Greetings from Father Mario

Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm.

Greetings from Father Mario

Fall 2022

Dear Members of the Mother Angeline Society,

Greetings to you and peace as we share with you, once again, the Bulletin of the Mother Angeline Society. These summer days have been warm for sure, but also blessed by many feast days and celebrations that remind of us of God’s love and Mary’s care for us. In preparation for the Solemn Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, each of you as members of the Mother Angeline Society, and your intentions, were remembered in a novena of Masses in preparation for Mary’s Feast. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Lady of the Scapular, the beautiful symbol of her protection and care for her children and our desire to live as her faithful children. Your membership in the Society is deeply appreciated, and your support invaluable, as together we continue to work for and promote the charism of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa and her cause for beatification and canonization.

It’s been my personal privilege to be associated with the Cause of Mother Angeline for thirty years this year, and 2022 also marks ten years since Mother was declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI. The years move forward, and the Cause does not stand still. More and more people have come to know about the life and legacy of Mother Angeline, a Mother to the Aged as well as a model of virtue and religious living. Around the world through the miracle of modern social media, new people have come to know about both Mother Angeline and the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, and new articles and favors have appeared month by month. People find the story of Mother Angeline consoling, and her love for the elderly, continued by the ministry of her Sisters and their lay collaborators, touches people and gives them hope.

Mother Angeline wanted to provide modern, up-to-date and home-like care for the aged and infirm. We all know how hard that is to do today because health care is under such stress, especially in terms of personnel and resources. Mother desired the residents in the Carmelite facilities to be treated with dignity, and the whole person served, physically, socially and spiritually. The Sisters by their day-to-day presence and work, the Carmelite System which helps to manage the homes, and every person associated in this endeavor of charity are necessary to create the right atmosphere especially in difficult times. I have no doubt that the prayers of the Sisters and old people, and the support of heavenly aid alone keeps the vision and mission of Mother Angeline and her first companion Sisters alive and well.

Please continue to support both financially and spiritually the Cause for the beatification and canonization of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, O.Carm. As the years pass, we depend upon you to make Mother known to others, and to reach out to her in prayer so that blessings may be received that will move the Cause forward. May God bless you, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel watch over and protect you always.

In Christ,

Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm.

Vice Postulator

Greetings from Father Mario

Dear Members of  Mother Angeline Society,

I am happy to greet you in this New Year of 2022. I pray you are well, and that you enjoyed Christmas and New Year’s very much. As members of the Mother Angeline Society, you are important to us. Your prayerful and financial support of the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, O.Carm. is invaluable in making Mother Angeline known and appreciated. You and your intentions are remembered in two Masses each month and in the daily prayers of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. Life has been challenging for everyone and only with God’s help can we find the strength and positive spirit that we need.

This year, we are honoring Mother Angeline Teresa as a Companion in Care, which served as the theme of our annual celebration of her birth and death on January 21st. Throughout the pandemic, in an even more intense way, the Carmelite Sisters and those who minister with them in the service of the aged and infirm have faced, and continue to face, enormous challenges because of Covid-19 and all the issues related to it in the world of health care. The staff in our Carmelite homes have been heroic in their service of the elderly entrusted to their care, and the Sisters have been there with them step by step. And Mother Angeline – her spirit and dedication – remains present in the love, compassion and spirit of sacrifice they have demonstrated in the ministry. Venerable Mother Angeline is always their companion, unseen, but felt. As they care for the elderly in her spirit and according to her core values, she is a partner in the work, as her spirit animates each aspect of life in the various nursing homes. In the communion of saints, she is with us in God’s family, as an inspiration and guide. We say that in a Carmelite Home, though the care of the elderly may be similar to what is provided in other places, with us “the difference is love” and this motivates and shapes every aspect of the services provided. Mother Angeline taught her Carmelite daughters this value, to take the extra step, so that the residents always get the top priority, treated as family in a home-like setting with gentleness and reverence as
Christ wills it.

Thank you for your ongoing financial and spiritual support of the mission of the Mother Angeline Society that seeks to make the Venerable better known, and to advance her Cause in the Church. Her spirit of compassion and generosity in the care for and protection of the elderly are needed now more than ever before. We seek the support of her prayers, and her companionship in this mission. God bless you and may Our Lady watch over you always.

In Christ,

 

Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm.

