St. Therese Society

a group of college and young professional women in St. Louis seeking to deepen their spirituality and grow in holiness while discerning a possible vocation to religious life

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Location: St. Louis, Missouri

"Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and a word, that it was eternal! My vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.

Prayer from St. Gertrude the Great, which releases 1000 souls from purgatory every time it is said

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Monday, October 30, 2006

“Jesus is going to do great things with you if you let Him, and if you don’t try to interfere with Him. We interfere with God’s plans when we push in someone or something else not suitable for us. Be strict with yourself, and then be very strict with what you are receiving from the outside. People may come with wonderful ideas, with beautiful things, but anything that takes you away from the reality of what you have given to God must remain outside.” --Blessed Mother Teresa

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Friday, October 27, 2006


Our happiness in life depends on becoming who God has created us to be. That’s why it is critical to discern our vocation.
Perhaps the hardest part of discerning a vocation is simply figuring out: “What is God’s will for me?” At times, we would all like to follow a few easy steps and end with an answer to our life vocation. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Discernment is not so much a technique as it is the fruit of an intimate relationship. For example, a married friend of mine said that the longer he is married the closer he grows to his wife — so much so, that he sometimes just knows what she wants without even asking her. Knowing his wife’s will is the fruit of sharing their lives together and growing in intimacy.
So it is with God. The closer we draw to Christ, the more clearly will we know his will.
We do that through prayer and sacramental life, the first ingredient for discernment. Without attending Mass, regular confession, and prayer, we may just as well throw darts, cast dice, or make a wild guess as to what God ’s will is for our life. Frequent reception of the Eucharist, confession, and persistence in daily prayer deepen our personal friendship with Christ and provide the opportunity to discover God ’s will.
Next to prayer and sacraments, spiritual direction is the second ingredient for discernment. At times, we are all master deceivers. We justify doing the things we want and try to manipulate God into believing our will is the best rather than surrendering to his will. That’s why it’s helpful to have a spiritual director. A spiritual director helps us see things more objectively and can point out how God is at work in our lives. A good spiritual director has a deep prayer life and is faithful to the teachings of the church. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you find a good spiritual director. Consider especially a priest or religious Sister.
Finally, the third ingredient for discernment is interior indifference. A simple way to put this is “openness.” If we are attached to things or our own preferences, we will be blinded to God’s will and not be free to follow it.
Every vocation involves surrender. We must believe that God is our loving Father and wills our good. Having this trust allows us to be open and surrender our lives into his hands. Often it is only when we let go of our own will — and desire only God’s will — that the path we are meant to follow opens up with clarity and leads to fulfillment.
--Fr. Brian Schieber

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

“Human life is a relationship. It is only in a relationship, and not closed in on ourselves, that we can have life. And the fundamental relationship is the relationship with the Creator, or else other relations are fragile. Hence, it is essential to choose God. A world empty of God, a world that has forgotten God, loses life and relapses into a culture of death.
Choosing life, taking the option for life, therefore, means first and foremost choosing the option of a relationship with God. However, the question immediately arises: with which God? Here, once again, the Gospel helps us: with the God who showed us his face in Christ, the God who overcame hatred on the Cross, that is, in love to the very end. Thus, by choosing this God, we choose life.”
—Pope Benedict XVI, March 2006

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Let nothing disturb you;
nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him
who possess God.
God alone suffices.
--St Teresa of Avila

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Be Prepared

Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them."
--Lk 12:35-37

Jesus cautions us to be ready to serve the Lord at any moment, for He will come when we least expect it. How easy it is to grow weary of serving the Christ in those we come into contact every day, especially when they continue to annoy or frustrate us. Yet it is likely that the Lord will come knocking not in the grandiose and extraordinary. Are we looking for opportunities to serve Him in those we meet, particularly when it seems troublesome or inconvenient for us? Do we ignore the soft knock of Christ on the door of our hearts, waiting instead for a trumpet fanfare to call us into action?

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Nun Run Recap in Pictures!

Our early morning departure wasn't without some minor difficulties! The first challenge for us all was trying to raise the back seat of the minivan. Luckly along came Bishop Hermann (Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis) to our aid!

Bishop Hermann with his trusty flashlight and Sr. Marie fiddling with the buttons...

