St. Teresa of Jesus Community
Little Flower Monastery, Carmel Hill, Deroche, BC.
The Community’s retreat took place from 27th July
to 29th July 2018 commencing with the celebration of the
Holy Eucharist by Fr. Alexander Braganza OCD, Retreat
Master. He began with the introduction of the retreat theme
“Call to Holiness”. He made reference to the saints who, in
spite of their weaknesses, show us that the path to holiness
is attainable and we are all called to it.
The atmosphere of peace and quiet together with our solitude
time, interspersed with community prayer, daily celebration
of the Holy Eucharist, talks, Stations of the Cross,
Benediction and Exposition with conducted meditation
provided us with a greater sense of community whilst
enabling us to go deeper in our encounter with the Living
Our time for reflection was fueled by Fr. Alex’s talks on
the Call to Holiness with references to Pope Francis’
Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete Et Exsultate”. Our path to
holiness is unique. We all have opportunities to practise
heroic virtues but we require grace. We can’t aspire to
holiness in isolation as interpersonal relations are very
important ie prayer and service are both needed for fullness
of holiness. Life on earth is our specific mission. Holiness
is living the ordinary in an extraordinary way; remaining
open to supernatural grace and being aware of it; enabling
us to do what is impossible by our own nature. The
Beatitudes are our guide to holiness. He gave us examples of
negative attitudes which are the enemies of holiness.
Silence ended after Holy Mass on the last day and we engaged
in lively conversations during breakfast, photo taking and
singing hymns. We made our farewells after lunch,
spiritually recharged for the year ahead.