Feast Day of Saint Therese 2006
We just came from the Solemn Mass at the Carmel of Saint Therese in Gilmore, New Manila. His Excellency Most Rev. Fernando Filoni, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines presided over the celebration. The Jesuit Provincial, Very Rev. Daniel Patrick L. Huang, S.J., was also present.
Actually, majority of the concelebrants were Jesuits, probably because the diocesan clergy were very busy in their parishes, today being a Sunday. Besides, Theresian and Ignatian spirituality are very kin. Therese would have smiled to see this since she loved her Jesuit spiritual director, Father Pichon, very dearly.
It was a beautiful liturgy. After the Mass, the relic of Saint Therese was venerated and blessed roses were distributed to the faithful.
As of now, there are only 12 sisters in the Gilmore Carmel (3 out-sisters and 9 inside the enclosure). This is because some of them were asked to stay for a while in foreign Carmels that now experience a severe lack of vocations in order to sustain those communities. Fortunately, our Carmels here in the Philippines are still flourishing. When Carmelite vocations in those parts of the world bloom once more, our sisters can return to their home.
It was consoling however to see the other congregations that were inspired by Saint Therese present during the celebration. Most noteworthy are the Missionaries of Charity founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who took her name from Saint Therese. In them we truly see Therese's missionary desires come to fulfillment and fruition.
And so let us pray to the Lord for more vocations to the religious life. Through the intercession and inspiration of Saint Therese, may more women be inspired to give their lives totally to Christ as his spouses and as servants of our Mother Church.