A Sisters Story
The following was written in 2007 by one of our beloved Sisters.
Once upon a time, there was a young French woman named Adrienne Lincoln, living on a small island in the Indian Ocean who yearned to travel to farther places. She began by sailing to England for studies in international politics at London’s School of Economics. Both England and her home Island were not exactly sun-drenched areas of our huge world, and she longed to live in a place where the sun shone often and long.
Enter Anne Blakemore, a roving artist from America, a non-Catholic, touring the Catholic churches in Europe to study the beautiful art-work present in so many of the cathedrals there. The two young women became good friends, and when Anne spoke of returning to America, she invited Adrienne to visit her there.
At the end of the school year, Adrienne accepted Anne’s invitation to visit America; and they visited not only Anne’s home in Richmond, Virginia, but went “out west” to California where the sun was supposed to shine rather frequently. Anne was impressed by her new-found friend’s habit of going to daily Mass, and little-by-little she began to be interested in the Catholic Faith. Soon, she was taking instructions from a priest whom Adrienne had met. Meanwhile, Adrienne had been making inquiries about contemplative places in California and chose to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea. Fortunately, it was a nice sunny day when she visited; and she was happy to meet the prioress of this Monastery, who at that time was Mother Marie Aimee of Jesus, a lovely soul who welcomed this new aspirant with a sunny smile that warmed Adrienne’s heart immediately!
She entered the Monastery in 1957 . . . and Anne visited her several times. As Adrienne described the daily routine of the Monastery, Anne became more and more interested in the rhythmical pattern of life that her friend described. Before too many months had passed, Anne asked to be admitted to the monastery, also!
Time passes quickly! Adrienne . . . now Sr. Marie-Cecile of Jesus Crucified . . . will celebrate 50 years of Carmelite life with a special Mass and Ceremony on September 12 the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
The principal celebrant of the Mass at 9 o’clock will be Very Rev. Gerald Werner, OCD, Provincial of the Western Province of the Carmelite Fathers. He will be joined at the altar by several priest-friends of Sister Marie Cecile, including Fr. Donald Kinney, OCD, who will preach the homily for this special occasion. Father Patrick Dooling from nearby Monterey will be one of the concelebrants.
This year is an auspicious time of celebration for the entire Carmelite Order. It is the 80th anniversary of St. Therese as Patroness of the Missions, and the 800th anniversary of the beginning of the Rule of Carmel . . .
The above picture shows our good friends today: Sr. Anne Marie (on the left) and Sr. Marie-Cecile (on the right)