On September 3, 1929, Mother Mary Angeline Teresa pioneered a different
approach to the care of the elderly and infirm. In addition to
fulfilling physical and spiritual needs, she stressed the importance of a
home-like atmosphere that encouraged residents to maintain their
personal sense of dignity and independence. To that end Mother Angeline
founded a new religious community - the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged
and Infirm. With six other Sisters she set about making her vision a
Mother Angeline Teresa’s philosophy of care is the keystone of the
Carmelite commitment. The Sisters labor to make each Carmelite Home a
genuine haven of love and Christian joy, serving each guest as if
ministering to Our Lord Himself. Through their lives of prayer and the
dedicated men and women who share their commitment and serve the
elderly, the Carmelite Sisters share the Gospel message with the people
of God and bring His love and healing to the Aged entrusted to their
From this relatively new beginning the work of the Congregation
flourished and the Community was invited to work in Pennsylvania,
Massachusetts, and as far west as Iowa. Currently we sponsor and
co-sponsor 20 Homes in the United States and Ireland.
On June 28, 2012, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, authorized the
Promulgation of the Decree of Heroic Virtues. She is now known as Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, O.Carm.
We thank God for all that he has done for our Community, and thank him
for all that he has done for his Church through our Sisters and the
many lay Staff and Volunteers who work with them to care for God's aged
children. We are forever grateful for the graces he gives each of us as
we continue to carry out the mission entrusted to us. We pray the he
calls many more dedicated women to answer the call to religious life in
the service to the elderly.
Saint Patrick's Home, Bronx, NY "Where It All Began!"
by Mary Ann Iaccino, Secretary to The Mother Angeline Society
On August 29th a prayer service was held during an afternoon of thanksgiving for donors to the Mother Angeline Heritage Center. Mother Mark Louis Randall, O. Carm. welcomed all the guests in a spirit of thanksgiving for the completion of the Center, dedicated to the memory of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, her six companions, and the Sister who followed after them. Mother Mark acknowledged the project team for their creativity, care and hard work in building everything to perfection. Mother Mark thanked the donors who contributed to the funding of the project: through their love and sacrifice. The donor panel, listing donors in an expression of gratitude, was premiered in the lobby of the Center.
Mother Mark led the guests with hymns, and members of the Council read the words of Sacred
Scriptures reflecting the true gift of generosity. Intercessions asking for blessings on all who contributed to and those who would come to visit the Heritage Center were offered. The celebration concluded with food, drink, and fellowship.
For information on when the center is open for visits, please contact Sr. Patricia Rawdon or Mary Ann Iaccino at 518-537-5000.
A very hearty welcome to all our guests on this special day! We are delighted that Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard could be with us to bless the new Mother Angeline Heritage Center and are also pleased to welcome Fr. James Donlon and Fr. John Moyna of the Tribunal of Mother Angeline’s Cause, Brother Robert Chiulli, assistant vice-Postulator, Sr. Stephen and Regine, our archivists, Fr. Ashley Harrington, O.Carm., and those who work on and promote Mother’s Cause. It is a delight to have Mother Angeline’s family with us, and they didn’t even have to battle snow to get here! And of course, last but not least, our Sisters, who have turned out in record numbers for this important occasion.
There are special people I have not mentioned yet, but their names will unfold with the background on this beautiful building. To appreciate this day, we have to look back four years when the Council and I began thinking about a way to honor Mother and her companions in a special way, to share their stories, and the history of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm with more people than we could with our well organized but small Motherhouse Heritage Room. But where do we start?
Enter Rev. Richard Vosko, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, and specialist in the building of sacred spaces. Father Vosko helped us focus on what we hoped to accomplish and referred us to those who could help make our dream a reality. He helped facilitate our meetings until the project was well underway. Kerns Group Architects of Arlington, Virginia were engaged, as was Michael Callan, our exhibit designer. We began the project with the Zandri Construction Company, but sadly, its principal Dick Zandri died suddenly, and the company was not able to continue without him. Happily, Geoff Miles, our Zandri based project manager for the McCrory Center project was able to pick up the reins as a consultant and see the project to completion. He did this with the invaluable assistance of our own Bill Clark and later the supervisory skills of Jeff Griffin. I cannot emphasize enough the creativity, care and hard work of this team and its firm determination to have everything built to perfection.
