Carmelite Events

Blessing of Mother Angeline Heritage Center

Sister Helena - Thursday, May 21, 2015


by Mother Mark Louis Anne Randall, O.Carm.

Prioress General

A very hearty welcome to all our guests on this special day!  We are delighted that Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard could be with us to bless the new Mother Angeline Heritage Center and are also pleased to welcome Fr. James Donlon and Fr. John Moyna of the Tribunal of Mother Angeline’s Cause, Brother Robert Chiulli, assistant vice-Postulator, Sr. Stephen and Regine, our archivists, Fr. Ashley Harrington, O.Carm.,  and those who work on and promote Mother’s Cause.  It is a delight to have Mother Angeline’s family with us, and they didn’t even have to battle snow to get here! And of course, last but not least, our Sisters, who have turned out in record numbers for this important occasion.

There are special people I have not mentioned yet, but their names will unfold with the background on this beautiful building.  To appreciate this day, we have to look back four years when the Council and I began thinking about a way to honor Mother and her companions in a special way, to share their stories, and the history of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm with more people than we could with our well organized but small Motherhouse Heritage Room. But where do we start?

Enter Rev. Richard Vosko, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, and specialist in the building of sacred spaces.  Father Vosko helped us focus on what we hoped to accomplish and referred us to those who could help make our dream a reality.  He helped facilitate our meetings until the project was well underway.  Kerns Group Architects of Arlington, Virginia were engaged, as was Michael Callan, our exhibit designer.  We began the project with the Zandri Construction Company, but sadly, its principal Dick Zandri died suddenly, and the company was not able to continue without him.  Happily, Geoff Miles, our Zandri based project manager for the McCrory Center project was able to pick up the reins as a consultant and see the project to completion.  He did this with the invaluable assistance of our own Bill Clark and later the supervisory skills of Jeff Griffin.  I cannot emphasize enough the creativity, care and hard work of this team and its firm determination to have everything built to perfection.

The project has been far from simple.  Where do we build? How do we build?  What do we present?  Father Vosko kept us on track through all the initial stages.  There were so many large and small decisions made along the way by the former and present Councils.  There were delays and usual problems which came up but handled with faith that all would work out in the end.  And it has!

So here we are today, telling the story of Mother Angeline and our Congregation in this beautiful building built so carefully and lovingly.  We hope it will not only educate people about Mother but provide a place of peace and reflection.  We thank all those who in any way contributed to this building – those already named and the artists who added the final touches in wood, glass, stone and bronze - Mr. Robert Whelan, who painted Mother’s portrait, Sr. Margaret Beaudette SC, who sculpted Mother in bronze, Kevin Morgan and staff who created the beautiful stained glass window and David Bacharach who designed the monstrance sculpture in the garden. We especially thank Michael Callan for capturing Mother’s essence in word and picture and Empire for fabricating the panels you see around the Center.

There are many people not here today who also contributed to the funding of this project with gifts large and small.  We will have a special donor reception on August 29, at which time the donor panel on the way in the building will be activated. We will also have an open house on September 12 and hope our neighbors in the area will take the opportunity to visit us and see the rich history here at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse.

In the meantime we proceed with the blessing of this center.  For this occasion, we have something special.  Having recently visited Ireland for the annual Board Meeting at Our Lady’s Manor, we were able to take a trip north to Tyrone – to St. Brigid’s Church in Brocagh, where Mother Angeline lived her early life.   A special Mass in the Church where she was baptized opened with the sprinkling rite.  The baptismal font used to baptize Mother was filled with water, blessed, and the Congregation sprinkled with it.  We were able to fill a few holy water bottles from the font after Mass and brought some home to use on this special occasion.  So the circle is complete – from the beginning of Mother’s life to a celebration of it here at the Mother Angeline Heritage Center.

May this building be a source of many blessings for others.  Thank you for being here and for all you do for our Congregation.









Fr Benedict Fee, P.P. commented on 29-May-2015 08:11 AM
Greetings from everyone in Brocagh, Co Tyrone and Mother Angeline's native heath. Delighted that all went well on the Blessing of your new Heritage Centre. We feel very honoured that your new facility was blessed with Holy Water from Mother's Baptismal Font here in Ireland where the precious seed of faith was planted in her little baby's heart all those years ago. I warmly congratualte Mother Mark and all the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm and their Friends and Benefactors on this great achievement. As we say in the Irish, Beannacht De oraibh go leir (God's blessings on you all). Fr Benny

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