VENERATION of the relics of St Therese of Lisieux and her parents, Sts Louis and Zelie Martin, will be held in Brisbane churches in early February 2020.
The first Brisbane parish to receive the relics will be Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Coorparoo, which is in the care of Carmelites – the order St Therese belonged to in life.
Parish priest Carmelite Father Wayne Stanhope said the parish had the privilege of receiving the relics of St Therese during her previous tour in 2002, but this was the first time her parents were joining her.
Fr Stanhope said he went to Lisieux some years ago and had a chance to visit the graves of Sts Louis and Zelie.
“So the fact that her parents are coming with her for the first time, for us as Carmelites, it’s a wonderful occasion,” he said.
“The community here of Mt Carmel have really responded well.”
The parish will have a welcoming and concluding Mass, time for lay Carmelite sisters and brothers to present her writings and reflect on them, and plenty of prayer time for the whole community too.
“I just think it’s a wonderful event for the diocese and I hope it’s also a time of blessing for the diocese too,” Fr Stanhope said.
The writings of St Therese were much loved by Catholics across the world, he said, and had been part of his life since he joined the Carmelites in the 1970s.
“She’s been a good companion over many years,” he said.
“As Carmelites in Australia, we’ve embraced the mission of Timor Leste and really Therese was the inspiration in many ways for that outreach because she herself wanted to be a missionary in the Asia Pacific region.
“So as Carmelites, we saw her as a really inspiration for our work beginning in Timor and its flourished since then.”
St Therese and Sts Louis and Zelie will be available to the public from February 1, first arriving in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.
The final itinerary spans February to May 2020 from Brisbane to Hobart and across to Perth.
The Easter Triduum will be spent at the Carmelite convent in Kew, Victoria.
The relics travel to Brisbane on February 5 and leave for New South Wales again on February 15.
To see local church appearances and the full itinerary, please visit catholicmission.org.au/relics.