The project has been far from simple. Where do we build? How do we build? What do we present? Father Vosko kept us on track through all the initial stages. There were so many large and small decisions made along the way by the former and present Councils. There were delays and usual problems which came up but handled with faith that all would work out in the end. And it has!
So here we are today, telling the story of Mother Angeline and our Congregation in this beautiful building built so carefully and lovingly. We hope it will not only educate people about Mother but provide a place of peace and reflection. We thank all those who in any way contributed to this building – those already named and the artists who added the final touches in wood, glass, stone and bronze - Mr. Robert Whelan, who painted Mother’s portrait, Sr. Margaret Beaudette SC, who sculpted Mother in bronze, Kevin Morgan and staff who created the beautiful stained glass window and David Bacharach who designed the monstrance sculpture in the garden. We especially thank Michael Callan for capturing Mother’s essence in word and picture and Empire for fabricating the panels you see around the Center.
There are many people not here today who also contributed to the funding of this project with gifts large and small. We will have a special donor reception on August 29, at which time the donor panel on the way in the building will be activated. We will also have an open house on September 12 and hope our neighbors in the area will take the opportunity to visit us and see the rich history here at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse.
In the meantime we proceed with the blessing of this center. For this occasion, we have something special. Having recently visited Ireland for the annual Board Meeting at Our Lady’s Manor, we were able to take a trip north to Tyrone – to St. Brigid’s Church in Brocagh, where Mother Angeline lived her early life. A special Mass in the Church where she was baptized opened with the sprinkling rite. The baptismal font used to baptize Mother was filled with water, blessed, and the Congregation sprinkled with it. We were able to fill a few holy water bottles from the font after Mass and brought some home to use on this special occasion. So the circle is complete – from the beginning of Mother’s life to a celebration of it here at the Mother Angeline Heritage Center.
May this building be a source of many blessings for others. Thank you for being here and for all you do for our Congregation.
The focus of the new Mother Angeline Heritage Center is a sculpture of Mother Angeline sitting silently before the Blessed Sacrament. The Carmelite mystics tell us that God hears best the silent language of love; and that quiet love speaks volumes to the world about the gift of life in all the Homes of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm through their Residents, Staff, Volunteers, Benefactors, and Friends throughout the years.
Come, sit on the bench next to Mother Angeline as she opens her heart to the Lord and listen deeply to our loving God. It is so appropriate that the sculpture of Mother Angeline and the Monstrance are outdoors in the elements, not protected from wind, rain, sun and snow, because that is indicative of the Charism of the Carmelite Sisters to be out in the midst of the difficult healthcare world advocating for our Aged in whom we recognize the presence of the “Living God.”
“Do this in memory of Me” is the invitation of the Eucharist as depicted in the monstrance. Powerful is the knowledge that:
To remember is:to take all of the Past, project it into the Future, and liveit in the Present.
The Heritage Center is built in memory of Mother Angeline but the message carries far into future generations.
Adjacent to the Heritage Center is the cemetery of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm where Mother Angeline is buried among her Sisters. The Center houses the story of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm through the years. The 84 acre property of “Avila on the Hudson” tells the journey that has gone through the years. Walk the grounds of the Motherhouse, Novitiate, Retreat House, Generalate and Carmelite System in order to listen to the story they share with you.
The sculpture of Mother Angeline before the monstrance sits outside because the horizons are yet to be developed. Endless are the possibilities because only God knows as He waits for the “FIAT” of those who are to continue the Journey.
As the Heritage Center has been blessed, let us REMEMBER and take all of the PAST (giving thanks for the LOVE of all those who have gone before us). Project it into the FUTURE (as we wait with HOPE for the great things that are to come). Live it in the PRESENT (spreading the FAITH in the “Gift of the Aged”).
May our Heritage Center stand as a witness to God who lives within and among us through our Faith, Hope and Love.
Mother Mark, Sr. Patricia Margaret, Sr. Mary Rose and Sr. Mary of Jesus visited the shrine dedicated to Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa. The shrine is located in Venerable Mary Angeline's home parish in Clonoe, Ireland. It was an overwhelming experience to see the love showered upon Mother Angeline by the parishioners. Fr. Benny Fee who cares for the shrine and who organized the visit gave the Sisters a very warm Irish welcome!
