Fall / Winter 2018

Fall / Winter 2018


October 15 is always a big and special day for us. It is the solemnity of St. Teresa of Jesus who started the reform of Carmel. This year we had extra reason to add bells, tambourine, and castanets to our music: Sr. Maria of the Holy Spirit and God’s Love, made her first profession of vows at Mass! Joining us for this happy occasion were two of her sisters from California, a niece from Brooklyn and some of our Sisters from Barrington and Concord Carmels. Our fellow Carmelite Fr. Mark Joseph celebrated the Mass and gave a wonderful homily inspiring us to be ever more faithful to living our Carmelite life. May God give Sr. Maria and our community the grace to do so, Amen!


Loud cries in the night! They got louder and louder and one who heard raced to find the source of the cries.Was someone hurt? Did someone fall? No, thank God. The cries came from a Sister trying desperately to hold back the water gushing from the broken faucet in her cell! Despite her heroic efforts she did not have the success of the little Dutch boy who supposedly saved a town from a flood by putting his finger in a hole in the dike! There was no stopping this gushing water, even by turning the valves off below! It kept flowing and flowing all over her cell floor and down below to the recreation room. Finally, by turning off some cellar valves the water stopped flowing. God bless the plumbers who came the next day and made all well again!


Remember how Our Lord was angry with the apostles when they tried to keep the mothers from bringing their children to Jesus? Not us! We were delighted when Alexandra Rose was brought by her family to visit us. Alexandra Rose is the grand niece of our Sister Rose who is now in heaven. Her family keeps in touch and bringing Alexandra Rose was the most wonderful of gifts. This little one went to every Sister’s arms without reluctance or tears and smiled away. It was not only a treat but also a blessing for us.


The weather was pretty awful on Saturday, October 27th. But it didn’t stop Fr. Francis, CSSR and his Vietnamese parishioners from coming to worship with us. Their faith and warmth was like sunshine on the day. They started with praying the rosary in their native tongue. Mass followed, and the songs, prayers, and homily were also in Vietnamese. Most touching was their custom of singing a hymn to Our Lady of Fatima at the end with their rosaries held aloft as a plea to save their country from communism. May Our Lady hear their prayer.


We were somewhat disappointed with the small attendance at our lecture, but not with the conference given by Father David Centner, ocd on St. Therese’s parents, Zelie and Louis Martin. In the past, we spoke of saints in a way that raised them above the rest of us, as if they were super human.In his talk, Father David pointed out how much this husband and wife had to work and struggle with ordinary things like parents do today: sickness, business, death, abuse, worry. They were faithful to the Gospel message through it all. May they intercede for all families today who face so many challenges in a world so filled with factors that militate against family life.


Things have been quiet on our street for a bit now. So the need to make detours and go around trenches and ditches and holes and monster equipment to get to our front door has eased.We are enjoying the respite. However, we were told the entire street would be repaved and that has not happened. So, to borrow a beautiful phrase from the advent liturgy, ‘we wait in joyful hope’!


We were happy to hear that our Carmelite Province has decided to make the Brighton house of our Friars the new home for the postulants to ourOrder. We joyfully welcome the six postulants and their director, Fr. Ralph-Elias Haddix, ocd, to Boston. May God bless them and their director with perseverance and holiness.


New things are continually being introduced into our lives. Who could keep up? But there is one new thing that came our way as a gift and we thought it worth sharing.It’s about honey….and the newness about it is that it now comes in powder form! No more sticky fingers! Try it, you’ll like it! And dopray for the bees who are in danger because of our lack of respect for nature.One more honey tid-bit:itis the only food that does not spoil!


In response to the Church’s call to share our contemplative life with others in ways compatible with our enclosed life, our Sr. Jeanne Marie has put together a program of prayer, journaling and sharing for young people. It takes place in our chapel and various nuns assist Sister at different times so we all get a chance to help with the program. It is open to boys and girls and our hope is that it either begins or deepens a friendship with Jesus for each participant. After the chapel experience, all are invited to the speak room where questions/sharing take place. (This is also where the physical input of homemade cookies are given!)


Did you know that devotion to the Infant of Prague is a Carmelite Devotion? The statue was made in Spain, possibly by a monk who had a vision.The statue was supposedly owned by St. Teresa who had great devotion to the childhood of Jesus and spread devotion to Him in Spain. She was said to have given the statue to a friend whose daughter was getting married in Prague. Eventually, the statue was donated to the Discalced Carmelites at their church of Our Lady of Victories in Prague. It was placed in their novitiate chapel so the young friars might learn the virtues of the Child Jesus. (Some older nuns remember having a statue of the Infant in the novitiate oratory during their novitiate days, too.) The historical ups and downs of this veneration is an incredibly long story too long to tell here but a wonderful one that echoes the scriptures of how God never gives up on us, no matter what we do to stop His loving us! It is called the Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague, because of the many miracles Jesus has done there. He said to Venerable Father Cyril of the Mother of God, who restored the statue that had been trashed, “The more you honour me, the more I will bless you.” A nice message to heed as we prepare to celebrate Christmas.


Three years have flashed by for us and that means two things: visitation and elections. This time Cardinal Sean delegated our Fr. Mark-Joseph de Velis, ocd to doit. A visitation is like an examen of our life. It took place in September. On November 18th we held our elections for which Very Reverend Fr. George Evans, Vicar Forane, was appointed presider.Father has ministered to our community, and it was good to have him with us for this event. The results:Sr. Mary Teresa was re-elected as Prioress. The Councillors are Sr. Bernadette Therese and Sr. Jeanne Marie. Your prayers for them and our community will be a special gift to us.BETHLEHEM STARDid you know the five pointed star is Bethlehem’s star? Did you know it roughly has the shape of a human being? How fitting it announces the incarnation:God become one of us!