Success!!! And with a blessing from the Bishop, we're on our way...

Our first stop of the day was at the Passionists Monastery in Ellisville. After Mass in the public chapel & breakfast, we learned about the history & spirituality of the Passionists and got to ask the nuns questions. It was rather providential that we were there on the day after the Feast of St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionists. The symbol of the congregation, a heart with a cross above it, with the words "Passion of Jesus Christ" in Hebrew, Greek & Latin was revealed to St. Paul of the cross by the Lord in several stages. We learned how the nuns helped make thousands of hosts for the Papal Mass in 1999 as well as the parts of Christ's Passion they enjoy meditating upon.

Next stop: the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, a.k.a. Pink Sisters! The two sisters in pink are professed while the two on the right are currently postulants. Sr. Gemma (on the far left) told us that it seems like everywhere, they're known as the Pink Sisters. Even in Germany, they're called the "Rosen Schwestern." But when they leave the cloister (for things like medical appointments), they wear a gray habit. When they were granted permission to attend the Papal Mass in 1999, they wore their gray habits but with a pink scarf! These nuns are a cloistered, contemplative missionary order with a special dedication to the Holy Spirit and a strong Eucharistic spirituality. Then we prayed Midday Prayer (sung) with them in their chapel. After lunch we were on our way again to Belleville, IL.

Finally! A picture of Sr. Eva-Maria in action...

Our third stop was at the Poor Clare Monastery just over the Mississippi River in Belleville. Upon our arrival, we made a visit to their chapel for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Midafternoon Prayer (sung) with the nuns before watching a short video about their community. The video was quite interesting as one of the nuns (actually, the one on the left in the picture!) did all the filming so we were given a little peek into the cloistered area of the monastery. We did note that the nuns were truly discalced when they were inside in the film (i.e. no shoes!) and did have some cute sandles/flip flops they donned when they headed out for walk.

Then we headed to the parlor to visit with the three nuns pictured above. They kept us engaged and laughing with their vocation stories. The funniest part was when two of the three nuns mentioned going to a public library to find out information about Catholic nuns, including discovering a large (but dusty) directory of religious communities. They also told us about their complete reliance upon Divine Providence; the nuns don't engage in any particular work which brings in a steady income. However, God provides for whatever the need is through generous people, whether it be for a box cutter, an organ, or a new monastery roof!

We ended our visit with a last visit to the monastery chapel where we prayed the Rosary. After an enjoyable car trip, sharing our reflections and thoughts, we returned to St. Louis, grateful for the chance to visit the cloistered nuns.


Give thanks through all generations

Give thanks to him; bless his name, for he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
—Psalm 100:4b-5

When we ponder the stories of the Old Testament, like the stories of Abraham and Isaac, we can see what they cannot see. Because we know what is to come later, we can see God’s Providence at work in their lives. We can give thanks to the Lord for testing Abraham in asking him to sacrifice his only son because we know that Abraham’s faithfulness would lead to a new covenant, a promise of faithfulness to all his descendants.

In our lives, it is difficult to see the work of God when it seems like we go from one deadline to the next. Particularly in our daily struggles, it may seem that the road we’re traveling is leading nowhere. Yet when we view our lives in hindsight, whether it be a week or several years later, we see God’s Providence at work to lead us to something far better than what we may have imagined. The covenant God made with Abraham is very much with us today. May we continue to praise Him for His goodness to us!

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Come & See Retreats

Below are some upcoming Come & See Retreats offered by various communities:

Nov. 3-5: Fransiscan Sisters of the Martyr St. George, Alton, IL
Nov. 3-4: Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Louis, MO--contact Sr. Susan Marie Krupp ( or 314-620-8847)
Nov. 4-5: Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Ann Arbor, MI
Nov. 10-12: Good Shepherd Sisters, Wickatunk, NJ
Nov. 10-12: Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, Mishawaka, IN
Nov. 16-19: Fransiscan Sisters, T.O.R., of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother, Steubenville, OH
Nov. 16-19: Sisters of Life, New York, NY
Dec. 1-2: Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis, MO (Advent Reflection)--contact Sr. Marianne ( or 314-678-0315)
Dec. 1-2: Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Leavenworth, KS--contact Sr. Sharon Smith ( or 913-758-6522)
Dec. 1-3: Daughters of Charity, San Antonio, TX
Dec. 2: Dominican Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Justice, IL (Spiritual Retreat)
Dec. 8-10: Fransiscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, WI
Dec. 29-31: Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Tucson, AZ

