HONG KONG (SE): The Carmelite Fathers organised a seminar on the spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux and her impact on the Church at the Shek O Retreat Centre on August 31. Over a hundred people participated in the deliberations on the day facilitated by Carmelite Father John Welch, professor at the Washington Theological Union, United States of America.
Since the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, the Carmelite Fathers have organised three seminars to introduce Carmelite spirituality to the faithful in Hong Kong. The previous seminars dealt with the Year of Mercy in the light of Carmelite spirituality, Carmelite spirituality and An introduction to the Carmelite family and Lay Carmelites.
Father Heribertus Heru Purwanto, the superior of the Carmelites in Hong Kong led the gathering in prayer. Father Welch developed the theme of Theresian Spirituality in two sessions. In the first, he deliberated on the early life and vocation of St. Therese who was born in 1873 at Alencon, in France, as the youngest of the nine children of Ss. Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin.
In the second part of seminar, Father Welch led participants in walking the Little Way with St. Therese.
She believed that there was no need to accomplish heroic acts to reach the heaven, but only to accomplish the mundane, little acts of daily life with great love. In her autobiography, she explained her vocation was to be love in the heart of the Church.
St. Therese defined her doctrine of the Little Way as “the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute surrender.”
St. Therese is venerated in the Church as the patron of missions and a Doctor of the Church.
Father Welch led participants to reflect on St. Therese’s spirituality in the Church today and in Christian life, family and society.
The seminar concluded with Mass and time for silent contemplation.
Cindy Marina Carmel, Lay Carmelite