It was with great joy and happiness on the Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus (Therese of Lisieux) that Carmelite Brother Emanuel Franco Gomez professed his Solemn Vows. It was a day of great rejoicing for all who gathered to witness these solemn vows. Br. Manu’s family did not receive visas to travel to Washington DC from Mexico for this occasion, however friends from the Catholic University of America streamed the whole ceremony from the crypt church in the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Many Carmelites, fellow students, friends from Mexico, Peru and parts of the USA where Manu was in formation or on internship were able to be present to celebrate this wonderful and joyful occasion in the life of the Order and the Church.
In his words at the reception Brother Manu said that it was St Therese who led him to Carmel. On his memorial card he quotes from her saying: “I wanted Carmel as soon as I heard of it. I find all the aspirations of my soul fulfilled in this Order.”
In his homily, the Prior Provincial, Fr. William Harry spoke about the enormous influence St. Therese has had in the life of our province – the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. “The spirituality that Therese lived and taught is nothing other than the very heart of the Gospel made convincing and accessible to modern people. Therese’s way of holiness, the way of spiritual childhood, the so-called Little Way, is really the Gospel lived, the way of Jesus lived in our time” he said.
The power of Therese is that she says the Gospel is able to be lived by all of us. We don’t need to be an extraordinary person who had achieved some exemplary works, had attained a high state of prayer and asceticism and perhaps even had had visions and ecstasies. She says clearly: “No. I do not need to do or be any of that. I just need to be the Gospel teaching of Jesus come alive–in my own life and in the lives of the people I meet.”
It is another way of saying what Br. Manu was committing himself to with his solemn vows. To be the Gospel teaching of Jesus come alive. “Be that Gospel for yourself and in the lives of all the people you are going to minister to in your life” said Fr. Harry. “Be that with the people you will live with. You will find it transforming.”
Please keep our Brother Manu and all our young friars in formation in your prayers as they continue to grow in these very formative years in their life in Carmel.
See our video and photo gallery below:
Br. Manu’s friend, Carmen O’Brien, sang a poem by Therese of Lisieux, “Solo por Hoy” (Only for today) that he wrote the music for.