Jan. 3-7: Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, Nashville, TN
Jan. 5-7: School Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Panhandle, TX
Jan. 5-7: Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, Haledon, NJ
Jan. 13-14: Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus (Central Province), St. Louis, MO
Jan. 26-28: Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, St. Joseph Monastery, Portsmouth, OH
Feb. 2-4: Ursuline Sisters, Houston, TX
Feb. 9-11: School Sisters of Christ the King, Lincoln, NE
Feb. 23-25: Daughters of St. Joseph, Thibodaux, LA (Vocational Discernment Retreat)
Feb. 24-25: Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Ann Arbor, MI
Mar. 9-11: Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, Nashville, TN (Jesu Caritas Retreat)
Mar. 9-11: Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Hamden, CT
Mar. 22-25: Sisters of Life, New York, NY
Mar. 24-25: Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus (Central Province), St. Louis, MO (Holiness Retreat)
April 4-9: Daughters of St. Paul, Boston, MA
April 13-15: Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Louis, MO
April 27-29: Daughters of Charity, San Antonio, TX
May 21-24: Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart, Los Angelas, CA
May 23-27: Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, Nashville, TN
May 26-27: Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Ann Arbor, MI
June 2-3: Daughters of St. Joseph, Thibodaux, LA (Growth in Holiness Retreat)
June 15-17: Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart, Los Angelas, CA (Young Adult Silent Retreat)


Friday, October 20, 2006

Prayer for Vocations

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Eternal Father,
Son of the Virgin Mary,
we thank you for offering your life in sacrifice on the Cross,
and for renewing this sacrifice in every Mass celebrated throughout the world.
In the Power of the Holy Spirit
we adore you and proclaim your living presence in the Eucharist.
We desire to imitate the love you show us in your death and resurrection,
by loving and serving one another.
We ask you to call many young people to religious life,
and to provide the holy and generous priests that are so needed in you Church today.
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.
--Cardinal Rigali

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blessed be God

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.
In Christ we have redemption by his Blood, the forgiveness of transgressions,
in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.
In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us
the mystery of his will in accord with his favor
that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times,
to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
--Eph 1:3-10

We are all made to be with God. It is from Him that we have our being and it is to Him to whom we long to return at the end of our lives. The path that we travel to return to God is marked out for us by Christ, who is not only our guide but also our companion on the journey. This is the Truth of who we are, which St. Paul captures in his letter to the Ephesians. How do we acknowledge this Truth in every aspect of our lives?

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Feast of St. Luke

Canticle of Simeon, from the Gospel of Luke
Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine Secundum verbum tuum in pace: Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum: Lumen ad revelationem gentium, Et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace, according to Thy word: For mine own eyes hath seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all the peoples, a light to reveal Thee to the nations and the glory of Thy people Israel.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Memorial of St. Igantius

None of these things is hid from you, if ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ Jesus which are the beginning and the end of life. For the beginning is faith, and the end is love. Now these two. being inseparably connected together, are of God, while all other things which are requisite for a holy life follow after them. No man [truly] making a profession of faith sinneth; nor does he that possesses love hate any one. The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognised by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end.
--St. Ignatius, Homily on Epistle to the Ephesians

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

November Meeting

Date: Thursday, November 9
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Archdiocese Vocations Office (map)
Topic: Prayer

We will be joined by a couple Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus who will speak about prayer in the life of a religious and how to work on our prayer life. They will also share some information about their community. There will also time for Q & A with the sisters. Please join us!! Questions? Email us at:!


