© Carmel 2021
IN MEMORY OF MOTHER TERESA OF JESUS (MAUREEN) FOX Peacefully at the Carmel of St. Joseph, Spruce Grove, Mother Teresa of Jesus, O.C.D., foundress, passed into eternal life, November 24th, 2016, aged 91, in the 62 nd year of her religious life. Born March 5, 1925 in Cardiff, South Wales – Great Britain, to William Joseph Fox and Mary (O’Farrell), Maureen was their second child, having been preceeded by a brother, Fr. Francis Patrick Joseph, I.C., who became a Rosminian priest. She received a lively Catholic Faith from her loving and closely – knit family in which religion was of first importance. Maureen entered the Carmelite Monastery in Bridell, Cardige in northern Wales on September 15, 1952. On March 24, 1953 she received the Carmelite Habit and her religious name of ‘Sister Teresa of Jesus’. She made her First Profession on March 25, 1954 and made her Perpetual Profession of Vows on March 25, 1957. In 1966 she became Mistress of Novices and she served as Prioress from 1968 – 1971. With the closure of Bridell Carmel in 1975, Mother Teresa went temporarily to Darlington Carmel for Association work. She was the Secretary of the Association of British Carmels in its formative stage. In April 1978 she went to help the Carmel in Macau and became Novice Mistress in December, 1978. She was elected Prioress in January 1985 and has held this office for 31 consecutive years until her death in November, 2016. Mother’s experience in Macau gave her a deep insight on Communist China and a profound love for the persecuted Church there. As the Carmel was situated on the mainland of China, the nuns were in a privileged position to receive many confessors of the Faith in their parlour (1980 – 1990). These included priests (mostly Jesuits), Sisters, laypeople who had all borne heroic witness to their faith by long years of suffering in prisons and labour camps before finally being released at the end of their unjust sentences. Mother Teresa wrote 3 biographies of Confessors of the Faith in the Suffering Church in China. She kept close contact with many faithful Chinese priests and laity from around the world; several of whom had been former prisoners for Christ there. She worked zealously until the time of her death to assist them, educate others, and to promote a greater awareness of the situation of the underground persecuted Church in China. Macau was under Portuguese Church rule because China had leased Macau to Portugal for 442 years. This lease was due to expire in 1999, and Macau was then to be handed back over to Communist mainland China. In addition to that situation, Macau could not viably generate vocations to perpetuate the existence of the Carmel, given that only a mere 2% of its population was Catholic and a cloistered Carmelite vocation is a unique calling. With these considerations in mind, Mother Teresa and her community decided to relocate abroad. Many permissions of Church and state were needed for this tremendous undertaking. Human effort and interventions of God’s unfailing providence, which can only be seen as miraculous, allowed them to leave and on March 8, 1990, Mother Teresa of Jesus arrived in Canada with 7 other nuns to found this Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph in Spruce Grove, Alberta which opened May 31, 1993. Although we deeply feel the great loss of her physical presence, her spirit remains very much alive among us as we go forward blessed by her heroic example of greatness, fidelity, and indefatigable trust in God’s loving providence and care.
Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, gave a conference on the cloistered life and it was very well done. So I will simply give you a review of his excellent talk, all of which we Nuns thoroughly appreciated. So the cloistered life is to serve the contemplative life, a life of intense love of the Divine Spouse. It is an all or nothing sort of life, radical in the sense that if we don’t live it fully we don’t live it at all. So because the Nuns have been called like Jeremiah who moans that he has been seduced, that he pants for God, so the Nun has received a strong experience of being loved by God, and to whom much is given, much is demanded. So the Nun wants to give all her life to respond to this love. Hence her life is a cloistered life of the Heart. The external cloister is a physical sign and symbol of this. Hence the need for silence and solitude in this life, for the Nun (for that matter I should add, the monk), searches for God, this God who has seduced her to give Him her entire heart. But God is not so easily found. So the silence of waiting for Him, living for Him. A silence that is very positive since lived for Another, even when it is difficult. Silence is like a lamp of love held aloft to seek the Beloved. And in that place of intimacy, of the solitude of the enclosure, the Nun gives God the affection of her heart. So the option for the cloistered life is to be a total gift for the first and only Spouse, to renounce even space in order to remain with the One who contains everything! It is a cloistered life of the heart. Hence the cloister calls for an appropriate response to such a gift. Of course there is a penitential aspect of the enclosure. But this makes sense only if we speak the language of love. So the nun has to be aware of the danger of looking at herself, falling into a false solitude. No, our life is to be prophetic – here lies the apex of our life of penance – that our life of contemplative love for God be genuine. Hence joyous as well, which for us is always possible, and a responsibility. Joy must be served in tribulation, and perfected in suffering. So the cloister is an oasis in a desert where flowers grow, where we approach the source of Life, to God. It is a place of regeneration. Cloister separates us from, in order to separate us for! It is a place of loving intimacy, of listening, a school of formation; it obliges us to pass from self to a radical freedom where we can freely and fully give ourselves to the One who calls for this love. Archbishop Carballo told us that our cloister must not be absent from history. We take history, the world, all into our prayers and into the fullness of God. We follow Jesus, so that we are to form ourselves into His image, and thus become an existential narration of God. So that whoever comes to the Monastery must become aware of something …ah what to call it? Finally Archbishop Carballo called to us, “Don’t deprive the Church of your cry for the Transcendent.” I hope this explanation helps somewhat to explain enclosure. Maybe I can say that religious life still remains a mystery. We love it but it is difficult to explain. Only living it with love tells the story well. By a Carmelite Nun
About Us
Discalced Carmelite Nuns, OCD
