St. Teresa of Avila lived 500 years ago, but she was described as a “woman for our times,” by our Carmelite Father Adam G. Gonzales, OCD.
Fr. Gonzales was homilist for the Mass here marking the closing of the celebration of the 5th Centenary of the Birth of St. Teresa of Jesus, our Holy Mother. Fr. Gonzales compared the times of St. Teresa “to our own turbulent times, the faith being challenged, so much violence around the world. This woman lived behind the walls of a cloistered monastery, yet she felt connected to all the pain of the world and it cut her to the core. She gazed on all pain while thinking she could do nothing. But 500 years later we know that this woman did eventually change the world.”
Fr. Gonzales explained that the Carmelite Fathers in their study of the life and times of St. Teresa have emphasized her deep love for God and His Church. “This celebration can have no other purpose than to remember she is a mediator of the Divine Presence, a personal encounter with the Divine Interlocutor as she called him,” Father pointed out.
Concelebrating with Fr. Adam were Fr. Conley Bertrand and Fr. Richard Wagner, SSJ.
“It was a glorious day, perfect in every way,” said Mother Mary John. “The weather was perfect, the chapel was beautiful with large bouquets of flowers in fall colors. Friends of the monastery filled the chapel to overflowing. We are deeply grateful to the people who daily support our life of prayer, solitude and sacrifice for the good of the Church and all peoples,” she continued.
“We are particularly grateful today for those who contributed time and talent preparing for this celebration. We ask Holy Mother Teresa to obtain blessings on all, those present and those who could not be with us. We continue to pray for all as we strive to follow Christ more intimately and faithfully,” concluded Mother Mary John.
This year-long celebration of the 5th Centenary providentially coincided with the Year of Consecrated Life proclaimed by Pope Francis.