Saint Teresa -Daughter of the Church~
Carmelites who greatly assisted our 40 year Journey
St Joseph

Saint Teresa of Avila, born on March 28, 1515, and canonized March 12, 1622, is the "Holy Mother" of the Discalced Carmelites, more recently known as Teresian Carmelites.  Two of her "sayings" illustrate significant aspects of St. Teresa's life. As a child she declared: "I want to see God", and set about to get herself "martyred", to expedite the realization of her desire, telling us something of her personality- with determination Teresa was always determined!  Her quest was sincere and later Teresa described her spiritual journey in her Life and Interior Castle. These great classics help us to understand why she has been declared a Doctor of the Church.

"I die a daughter of the Church" was Teresa's refrain as death approached. Years before, she recorded her sentiments in the Way of Perfection to arouse in her nuns her passion for the Church and Holy Sacrament, so attacked by the Reformation. Her nuns were to pray for the Church and for Christians

at war with each other! This was their reason for being nuns!! - The Church!

We have no evidence that Teresa was aware of the great Schism. But the ecumenical movement of the 20th century, some 500 years after her death, surely would have resonated with this Daughter of the Church!  At any rate, we Sisters of Holy Annunciation Monastery, who began our religious life as Carmelites, were encouraged to dedicate ourselves to prayer for the Church, confident this would secure Teresa's blessing as a Cause a dear to her heart.   This road has led us to the Eastern Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite and to adopt the Rule of St. Benedict as close to the Eastern Monastic Tradition.

Once Holy Annunciation Monastery was canonically erected, not a few Carmelites and Carmelite monasteries assisted us. Two Fathers Provincial, Jude Peters and Stephen Watson, are our "forever friends". Enclosure norms necessitated yards (seemingly miles) of fences- the gift of Mother Catherine and her family. Other monasteries assisted us in many ways- deserving our eternal gratitude. Father General, Camilo Maccise's kindness, affability, humor, affirmation, supporting encouragement and incisive estimation were so impressive and welcome as to insure his "eternal memory". Perhaps Father Camilo's evident love for our Eastern Church derived from his Maronite roots.

Saint Joseph

One cannot keep company with St. Teresa without hearing of St. Joseph.

"I have never known anyone who … honored him [St Joseph]  by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue, for he helps in a special way those souls who recommend themselves to him." ~ St. Teresa

"Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious saint, for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God.…It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I always received it.  If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good."~ St. Teresa

On the very first day of our foundation, and lacking the wherewithal for even the next meal, we asked St. Joseph's help. A novena begun that day has continued daily for 40 years. St. Joseph has been  truly "our holy father" and provider. We are grateful for St. Teresa's teaching which inspired us  to seek St. Joseph's help on February 23, 1977.