Mary: Image and Mother of the Church

1.-olmc_avila

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

(Photo: Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm)

+ Maria

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ and Our Lady of Mount Carmel,

Once again, I would like to welcome you virtually, to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York. Here, under the patronage of Our Lady, we strive to draw closer to Christ under Mary’s guidance and mantle, and to provide a place of prayer, silence, and grace to all who visit. We welcome all who are joining us in the Carmelite Symposium co-sponsored by the Center for Carmelite Studies at Catholic University of America, and the Carmelite Institute of North America, of which I am the Chair of the Board of Directors. With us present for the Mass and Morning Prayer this morning are the Novices of the North American Provinces of St. Elias and the Most Pure Heart of Mary, as well as Lay Carmelites who belong to the Shrine Community.

In the old days, this would have been the fourth day in the Octave of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and tomorrow is the Solemnity of our Father Saint Elias. The Mass chosen honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, Image and Mother of the Church and, of course, she is the Image and Mother of Carmel, our religious family. The members of a family always reflect the parents from whom they came, and in Carmel we are always meant to imitate and reflect Mary, the best and most faithful disciple of her Son. Carmelites are never confused: we live in allegiance to Jesus Christ with a pure heart and a good conscience, as our Rule teaches us. However, in that living, Mary – and Elijah of course, – give us examples of how to live in that full allegiance, and what that means. Anyone who turns to Mary can be assured that she will turn them toward Christ.

Among the beautiful sentiments and teaching found in the readings at today’s Mass, I would like to reflect briefly on a few points, in keeping with the theme that Mary is the image and Mother of the Church – and Carmel.

When once I was participating in a lectio divina session with a group of lovely diocesan priests, the text was taken from the Acts of the Apostles, as we heard it read today. Each priest shared what he understood the text to mean at that moment for him, and each sharing was meaningful. When I read the passage, my eyes immediately fell upon Mary at prayer in the midst of the apostles and disciples gathered. That was all I could keep coming back to in my mind. As we went around the circle, not one of the other priests mentioned Mary, which amazed me, and when my turn came, this presence of Mary in the middle of the early Church was the focus of my sharing and poured out of me. As Carmelites, what might we see in this passage? I think, first of all, we see an image of the Church, gathered together, praying, calling down the Holy Spirit, and Mary is with the believers, with us. Beyond anything we do, any kind of service we perform or project we undertake, we first of all have to place ourselves and keep ourselves in the middle of the Church, at prayer, invoking the Holy Spirit, and realizing Mary’s presence, guidance and love for us. This week’s Symposium will consider the place of Carmel and her spirituality in the midst of today’s world. I think that we need to affirm from the beginning, that Carmel’s place in the world is to be in the middle of the Church, always being the prayerful, Spirit-led community which imitates Mary, and witnesses to Mary and Jesus in our times and cultures. Whether we are Carmelites in parishes or schools, in the cloister or nursing home, with our families, children or in the workplace, we need to image and mother Christ’s presence in the world in imitation of Our Lady.

In truth, I don’t purport to be a scripture scholar, and I know that volumes have been written and movies produced about the gospel of the wedding feast of Cana which we just heard. Why did Mary say what she said? Why did Jesus say what he said, or do what he did? Why did Mary, the model disciple, basically ignore Jesus’ response and, instead, just tell the attendants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Maybe in heaven we will get the right answers, but even now we know that the result of their dialogue and the action of Jesus brought joy and relief into a very delicate situation and, in fact, the wine of Jesus was regarded as “having saved the best for last.” From this text, I draw two conclusions which, I think, are to the point. The first is: Mary is a very good intercessor, effective, and able to achieve results.  Asking Mary’s help when the cause is worthy, brings an answer from her Son. Again, we Carmelites who live in the midst of the Church, can safely and confidently, turn to our Mother Mary for Her heavenly intercession and encourage others to do so.  As St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross taught, we Carmelites are called to stand proxy for those who cannot, or will not pray for themselves and their needs, and we can be assured that our Mother will help us.

And, in this passage, we actually see Mary bring the best out of Jesus. He seems to hesitate, but she sails on full throttle. Mary draws a response out of Our Lord, and His response is the best. There is a lesson of faith here for all of us to ponder, and the lesson is a consoling one about the care which Mary has for her children, and the magnificence of Jesus’ care as well, granting exactly what is needed and best to those who persevere in calling upon Him.

Let us ask Mary, the Image and Model of the Church and Carmel, to teach us how to pray, how to intercede, and how to live as her children and as her brothers and sisters in the middle of the Church, as light and life.  May God bless our Symposium.

Father Mario Esposito, O.Carm.

National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

July 19, 2021

Greetings from Father Mario

Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm.

