by Sister Hope Therese, O.Carm.
In His Presence
I could praise and glorify your name,
No words could give you your due acclaim.
I could petition for something I think is best,
You know what it is I want before I request.
I could give to you a prayer of thanksgiving,
Poor repayment for joy I have from living.
I could pray for you to intercede,
You know better than I what I need.
I could worship and adore you in everything,
I am not worthy to honor so great a king.
It feels too little to offer the life I live,
God always loves everything that I have to give.
Faith and trust in the Lord can be enough,
If you know God will help when things get rough.
Give to God every single little worry and care,
You can not see the future God is already there.
He understands all that you are going through,
He was also a human once just like you.
Sometimes best friends do not have to say a word,
What is on your mind has already been heard.
My favorite prayer is just to be in his company,
That is always the closest thing to heaven for me.
Sister Hope Therese made her fourth Renewal of Temporary Vows at Saint Patrick's Manor, Framingham, MA where she is currently missioned to serve our aged and infirm.
|Sister Philomena Anne of Divine Mercy, O.Carm.|
On June 9, 2018, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm witnessed Sister Philomena Anne’s profession of First Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity in the Order of Carmel. It was held at Saint Teresa’s Motherhouse in Germantown, New York. Very Rev. Michael Kissane, O.Carm. was the principal celebrant and Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm. was Master of Ceremony. Concelebrating at Mass were other Carmelite Friars- Rev. James Hess, O.Carm., Rev. Justin Cinnante, O.Carm., and Rev. Nicholas Blackwell, O.Carm. Sister Philomena’s family from Lynchburg, Virginia and West Milford, New Jersey came to attend. Sister Philomena Anne will leave for Garvey Manor and Our Lady of the Alleghenies Center, Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania on June 18, 2018 to begin her mission assignment. We wish her a very happy, fulfilled and blessed life in her new home and ministry!
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Sister Philomena Anne will be professing First Vows on June 9, 2018 at Saint Teresa's Motherhouse. She will leave Avila for a week's vacation to be with her family and then on to her new mission assignment on June 18th. Sister Helena of Mary, novice director, put together a simple prayer service and invited the Formation team, Mother Mark, Prioress General, and Sister Francis Patrick, local Prioress at the Motherhouse. We also had two of the five young women, Emily and Sharon, who will be entering in September, participate at the prayer service. Of course, there was a party! The photos below show each Sister come up to Sister Philomena and presented her with an object which symbolized and captured the sentiments they each want Sister to meditate on and take with her. It was an event graced with such wisdom and insights! We have objects like a candle, a leaf, a bookmark, sea shell, poem and reflection on the vows. Truly a rich gathering of Carmelite wisdom and community!
The Avila Sisters wish Sister Philomena much graces, love and blessings as she continues her journey in Carmel. She will be missed at Saint Teresa's Motherhouse but we know that we will see her again in September when she comes back to Avila as a temporary vow Sister!
If you click on the link below, you will have access to our newsletter entitled: "On the Road to Emmaus: Vocation Frontlines." This is the first edition in a series of newsletters that will be published twice a year- Fall/Winter- Spring/Summer- cycles. It will highlight vocation tidbits, events (past, present, future), vocation stories, and many more. Send us your comments and any other suggestions you wish to be considered. Enjoy your first copy!
by Sr. Helena of Mary, O.Carm.
On January 26-28, 2018, Sr. Philomena, Sr. Helena and Sr. Mary, participated in a workshop sponsored by the Religious Formation Conference Region 7 members, at Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappinger Falls, NY. It was attended by those in initial formation- pre-novices, postulants and novices- with their respective directors. There were about 30+ participants and our own Carmelite brothers with Fr. Mario were also present. The topic was on "Addictions" presented to us by a Marist Brother Sean Sammon, FMS , a renowned speaker and author of many related books. It was a very enriching workshop on many aspects. Brother Sean's expertise on the subject, along with his manner of clear, engaging, and organized presentation, afforded those present with a working knowledge and insight of this most relevant and significant issue in religious formation.
Aside from the opportunity to learn, the workshop also offered an opportunity to reconnect with new attendees from different religious communities. Religious communities represented were the Congregation of Notre Dame, Sisters of Saint Joseph (Brentwood), Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet (Latham), Felician Sisters, Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Religious Sisters Filippini, Sisters of Saints Cyril & Methodius, Franciscan Sisters of Allegheny, Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, Sisters of St. Joseph (Springfield), Order of the Holy Cross, and Carmelite Friars (St. Elias Province).
On Saturday evening, a social was organized with every congregation presenting some form of entertainment ranging from the serious to the comical. The Carmelite Sisters sang in parts "Seek Ye First." Sr. Mary performed a solo Air called "I Am Ireland" on her tin whistle and Sr. Philomena volunteered to lip-sync a song "The Voice" by Celtic Women. Everyone had a ball!
|With Carmelite Friars|
|Brother Sean Sammon, FMS|
by Sr. Philomena Anne, O.Carm.
On December 27, 2017, my novice director Sr. Helena and I went to New York City, to see The Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall. We left at 7:15 am for an 8:00 am bus schedule. The show started at 11:00 and it was amazing! There was a part of the show in 3D and we got great seats up close. An organist on the side played a carol that looked very cool and the organ looked very complicated to play. On the sides of the main stage, there were performers singing as they went up to the stage that you would not see in a DVD recorded performance of the Rockettes. What cool special effects there were on stage that you would not get to see on a DVD either! There was even a live nativity scene with live sheep and a camel. It was definitely much more exciting to see in person! After the show, we got in line and Sr. Helena and I got our pictures taken with one of the Rockettes. That was very cool. I told Sr. Helena I bet that was the first time they ever had their picture taken with Sisters! We got two hard copies- one for the Sisters’ pantry and one I sent to my family. We went to the afternoon Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The sanctuary was decorated beautifully for Christmas and the manger was huge. When Mass was over, we ate lunch at the NBC News building that had places to eat and to shop in. After lunch, we went to the decorated windows of Saks Fifth Avenue. The theme was the 100th anniversary of Sleeping Beauty. The windows were dressed with scenes from Sleeping Beauty. We took some pictures next to some of the windows with a funny part of that one man who decided to pose in our picture to be funny, and of course, we did not realize it until after we already took the shot and he was there! We also visited the skating rink at Rockefeller Center. We saw the huge Christmas tree and took a few pictures. We had a few hours until our bus home so we went to Time Square since I have never seen it. The buildings were huge and there were so many giant, lighted up billboards. We then took the subway train to the bus station and got some coffee on the bus home. The New York skyline at night with all the buildings lit up was so pretty! Something I had only seen on postcards. It was a wonderful experience to be there during the Christmas Season! I thoroughly enjoyed it!
|Posed with a Rockette|
|Santa with the Rockette reindeers|
|The Big Apple Trolley Bus|
|Live Nativity Scene|
|Saint Patrick's Cathedral|
|Saks Fifth Avenue Sleeping Beauty windows|
|A bite of the Big Apple|
|The Rockefeller Center|