IN MEMORY OF MOTHER TERESA OF JESUS (MAUREEN) FOX Peacefully at the Carmel of St. Joseph, Spruce Grove, Mother Teresa of Jesus, O.C.D., foundress, passed into eternal life, November 24th, 2016, aged 91, in the 62 nd year of her religious life. Born March 5, 1925 in Cardiff, South Wales – Great Britain, to William Joseph Fox and Mary (O’Farrell), Maureen was their second child, having been preceeded by a brother, Fr. Francis Patrick Joseph, I.C., who became a Rosminian priest. She received a lively Catholic Faith from her loving and closely – knit family in which religion was of first importance. Maureen entered the Carmelite Monastery in Bridell, Cardige in northern Wales on September 15, 1952. On March 24, 1953 she received the Carmelite Habit and her religious name of ‘Sister Teresa of Jesus’. She made her First Profession on March 25, 1954 and made her Perpetual Profession of Vows on March 25, 1957. In 1966 she became Mistress of Novices and she served as Prioress from 1968 – 1971. With the closure of Bridell Carmel in 1975, Mother Teresa went temporarily to Darlington Carmel for Association work. She was the Secretary of the Association of British Carmels in its formative stage. In April 1978 she went to help the Carmel in Macau and became Novice Mistress in December, 1978. She was elected Prioress in January 1985 and has held this office for 31 consecutive years until her death in November, 2016. Mother’s experience in Macau gave her a deep insight on Communist China and a profound love for the persecuted Church there. As the Carmel was situated on the mainland of China, the nuns were in a privileged position to receive many confessors of the Faith in their parlour (1980 – 1990). These included priests (mostly Jesuits), Sisters, laypeople who had all borne heroic witness to their faith by long years of suffering in prisons and labour camps before finally being released at the end of their unjust sentences. Mother Teresa wrote 3 biographies of Confessors of the Faith in the Suffering Church in China. She kept close contact with many faithful Chinese priests and laity from around the world; several of whom had been former prisoners for Christ there. She worked zealously until the time of her death to assist them, educate others, and to promote a greater awareness of the situation of the underground persecuted Church in China. Macau was under Portuguese Church rule because China had leased Macau to Portugal for 442 years. This lease was due to expire in 1999, and Macau was then to be handed back over to Communist mainland China. In addition to that situation, Macau could not viably generate vocations to perpetuate the existence of the Carmel, given that only a mere 2% of its population was Catholic and a cloistered Carmelite vocation is a unique calling. With these considerations in mind, Mother Teresa and her community decided to relocate abroad. Many permissions of Church and state were needed for this tremendous undertaking. Human effort and interventions of God’s unfailing providence, which can only be seen as miraculous, allowed them to leave and on March 8, 1990, Mother Teresa of Jesus arrived in Canada with 7 other nuns to found this Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph in Spruce Grove, Alberta which opened May 31, 1993. Although we deeply feel the great loss of her physical presence, her spirit remains very much alive among us as we go forward blessed by her heroic example of greatness, fidelity, and indefatigable trust in God’s loving providence and care.
Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, gave a conference on the cloistered life and it was very well done. So I will simply give you a review of his excellent talk, all of which we Nuns thoroughly appreciated. So the cloistered life is to serve the contemplative life, a life of intense love of the Divine Spouse. It is an all or nothing sort of life, radical in the sense that if we don’t live it fully we don’t live it at all. So because the Nuns have been called like Jeremiah who moans that he has been seduced, that he pants for God, so the Nun has received a strong experience of being loved by God, and to whom much is given, much is demanded. So the Nun wants to give all her life to respond to this love. Hence her life is a cloistered life of the Heart. The external cloister is a physical sign and symbol of this. Hence the need for silence and solitude in this life, for the Nun (for that matter I should add, the monk), searches for God, this God who has seduced her to give Him her entire heart. But God is not so easily found. So the silence of waiting for Him, living for Him. A silence that is very positive since lived for Another, even when it is difficult. Silence is like a lamp of love held aloft to seek the Beloved. And in that place of intimacy, of the solitude of the enclosure, the Nun gives God the affection of her heart. So the option for the cloistered life is to be a total gift for the first and only Spouse, to renounce even space in order to remain with the One who contains everything! It is a cloistered life of the heart. Hence the cloister calls for an appropriate response to such a gift. Of course there is a penitential aspect of the enclosure. But this makes sense only if we speak the language of love. So the nun has to be aware of the danger of looking at herself, falling into a false solitude. No, our life is to be prophetic – here lies the apex of our life of penance – that our life of contemplative love for God be genuine. Hence joyous as well, which for us is always possible, and a responsibility. Joy must be served in tribulation, and perfected in suffering. So the cloister is an oasis in a desert where flowers grow, where we approach the source of Life, to God. It is a place of regeneration. Cloister separates us from, in order to separate us for! It is a place of loving intimacy, of listening, a school of formation; it obliges us to pass from self to a radical freedom where we can freely and fully give ourselves to the One who calls for this love. Archbishop Carballo told us that our cloister must not be absent from history. We take history, the world, all into our prayers and into the fullness of God. We follow Jesus, so that we are to form ourselves into His image, and thus become an existential narration of God. So that whoever comes to the Monastery must become aware of something …ah what to call it? Finally Archbishop Carballo called to us, “Don’t deprive the Church of your cry for the Transcendent.” I hope this explanation helps somewhat to explain enclosure. Maybe I can say that religious life still remains a mystery. We love it but it is difficult to explain. Only living it with love tells the story well. By a Carmelite Nun
Discalced Carmelite Nuns, OCD
About Us
© Carmel 2021