Spring 2019

Dear Members of the Mother Angeline Society,

Peace and blessings to you as you receive our Winter – Spring Bulletin. You are always remembered in our prayers and monthly Masses and we remain grateful for your prayerful support and interest in the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, O.Carm.

During 2019, we are reflecting on Mother Angeline Teresa as a Model of Prayer for Our Time as a theme. Anyone who knew Mother Angeline or has read any letter, conference or note that she wrote, will recognize that prayer and reflection were a constant in her life. Every project, every decision, every exhortation to her Sisters seems to be touched by her spirit of prayer. She constantly sought the guidance of God the Holy Spirit in all things. She invoked Mary and the Saints of Carmel as a source of inspiration for virtuous, religious living. She presented Christ, the compassionate Good Shepherd as the model of care for the aged and infirm. Every major moment in the life of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged & Infirm was wrapped in prayer – novenas of intercession and preparation, Masses of thanksgiving for graces and helps received. Those around her could see her devotion to, above all, the Mass and Holy Eucharist, to the rosary and scapular of Our Lady, and to the word of God, the Divine Office and the prayers that shaped her religious life, and that of her beloved daughters in Carmel. A deep and abiding trust and confidence in God grew through her time of prayer and union with her Beloved Spouse.

Prayer changes us, and we know this. How we stand before God and with God affects everything we say and do. A deep harmony between soul and body can be recognized in actions and attitudes. In today’s very fragmented world we need such a model as Mother Angeline. Prayer brought her charity, joy, peace and zeal. It was genuine and people noticed it.  Each of us can learn from her wholeness and dedication to the Lord what marvels prayer can accomplish. Above all, it was the Venerable’s contemplative way of prayer that was so edifying and brought forth a radiance that can only come from faith and love.

Let us learn from Mother Angeline, a model of prayer, what great things come from the life of prayer, from the heart and hands of our Loving God. May the Lord and His Holy Mother be with you each day of this year. You are always in our thoughts and prayers and we remain grateful for your prayerful and financial support of the Cause. Please help us make Mother Angeline better known.

Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm.

Vice Postulator

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings from Father Mario

+ Maria

Dear Members of the Mother Angeline Society,

Greetings to all of you as we make our way through this year of 2018 that the Lord has given us. Thank you for all of your ongoing support of the Cause for the Beatification
and Canonization of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa McCrory, O.Carm. You are always remembered in the prayers of the Carmelite Sisters and in monthly Masses for your intentions.

This year we have been reflecting upon Mother Angeline as a Voice for the Sanctity of Life. Often, we think of our prayers and efforts for the Right to Life or Sanctity of Life as being primarily focused on working for an end to abortion in our society and protection for the unborn and, while this is a critically important issue of our times, it is not the only life issue about which the Church and people of good will are concerned. The Carmelite Sisters represent a strong voice in the Church and in health care for the protection and sanctity of life for the elderly, the weak, those seniors who are vulnerable and, in some ways, cast aside by society because they are no longer materially productive and might be a burden. The very parents, grandparents and individuals who bore the heat of the day for the generations that followed, seem now to be expendable and marginal. There are countless older people struggling with various physical and mental challenges who need dedicated, sympathetic loving care and protection such as
provided in Carmelite facilities. The Carmelite Sisters also make available excellent palliative care programs, offering wonderful alternatives and comfort for the elderly, while publicly advocating against the various initiatives that propose euthanasia,
contrary to the teaching of Christ and His Church.

Mother Angeline loved and venerated the elderly. She saw the whole person with his or her material, emotional and spiritual needs, and taught her Sisters to do the same. Each Carmelite Home for the Aged and Infirm makes it a priority, a core value, that the residents are treated with love, respect and dignity in order to make their later years joyous, safe and wholesome. Nothing is compromised for the good of the residents in order to safeguard them and give them peace. Each person represented the Lord to Mother Angeline, and each needed to be cared for as one would care for their own parents, and in fact the Lord himself. The Carmelite Sisters advocate for the Sanctity of Life in all its stages and with all of its challenges in all their facilities and programs. They copy the loving example of compassion taught them by Venerable Mary Angeline, their Foundress, and see that their mission and all who share in it continue her respect for the Sanctity of Life. Mother Angeline’s charism is as relevant and important today
as it has been since she began 89 years ago. Please continue to support both financially and by your prayers the Cause of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa. Let us all pray for and add our voices for the protection and Sanctity of Life.

In Christ,

 

Winter/Spring 2018

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