Mother Marie Therese of Jesus, OCD
(Mary Therese Casey)
November 17, 1927-February 11, 2015
Mother Marie Therese of Jesus:
MARY THERESA CASEY, born in 1927, knew she was called to be a religious from the time she was in grammar school in Philadelphia. As she got older, she realized that she didn't want to teach or nurse, so she didn't know what to do with the feeling that God
was calling her. Finally, someone gave her a pamphlet about the Carmelite order and she finally understood what God's call to her would entail.
An article published in The Catholic Week describes Mother Marie Therese's reminiscences about her entry in the Carmelite order:
Her growing awareness of her vocation as a young girl of 18 was like a candle in her heart. She told her mother that all she wanted was to enter Carmel. She said, quite humbly, "While I had no great gifts of art or voice, I could wash dishes!" However, during her months as a postulant,
the nuns taught her many things and delighted in her cheerfulness and humility. Yet, she lived in dread that, "Any minute they might turn me away!" They never did. Her vocation proved to be rock-bottom solid and true to the bone; and upon her "clothing" she became Sister Marie Therese of Jesus.
Sister Marie Therese of Jesus came to Carmel in Mobile in 1946, three years after it had been founded.
Elected prioress several times over the years, Mother Marie Therese celebrated her Golden Jubilee with Mother Agnes of the Infant Jesus on October 1, 1997. An evening Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Oscar H. Lispcomb, with twelve other priests concelebrating, one of whom was Mother Marie Therese's brother, a Jesuit. The nuns sang parts of the Mass from their choir in the cloister, and the archbishop declared that "a Golden Jubilee is truly a cause for rejoicing."
According to an article by Grace Barrosse in The Catholic Week, Archbishop Lipscomb received the renewal of their profession of solemn vows as Carmelites. Once again, Mother Agnes and Mother Therese wore their "bridal wreaths of ivy and small yellow flowers—wreaths they had worn long ago as young nuns, when they made their first solemn vows and became 'brides of Christ': Afterward, family and friends visited in the "speak room" to rejoice with the two jubilant and radiant brides.
On April 19, 2007, Mother Marie Therese of Jesus observed her Diamond Jubilee in the Carmel of Mobile at a Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Archbishop Lipscomb, who was also the homilist.
She spent the last six years in bed because of a bad fall that broke her leg. She faced the possibility of death many times and was always calm about it. During those six years she continued her life of prayer in her room, only leaving it for Mass on Sunday.
All she cared about at the end was to receive Holy Communion. Her life can be summed up in the words that hung on a sign above her bed, "The Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want." Ps 23