From Bethany Home in Ivory Coast
Sister Alma Lidia, ctsj
In the community of Bethany Home and Orphanage, five religious of the order of Carmelite Sisters Teresas of Saint Joseph are working together in the new school year 2014-2015. They are Stephany, Patricia, Alma, Rose and Tanguy, who joined us just this year.
We journey and grow in this process of accompanying the girls during their integral development. At the moment we are enjoying the end of the semester, since the girls were just given their report cards and the majority received good grades. We thank God. And we thank them for their work.
During February we had the opportunity to enjoy the "Camino de Luz" ("Way of Light") that traveled through some countries in francophone Africa on the occasion of the 5th Centenary of the Birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus. All the girls participated in the act of veneration of the walking staff. It took place in the community of the Carmelite Friars. At the same time we took the opportunity to learn from what they shared on the doctrine of Holy Mother.
It is also a joy to see how the Bethany choir grows. It enlivened the closing Eucharist of the Week of Children in Missions in the St. Louis Gonzaga parish. The faithful congratulated and encouraged them to continue offering that service with the help of Brother Wilco, Carmelite friar.
Other, less glorious but also important work was the first meeting with parents and guardians of the children in the home-orphanage, with an attendance of 95% of those called. Their attendance is important to make them aware of the progress of their daughters (or protéges), since working together with them and with common criteria is the best way to educate the girls.
We send greetings to those who in one way or another contribute materially or spiritually to Bethany's good functioning. Thanks to God, the girls are growing in every sense, full of life and hope.
Camino de Luz in Spain
Fr. Antonio González, Secretary General for the 5th Centenary
The final leg of the Camino de Luz ("Way of Light") begins in April. The walking staff of Saint Teresa of Jesus, which has journeyed through 30 countries in five continents, will now journey through Spain.
This visit, originally planned to include only Teresian foundations, has now broadened in scope to include those places that wish to host it, or at least as many as possible in the time remaining until early July.
We are currently accepting requests from convents -embodiments of Carmel - and other church entities that wish to be included in this relic's visitation.
The requests should be mailed before March 17 (if postal mail is used) to the following address:
Camino de Luz c/ Serrano, 41, 3ª planta 28001 MADRID
Or before March 20 (if email is used) to the address email@example.com.
Questions may be submitted to the above postal or email addresses or by telephone to numbers 918227867 and 683146448 (ask for Yeray Guerra).
Annals of the General Archives
Father Óscar I. Aparicio, OCD General Archivist
To find out where most of the mortal remains of the Saint from Ávila are, it is necessary to read the eighth volume of FATHER SILVERIO OF SAINT TERESA'S Historia del Carmen Descalzo ("History of the Discalced Carmel"). Attentive reading leads us to learn the origin and destiny of the various Teresian relics: heart, arm, foot....
Thanks to the work of Father Silvestro Luigi Pozzebon, we know the history of the relic of the right tibia of Saint Teresa of Jesus. This relic is currently located in the church of the Discalced Carmelite Friars of Saint Teresa in Catania, Sicily. Here is the story of the relic and why it is in Sicily.
Cardinal Giuseppe Francia Nava was archbishop of Catania from 1895 to 1928. He was the apostolic nuncio to Spain from 1894 to 1899. The regent Queen Maria Cristina, mother of Alphonse XIII, knowing that the Cardinal was a great devotee of Saint Teresa of Jesus, gave him the relic of the tibia from Saint Teresa's right leg as a sign of gratitude.
In his will, the Cardinal bequeathed the renowned relic to the Benedictine Nuns of the Blessed Sacrament in Catania. The Benedictine Nuns, thanks to the advice of their confessor Father Dionisio Stipi and the Discalced prior of Saint Teresa in Catania, gave the relic to the Discalced Carmelite Friars. The Mother Prioress, M Rosaria of Christ the King, gifted the relic along with a letter dated February 7, 1954.
Two documents certify its authenticity: the letter to Cardinal Giusppe Francica Nava in which Queen Maria Cristina donates the relic on December 14, 1900, and the letter of the Archbishop of Catania, Guido Luigi Bentivoglio, dated June 16, 1965, in which he authorized the construction of an artistic reliquary.
For security reasons, the relic is currently kept in the chapel of the Trappist convent in San Giovanni la Punta, Catania.
These days the relic is being venerated in different sites of Sicily. On March 28 it will be venerated in the Basilica of the Madonna delle Lacrime di Siracusa (Shrine of Our Lady of Tears in Syracuse) during a solemn Eucharist presided by the Archbishop of Catania, Bishop Salvatore Pappalardo.
Carmelite tours in Mexico City
The Secretariat for Culture of Mexico City has organized a tour of the notable sites in that city where the Order of Discalced Carmelites has left an architectural or cultural footprint. It is part of a program called Historic Tours.
Yaneth Cruz Aceves oversees the tours together with a team of guides. Every Sunday they visit several sites in Mexico City. They have created some routes in observance of the 5th Centenary of Saint Teresa of Jesus, foundress of the Order.
This year also marks the 430th anniversary of the arrival of the Order's friars to New Spain and the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Convent of Carmel in San Angel, and serves to introduce the commemoration of the 4th centenary of the foundation of the first monastery of Carmelite Nuns in Mexico City.
During the tours you can get to know the Carmelite convents of San Angel, the Holy Desert of Santa Fe, the convent of San Joaquin, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel known as "La Sabatina."