Each year the Cause and Charism Commission recommends a specific theme that can be used for the Commemoration on January 21st – the anniversary of the birth and death of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa. The annual theme is reflective of a different virtue of Mother’s life. Once the theme is selected and approved by the Council, Father Mario Esposito, Vice Postulator, suggests possible readings that might be used for the Eucharistic Celebration. In order to assist the inclusion of the facilities in celebrating January 21st each year, the appropriate information on the theme and selected readings are sent to each facility. The selected themes since 1999 include those depicted here.
Submitted by Sr. Kathleen John McLinden, O. Carm., Pastoral Care Director
In 1989, a new 209 bed facility St. Patrick’s Residence, was built in Naperville to replace the original facility located in downtown Joliet. In 1997, a beautiful and devotional Chapel and more common space were added and presently 194 residents are served. St. Patrick’s Residence has always sought to extend the healing ministry of Christ to those entrusted to our care. Besides meeting the physical, emotional, and social needs of the residents, every effort is made to provide for their spiritual needs, regardless of religious affiliation.
The Pastoral Care Department oversees the celebration of Mass four times a week, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Holy Communion is brought to residents unable to attend Mass by Sisters, dedicated lay staff and Eucharistic Ministers. Bedside prayers are also offered for the sick and dying, and emotional support is given to families experiencing the sickness or loss of a loved one. Pastoral Care Visits are done daily to give the residents time to talk about the family and if there are any issues that they may want to discuss 1:1 and in the privacy of their room where one feels comfortable to talk. We also broadcast Mass from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel throughout the house on the T.V.
St. Patrick’s residents also have two Memorial Masses said yearly for all the deceased residents in the past six months. The families and friends are invited to attend this special event and refreshments are provided with time to welcome all the families and friends. There is a candlelight service during this time when families are asked to bring up the candle to the altar as the names are called out and light the candle of their loved one.
After the Mass, the families are encouraged to take the candle home and light it to remember their loved one on their birthday or anniversary and say a prayer for them. This is a special event for families and friends to attend this Mass.
On Saturday April 23, 2022, Sister Maureen Paul Angeline and Sister Luke Mary Angeline professed Perpetual Vows as Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. The Eucharistic celebration was held at Saint Teresa’s Motherhouse Chapel. The presiding celebrant was the Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm. Also present at the altar were Reverend James Hess, O.Carm. and the Carmelite Brothers of the Saint Elias Province.
In addition to live-stream coverage of the ceremony, Carmelite Sisters, family members, and special friends of Sister Maureen Paul and Sister Luke Mary attended the Mass. Among Sister Luke’s invited guests were Sisters of Saint John the Baptist, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Missionaries of Charity. The sight of these Religious Sisters, and the witness of the commitment of Sister Maureen Paul and Sister Luke Mary, gave a wonderful testament to the beauty of religious consecration and vocation!
Highlighted excerpts of Fr. Mario’s Homily:
“The first work of every Religious is the faithful living of their religious consecration, the seeking of perfect love, and any ministry comes after that and flows from that self-giving love offered to the Lord, in our case, within Mary’s Order. We can say, “I have come to consider everything as a loss and rubbish because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Everything else is a loss if I may gain Christ, and give myself to Him who has called me using the words of St. Paul we heard today, so that by sharing in His death, that is embracing the Christian life, I may attain the resurrection from the dead, that is, to possess Christ Jesus Himself.” This life-long aspiration to possess Christ, to be one with Him, to learn to recognize Him all around me in my sisters and brothers and in the elderly and infirm, to know the meaning of Matthew 25:25 that whatever I do for the least I do for Christ Himself, this is the vocation of a Religious, and it leads to new life.”
On June 4, 2022, eight Carmelite Sisters celebrated their 25th, 50th, 60th and 70th religious jubilees. A Jubilee Eucharistic Celebration was held at Saint Teresa’s Motherhouse with Reverend Monsignor Joseph Hendricks of the Diocese of Columbus as the Principal Celebrant and Homilist. Present as Con-Celebrants were Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm. as Master of Ceremonies, Right Reverend Austin Murphy, OSB, Reverend Paul Denault, O.Carm., Reverend James Donlon, Reverend Peter West, Reverend James Hess, O.Carm., and Brother Gregg Durham, O.Carm. who assisted in the liturgy.
The Jubilarians celebrated with loving remembrance and gratitude the many special persons who helped them come to this time of joyous celebration. All their many years of service to God and His elderly, of those present and those who were unable to attend, you were deeply acknowledged and appreciated! Congratulations dear Sisters!
Poignant excerpts from the Homily of Monsignor Joseph Hendricks:
“…as the Sisters who are present today and to celebrate Jubilees, they know, and have been serving, knowing, that the Lord has never abandoned them even in the midst of their struggle—even in the midst of their joys. They find a home in His heart and have taken themselves to His heart… I continue each day to be amazed by your courage, your mission-driven service that you have given in my home diocese of Columbus, Ohio at the Villas of St. Therese… and Mother Angeline McCrory Manor…
…As I reflect on your work and the women who do it, I find that each one brings to the Church so many precious and caring gifts. You have become the hands and feet and the touch and voice of Jesus Himself when you go out on your daily work, often unnoticed, but always deeply appreciated. I see it in the eyes and hearts of those you touch each day… You do unique, marvelous and genuine work in proclaiming the gospel of Christ by your service… This is indeed a day of joy for you…”
Mount Carmel Care Center, a 69-bed home in Lenox, Massachusetts, became a Carmelite sponsored facility in October of 2013. Previously named Providence Care Center, the home was under the sponsorship of the Sisters of Providence. The Carmelite Sisters became aware of their decision to sell the facility, and they were impressed with the caring and mission-oriented spirit of the staff. The home was then acquired and renamed. The transition took place at a lovely para-liturgical ceremony seamlessly between the sponsors. The legacy of mission-driven Catholic healthcare was able to continue in the lovely Berkshires of Western Massachusetts near The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home, and the Boston Symphony’s summer home at Tanglewood.
Still today, that initial impression of the staff as mission-oriented has been borne out through the last eight years and this is what attracts potential residents, guests and their families. There are newer facilities close by with modern amenities but time after time Mount Carmel is the choice for our area. We have many, many short-term guests who return when they need rehabilitation and say they would not go anywhere else. At Mount Carmel, there is a true sense of home and family. All who work here have embraced all things Carmelite from our Mission Statement and Core Values to all our special Carmelite Feast Days. Our core values were unknown to the Mount Carmel staff back in 2013, but compassion, hospitality, shared commitment and respect for the sanctity of life were present and continue to be embraced by the staff. Mount Carmel Care Center is a small but mighty home.