‘Outpouring of enthusiasm’ ahead of relics tour

Damien MacRae (left) and Fr Brian Lucas (right) with Carmelite Sisters at Varroville last week (Catholic Mission/Simone Medri)

Catholic Mission national director Fr Brian Lucas has described “an outpouring of enthusiasm” ahead of the Australian pilgrimage of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents, which is now just seven weeks away.

The National Director of Catholic Mission joined InvoCare Chief Operating Officer Damien MacRae in meeting with representatives of the Carmelite Sisters and Friars in Sydney last week to finalise some of the plans for the pilgrimage.

“We are proud to partner with Catholic Mission to support the pilgrimage of St Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents Louis and Zelie Martin which will take place in 2020,” Mr MacRae said. “Through our funeral brands and memorial parks, we are able to provide support for the transport across Australia and also events in local communities.

“The pilgrimage is a great opportunity for local Catholic communities and the families we already have a deep relationship with, and we were able to see how well the planning has progressed during our meeting.”

The itinerary is now settled, spanning from February to May. The relics will visit parishes, schools and convents from Brisbane to Hobart and across to Perth. The Easter Triduum will be spent at the Carmelite convent in Kew, Victoria.

Fr Lucas said the pilgrimage had already generated significant public interest.

“Several additional parishes joined the itinerary in the last month. The co-operation of the Carmelites, diocesan representatives and the staff of InvoCare has been tremendous and we are now at the stage were local venues can begin to plan their own events,” he said.

“This is an important and unique opportunity for a prayerful focus on three main themes: mission, family and disability,” Fr Lucas said.

“St Thérèse is the patroness of the missions and Pope Francis is constantly reminding us of the need for the Church to go out into the world and engage in the concerns of modern times.”

In 2015, Louis and Zelie Martin became the first spouses in the church’s history to be canonised as a couple, a statement Fr Lucas described as “powerful”.

“Their canonisation as a couple signifies the importance of family as the place where holiness is nurtured.”

Details: catholicmission.org.au/relics.

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Excitement mounts ahead of St Thérèse pilgrimage (Catholic Mission)  

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