Nazareth & Haifa celebrate the feastday of St Teresa of Avila
Galilee: On October 14, 2015 in Nazareth, and on October 15 in Haifa, Carms and Carmelites observed the liturgical feastday of St Teresa of Avila, and the closing Jubilee of 500 years to the birth of the great reformer. Mgr Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, was invited to chair the solemn celebration at the two Carmels.
In his homily Mgr Marcuzzo focused on the notion of jubilee in the Bible : “a time of rest” and self-conscience, thanksgiving in order to “come back to the Lord”. It is also a moment of renewal of the plan of God on Man and his activity. In the second part, he applied that to the Theresian Jubilee, highlighting the four pivots of the Carmelite spirituality. In Nazareth he developed the importance of prayer (St Teresa as “doctor orationis”, and the prayer as “a conversation of friendship” and of “self-examination” (Nada te turbe …), while in Haifa he insisted on the experience of God’s mercy and on elevation towards sainthood (the “going up of the Carmel” and the “inner Castle”).
Mass in Nazareth
In Nazareth, chapel and courtyard were full of religious and faithful. Among the dozen of concelebrants was Fr Enrique Castro, ocd, Delegate Vicar of Carms, and Fr Firmin Bourghinat, scj, chaplain of the Carmel. The Bishop gave the blessing with the Saint’s relic, and all participants were able to venerate.
At the conclusion of the mass, mixed with exchanges of traditional mabrouk and brotherly reception (offered by the neighboring families), the Carmelites put at the disposal of the faithful booklets published on the occasion of the Jubilee: autobiography of St Teresa in Arabic, a small booklet on her life, her spirituality and the jubilee. Faithful received a picture-souvenir of the saints and leaflets on St Teresa’s virtues.
A big celebration in Haifa
It was also a beautiful concelebrating by some dozen priests, organized by the whole Carmelite family of Haifa at the Monastery chapel : the Carms, the contemplative nuns, the Carmelites of St Teresa (Florence) and the Carmelites of St Joseph (Issfya). Rabab Zeitoun sang a new tune for the occasion: “Teresa of the Carmel, daughter of the Church”. After Mass a group of young people of Haifa and Issfya played a small two-phased comedy, entitled “The well of the Samaritan”. The first represented the meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan, whereas in the second St Teresa explained to us her spirituality through evangelical categories, namely of the Samaritan, of the well, and of water.
A picture and a small medal were distributed among the participants. Booklets in different languages on St Teresa, St Mariam Bawardi and other saints of the Carmel were available at the conclusion of the mass. A brotherly atmosphere gathered the whole Carmelite family at the table of the Carmes of Stella Maris.
Text : our correspondent in Galilee
Photos : A.K. and S.G.