome Lantry, O.C.D

1920 - 2013

It is with sadness that the Discalced Carmelite Province of California-Arizona announces the passing to eternal life of Fr. Jerome (James) Lantry of the Immaculate Conception, O.C.D., who died peacefully at Santa Teresita Hospital on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

Fr. Jerome, born February 7, 1920, grew up on a small farm in Lusmagh, County Offaly, Ireland, and entered the Anglo-Irish Province of the Discalced Carmelites as a teen-ager. He made his First Profession of the religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on September 2, 1940, (Fr. Michael Buckley, OCD, who resides at our House of Prayer in Oakville, made profession alongside Fr. Jerome on that day in 1940 also). Ordination to the priesthood took place on July 14, 1946.

Fr. Jerome was devoted to the whole of the Discalced Carmelite family, having an extensive ministry to the Carmelite Nuns and the Discalced Carmelite Secular Order. Known for his spiritual insights that were accessible to all, and a deep love for the Virgin Mary, he was much sought after as a spiritual director.

To the end of his life, he was hard at work in the vineyard of the Lord, teaching bible classes, celebrating Mass, hearing confessions and helping as he could in our parish of St. Therese Church in Alhambra, CA. He suffered though his final health issues with determination and optimism, giving all who knew him a great example of the virtue of fortitude in the face of advancing age.

We pray that Our Lady Of Mount Carmel will intercede on behalf of Her great servant, Fr. Jerome, and that he may be rewarded for all that he did to help build up the Body of Christ and the Carmelite Order.

Eternal rest grant unto Fr. Jerome, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.

Fr. Matthew Williams, O.C.D.
Provincial Superior

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BLOG - Fr. Adam Gregory Gonzales, O.C.D.

BLOG - Fr. Adam Gregory Gonzales, O.C.D.

Archive

Fr. Adam's blog is "a visual archive of the events of the California-Arizona Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars."  While it is no longer an active blog, it is a valuable archive of events that took place from 2007 to 2011.

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