A Great Story

I couldn't resist posting this from The Telegraph.

103-year-old nun to leave convent for first time in 84 years to meet Pope

For the last 84 years she has spent every day of her life behind the cloistered walls of a convent to the north of Madrid but on Friday Sister Teresita, aged 103, will venture into the world outside – to meet the Pope.

Sister Teresita, photo from The Telegraph

By Fiona Govan

The sprightly centenarian has been confined within the convent of Buenafuente del Sistal since she took her vows as a 19 year old, two years before the Wall Street Crash.

By strange coincidence she entered the convent on April 16, 1927 – the day that Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was born in Germany.

Sister Teresita has remained at the convent ever since leaving its seclusion for only a few hours at a time during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War when the nuns fled to escape the fighting.

But on Friday she will join a delegation to meet Pope Benedict during his three day visit to the Spanish capital to celebrate World Youth Day.

"She said she thinks she will make the trip with her eyes closed, so that nothing will distract her," said the convent's mother superior, Maria.

Sister Teresita was the subject of a book entitled "What is a girl like you doing in a place like that", which the author Jesus Garcia recounted the lives of 10 nuns in the convent,

"Who can spend 84 years in a convent without being happy? You feel happiness when you follow your vocation."

More than a million pilgrims have flooded in the capital for five days of events that began yesterday evening with a concert and will culminate on Sunday when the Pope celebrates an open air mass at an airfield in southwestern Madrid.


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Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

11 thoughts on “A Great Story”

  1. We prayed for World Youth Day during Mass yesterday as well as for the Holy Father and his trip to be with the youth. I pray our parish youth may be able to make it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the July 2013 gathering. Wow! That will be an Ordinarite Youth first. Benedic anima mea!

  2. Contributors and commenters here pray for and request prayers for many things. However, I have rarely, if ever, seen presented a prayer request for religious vocations. If the Ordinariates are going to be all that they should be, religious vocations ought to be forefront in our individual and collective regular prayers. The prayers of these saints would be a sure foundation upon which to set our endeavors. Imagine the efficacy of the prayers of this sister whose life has been so completely consecrated to Jesus Christ! I read of her life and receive a very pointed dose of humility.

  3. Please, sister, stay in your convent and honor your vows! You are doing the work of God! Please don't cast that aside even for a moment to meet an old bishop, even that of Rome. Pray for him. Pray for the Church. We need you more!

    1. Ben, I don't think there's any question about her honoring her vows. Perhaps in those brief moments when she will be in public, it might be just the witness needed to inspire someone else to follow God's call. Considering her long life of faithfulness to God, this is God's little gift to her, to enable her to meet the Vicar of Christ, for whom she has been praying.

  4. Ben-Do you always turn a positive into a negative? Shame on you.

    I honor Sister Teresita for her Godly endurance and may she have MANY MORE YEARS!

    I have a problem with these so-called 'World Youth Days'. Heard some really bizarre and disgusting things go on which are not reported. Might be wrong but you get that many young people together, males and females, anything can happen and usually does.

    1. Tales of debauchery at the WYDs? Please. If there were any as sordid as you claim, and you are the only one, the secular press would have been all over it like a rash. So please take your scaremongering elsewhere.
      It would seem the smoke of Satan is trying to enter the pages of the Anglo-Catholic blog, too.

  5. Mr M., I think many saints, of which this woman could well be one, would come down on the side of unceasing prayer as opposed to meeting "rockstars". Yes, indeed, Father, it might lead to someone's conversion or entrance into the religious life but at what price? We will never know.

    1. Ben, you are sadly mistaken if you think Pope Benedict XVI is a "rockstar." And you are equally mistaken if you think Sister won't be praying her heart out the whole way there and back, as well as while she's with him. In addition to all that, she's attending a Pontifical Mass — surely a rare and blessed experience for someone in her state in life.

  6. Father, of course he's a "rockstar"! By very virtue of what the office of the Papacy is today. He is also, of course, a theologian, academic, scholar, musician, etc. Perhaps not sister, but I suspect most pilgrims at WYD are there for the office/rockstar part of him and are not thoroughly immersed in his writings on St Bonaventure or ecclesiology or even his musings on the liturgy. I would of course be delighted to learn I was mistaken.

    We can agree to disagree on the merits of leaving one's cloister to attend such an event. Certainly this is not a dogmatic matter and i am sure saints would come down on either side. Regardless, however, I am sure you will agree with me to keep the pilgrims in our prayers (and get some quarantines of indulgence while we're at it!).

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