Spring / Summer 2018
We are so happy for Paraguay …and us! The first Blessed of that country will be beatified on June 23, and it is a Carmelite! Her name is Blessed Maria Felicia de Jesus Sacramentado. Nicknamed Chiquitunga, she died in 1959 at34 of hepatitis. As we know, miracles are part of the process of beatifications and canonizations. Apparently, Sister Maria Felicia worked several, but the one approved was a stillborn birth. Doctors tried to revive the baby to no avail. A nurse, who witnessed it all, was moved to pray to Maria Felicia and the baby came to life. And that baby, Angel Ramon, is now 13 years old!
A LAMENT FOR TREES
Did you ever think of a tree as a friend? a blessing? a gift? They do so much for us: purify the air, give us shade from the heat, some give flowers and fruit, others wood. They have names, are featured in stories-and hold an impressive place in sacred scripture. They are worth befriending.This past March, we lost two of our trees and their loss was a great sorrow for us. One was an evergreen that lived here longer than any of us–108 years, counting its rings! The other was the only one of its kind in our garden: a Persian lilac. We lament their loss and feel sure the birds that sheltered and rested in them join us in lamenting their loss as well.
THE RETURN OF THE TURKEYS
We did not invite them and did not want them, but they came anyway and laid eggs, and the eggs hatched! So besides Mama Turkey there were 7 or 8 little ones! And then another turkey came to survey the land. She hasn’t told us if she is planning to lay eggs too, but we hope not! Are they here on pilgrimage in memory of their ancestors who became food for the first Thanksgiving? If so, we wish we could tell them they have the wrong address. They should be setting their inner GPS for Plymouth!
Part of our extern quarters has a little kitchenette which we call EMMAUS. It is used by externs and visitors for meals or snacks, or to make a cup of tea or coffee. It is a small room and it seemed right and just to make it more attractive, comfortable, and useful for those who are so generous in giving us their service. So it is being renovated. New cabinets are in and new countertops are coming. The painting is done and a new tile floor has been laid. Very shortly we hope all will be finished and the project will serve our guests well. Thanks to your generosity, we are able to undertake such projects.
AN HISTORIC MEETING
In April three of our Sisters travelled to Marriottsville, MD for our a Carmelite Association meeting. One of its accomplishments was historic for us. Our own Carmelite Sisters, using current technology, were able to connect other Carmels to the meeting, and not only those from the U.S., but also Carmels abroad, allowing them to actively participate at the meeting!It was an amazing achievement that will bring our ability to share with one another to new horizons in the future. We think St. Teresa joins us in feeling a holy pride in these Sisters who worked so hard to make this historic sharing happen.
The mystics often speak about being smitten with love. It is a desire worthy of having for all believers. However, our community was smitten recently in a different way–with a bug! Was it a virus? bacterial infection? or what? We may never know. It afflicted all but two of us. Two even wound up in the hospital for overnight stays. God sent some of His friends to our rescue with home remedies and bought ones, meals and love, and thus we have overcome ‘the bug’, thanks be to God!
COR ORANS, PRAYING HEART
This is the title of the newest Vatican document sent to us and all monasteries of women contemplative religious. It is the Canon Law companion to the previous document sent from PopeFrancis, VULTUM DEI QUAERERE. It will require some study, consulting of Canon Lawyers and prayer to the Holy Spirit as we try to put it into practice.HAVE YOU HEARD?Were you ever troubled by the words in the Our Father: LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION? Well, Pope Francis to the rescue! He commented on these words on Italian TV, saying that it is a poor translation. “I am the one who falls, it’s not (God) who pushes me toward temptation to see how I fall. A father doesn’t do this, a father helps us to get up right away.” Pope Francis suggested we say,”DO NOT LET US FALL INTO TEMPTATION”. Have you heard anyone pray the Our Father in English with these words yet?A 400th ANNIVERSARY God gives us so many things to celebrate. This year Carmel is remembering Blessed Marie of the Incarnation who died 400 years ago. She deserves to be better known. In her day she was known as “La Belle Acarie” (the beautiful Acarie) in Paris. Her accomplishments are worthy of history books. Her life story a very interesting read.She was a victim of jealousy and abuse, marriage was imposed on her at 16 and often in her life ‘she assumed the vicissitudes of an existence she did not choose’. She was a mystic who was consulted by clergy and laity alike among whom were St. Francis de Sales and St. Vincent de Paul.Through apparitions of St. Teresa of Jesus, she brought Carmel to France and is called ‘the mother of Carmel in France’. Our Father General has said of her in his letter for the occasion of this4th centenary of her death:”Blessed Marie of the Incarnation shows us that true freedom is not acquired by deciding for oneself or in freeing oneself from all authority, law or external constraints. The free act is not defined by the capacity to choose, but by the capacity to give oneself entirely to what we have chosen. Freedom consists in discerning the will of God in the reality of existence in order to accomplish it with all one’s heart out of love forGod. This obedience to God opens the heart to the infinite mystery of Love. Therefore, there is no greater freedom than that of being able to offer oneself in response to this Love.”In these times when freedom is often linked with license, isn’t she a wonderful example to contemplate and imitate?
A SPECIAL GIFT
The nuns love getting the first blessing of a new priest and we were gifted with that joy on June 1st when one of our newly ordained priests, Father Joseph Kim, came to celebrate Mass with us and gave us his first blessing.After Mass, we had a delightful visit with him. Fr. Dominic and Fr. Xavier from the Korean community came with him and concelebrated. The parish where Father Joseph is assigned will be very blessed to have him. Father will be a very compassionate and caring minister of God to them. He has a heart meek and humble like that of Our Lord.
SPREAD THE WORD
We hope you will mark your calendar and come to our public lecture this year on Sunday, November 4 at 2 p.m. We feel it will have special meaning for husbands, wives and families, because the talk will be about St. Therese’s parents, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin. They struggled with problems many of us have in our world today: abuse, cancer, mental illness, sickness and death, work issues, and even political ones. Our speaker will be Father David Centner, OCD, who has a doctorate in theology.
BYE-BYE, WE HOPE!
We think the raccoons have found greener pastures as things have been quiet in the trapping department.We are very happy for them…and for us!