As Carmelites worldwide celebrated the V Centenary of the Birth of St. Teresa of Jesus, the Carmelites of Western Canada OCDS culminated the year long festivities on October 17, 2015 at St. Edmund’s Parish, North Vancouver, BC with a lively celebration attended by close to 200 of the faithful who came to give honor to our Holy Mother, Master of Prayer and Doctor of the Church.

The day commenced with Mass officiated by former Provincial, Fr. Archibald Gonsalves and concelebrated by Fr. Rudolf D’Souza, Fr. Manoj Braganza, Fr. Jerald D’Souza, Fr. Mario Fernandes, Fr. Victor Fernandes, Fr. Godwin Pinto and Fr. Jaison Tellis. The Lower Mainland Communities together with the out of province Communities of Calgary and Vernon pulled off an excellent display of exhibits, colourful banners and decorative pennants throughout the parish hall. Our guests learned about the life and works of St. Teresa of Avila, Spanish reformer of the Carmelites and Patron Saint of Spain.

In his introduction, Fr. Jerald D’Souza, our Provincial Delegate, remarked, “We have come together to talk about St. Teresa’s life, her spirituality and her relevance today in a modern society. Many people confuse her with St. Therese of Lisieux or other similarly named saints. Today we make our best efforts to bring St. Teresa to others.” Fr. D’Souza noted the importance of bringing the Carmelite spirituality to the lay people and he hoped the scheduled program would help those present apply the lessons of St. Teresa to their prayer life, meditation and reading of the Scriptures.

The celebration included inspirational presentations by Fr. Rudolf D’Souza, Regional Superior of Canada on the “Carmelite Tradition of Prayer according to St. Teresa of Avila” and by Fr. Archibald Gonsalves on the “Relevance of St. Teresa of Avila Today”.

The event featured a play on the life of St. Teresa with a supporting cast of Secular Carmelites and a member from the parish community who portrayed St. Teresa. An enthusiastic crowd applauded and received much in-sight into the life of St. Teresa, a woman who was head-over-heels in love with God. The comments received were extremely positive and complimentary with requests for a repeat performance. The play was written, produced and directed by Remi Vasquez OCDS.

The event concluded with Mass officiated by Father Provincial Charles Serrao and concelebrated by Fr. Archibald Gonsalves. Fr. Rudolf D’Souza, Fr. Jerald D’Souza, Fr. Mario Fernandes, and Fr. Victor Fernandes. Our friars, Bro. Joseph Giroux and secular members gathered together and closed the day with a sumptuous dinner.

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