After many years of work, the renovation of St. Thérèse’s home, the Carmel of Lisieux, has come to a close. Today, it looks just like it did in her day. The strong weather of Normandy and the stream near which the convent was built in 1838 had caused significant deterioration. Mold was a major culprit, penetrating some portions of the walls and making parts of the building essentially unlivable.
Through the generosity of so many Friends of St. Thérèse and the Carmel of Lisieux, in France, Europe, and in North America, the long renovation process, begun in 2002, has been completed. The Carmelite nuns there are able to move back into the original monastery and use it well. The infrastructure has been renewed so the nuns are living, praying, and working in structurally sound facilities. The ventilation and heating systems have been totally updated. The bricks have been replaced and the windows on Therese’s one wing have been renewed.
No doubt, Thérèse is smiling at seeing her religious home looking like the place in which she lived those last nine years of her life. Even more importantly, I know she is smiling at the generosity of her many friends, especially those members of the Society of the Little Flower who extended their generosity to help with this important project of renewal so that Thérèse’s legacy and spirituality could be preserved and spread and her Carmelite contemplative life could be lived safely by her Carmelite Sisters in Lisieux.
by Father Bob Colarisi, O.Carm.
Director of the Little Flower Society