Saturday, October 14, 2006

On Holiness

When God speaks to me, He speaks about the person I am and the person I can be. He draws on images of the ideal and encourages me to allow those images to emerge from within me. He does not want me to be someone else. He does not want me to be something that I am not. God wants me to be the person I am truly. He calls this holiness, or sanctity. Being a saint is about allowing the real you to emerge from within. This can only be achieved if we are prepared to remove the junk that fills our hearts and buries our true self.
The compelling fact that shines through all God has told me is that truth is attractive. When you are true to youreslf, you grow in holiness. When the truth shines in a person, no darkness can put that light out. This is the holiness to which God is calling me--and not only me but you and indeed every man and every woman. God calls us all to holiness, and holiness is synonymous with happiness.
Yet in this world of ours, holiness is commonly misunderstood. In fact, a series of unattractive images often comes to mind when the word holiness is mentioned.
Some of us associate the word holiness with the old lady who spends twelve hours a day in a dark church praying on her knees. Others believe that in order to be holy you must walk around with a halo on, and you must never smile or have any fun. These ideas and illusions make holiness out to be unnatural and unattractive.
There is nothing more attractive than holiness; this is the reality.
Some people do not want to let God into their lives because they think He will spoil the party. God is the life of the party.
--Matthew Kelly, A Call to Joy

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Nun Run!

Have you ever wondered what cloistered nuns do? Ever wonder what a cloister is all about? Come join us as we visit three communities of cloistered nuns in the St. Louis area: the Passionists, the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (Pink Sisters), and the Poor Clares in Belleville, IL. There will be an opportunity to pray with the nuns and visit with the nuns.

Tentative Schedule:
6:30 am Meet at the Cathedral Basilica to leave for the Passionist Monastery
7:30 am Mass at the Passionist Monastery
8:00 am Light breakfast and visit with the Passionists
9:45 am Leave for the Mount Grace Convent (Pink Sisters)
10:30 am Visit the Chapel and visit with the Pink Sisters
11:45 am Prayer & lunch with the Sisters
12:45 pm Leave for the Poor Clare Monastery
1:30 pm Prayer with the Sisters in the Chapel
2:00 pm Learn about the community & visit with the Poor Clares
3:30 pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament & Rosary
4:30 pm Return to St. Louis

So that we can let the nuns know how many women to expect, please RSVP at


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happy Feast of St. Therese!

Therese Martin, a discalced Carmelite of Lisieux, ardently desired to be a missionary. She was one, to the point that she could be proclaimed patroness of the missions. Jesus himself showed her how she could live this vocation: By fully practicing the commandment of love, she would be immersed in the very heart of the church's mission, supporting those who proclaim the Gospel with the mysterious power of prayer and communion. Thus she achieved what Vatican Council 11 emphasized in teaching that the church is missionary by nature (cf. Ad Gentes, No. 2). Not only those who choose the missionary life, but all the baptized are in some way sent ad gentes.
Everyone thus realizes that today something surprising is happening. St. Therese of Lisieux was unable to attend a university or engage in systematic study. She died young. Nevertheless, from this day forward she will be honored as a doctor of the church, an outstanding recognition which raises her in the esteem of the entire Christian community far beyond any academic title.
Therese of Lisieux did not only grasp and describe the profound truth of love as the center and heart of the church, but in her short life she lived it intensely. It is precisely this convergence of doctrine and concrete experience, of truth and life, of teaching and practice, which shines with particular brightness in this saint and which makes her an attractive model especially for young people and for those who are seeking true meaning for their life.
Before the emptiness of so many words, Therese offers another solution, the one Word of salvation which, understood and lived in silence, becomes a source of renewed life. She counters a rational culture, so often overcome by practical materialism, with the disarming simplicity of the "little way" which, by returning to the essentials, leads to the secret of all life: the divine love that surrounds and penetrates every human venture. In a time like ours, so frequently marked by an ephemeral and hedonistic culture, this new doctor of the church proves to be remarkably effective in enlightening the minds and hearts of those who hunger and thirst for truth and love.
Yes, 0 Father, we bless you, together with Jesus (cf. Mt. 11:25), because you have "hidden your secrets from the wise and understanding" and have revealed them to this "little one" whom today you hold up again for our attention and imitation.
Thank you for the wisdom you gave her, making her an exceptional witness and teacher of life for the whole church! Thank you for the love you poured out upon her and which continues to illumine and warm hearts, spurring them to holiness. The desire Therese expressed to "spend her heaven doing good on earth," continues to be fulfilled in a marvelous way. Thank you Father, for making her close to us today with a new title, to the praise and glory of your name forever and ever. Amen!
--Pope John Paul II, October 1997, Homily at Mass Proclaiming St. Therese a Doctor of the Church

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