The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm celebrated the 31st anniversary of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa’s entrance into eternal life on January 21st. If Mother Angeline was alive today, she would have been 122 years old! Called to religious life at an early age of nineteen, she reached the fullness of her religious consecration when God called her to establish a religious community especially dedicated to the care of the elderly. Among the many attributes of virtues, one that best describes this woman of faith was her religious zeal. It is very appropriate then that the theme for this year’s anniversary celebration which falls on this proclaimed “Year of Consecrated Life” is that of the “Consecrated Woman of the Church.”
The Eucharistic celebration began at 11:00 am in the beautiful Chapel of Saint Teresa’s Motherhouse in Germantown, NY. It was attended by the Avila Sisters, the McCrory family, Carmelite novices from St. Elias Province and Most Pure Heart of Mary Province, as well as other invited friends. Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm. was the Principal Celebrant and Homilist. Those concelebrating were Rev. Robert Traudt, O.Carm., Rev. John Horan, O.Carm., Rev. Joseph Nguyen Do, O.Carm., Rev. Brian McWeeney, Rev. James Donlon, Rev. Thomas Lawless, and Rev. John Moyna. Father Mario delivered his homily centered on the call to living the life of consecration, in particular the consecrated life, with its challenges, hopes and its call to mission. Using the backdrop of the call of Samuel read in the First reading, and the command of Jesus from the Gospel of John to love one another, Father Mario drew highlights from the life of the Venerable Mary Angeline and the long history of Carmel, to both encourage and challenge those present to live out the gospel call of service and mission. You can read Father Mario’s full homily below. The celebration proceeded with a gathering for a delicious meal and fraternity. We thank God for the life and legacy of Venerable Mary Angeline and pray for the advance of her Cause for Beatification! May this “Consecrated Woman of the Church” intercede for us and draw forth new vocations to the religious life on this Year of the Consecrated Life!
During the month of January, as we keep our annual commemoration of the birth into life and eternal life of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, O.Carm., it seems opportune to spend a few minutes reflecting on the Venerable as a Consecrated Woman of the Church. The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm have dedicated 2015, during the Church’s Year of Consecrated Life, to Mother Angeline, their Foundress, under this title. Mother Angeline was born on January 21, 1893 and died at the age of 91 on January 21, 1984. We are about to mark the 31st anniversary of her passing. For the better part of her life, having entered the convent at 19 years of age, Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa McCrory was a devoted and fervent religious who lived the consecrated life with great zeal and intensity. Mother Angeline was a warm human being, motherly and sisterly at the same time. She was a dedicated Catholic and daughter of the Church, and lived her Christian witness as a Religious Sister for nearly 72 years. Her identity was one and unitary, her heart and soul set on following Our Lord with great trust. She lived her baptismal and religious consecrations brightly and intensely right up to the day that God called her back to Himself. The religious vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity that she professed, coupled with her added vow of hospitality as a Little Sister of the Poor, helped form Mother Angeline into a sensitive and caring person. As a Carmelite Sister, Mother Angeline added the spirituality of Carmel, the love of prayer and tender devotion to Our Lady, to an already open and generous heart. She formed and led generations of Carmelite Sisters in living their vocation of prayer, community and service to God’s elderly, effectively and profoundly.
Among the first Prayer Intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for 2015, is the following one for January: “That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.” This worthwhile prayer which we are encouraged to offer every day of this month, could certainly resound in the heart of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa. She lived her religious consecration with joy and zeal, and she served the poor elderly of every class of society with true charity. Throughout this year, we will reflect on Mother Angeline and her consecration. May this give us pause to think of our own baptismal consecration, and our consecration as husband, wife, priest, religious or single person, and ask to be filled with the Christian joy of knowing we are serving God and neighbor. Let us pray for the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged & Infirm, for their faithfulness to Mother Angeline’s charism and growth in holiness and vocations. And, let us never fail to try and know Mother Angeline better, and pray to her and for her Cause, for she will certainly help each of us to rediscover our Christian joy!
A nun whose work in the United States led to her being just one step away from being canonised by the Pope, has been honoured in her home village in Co. Tyrone. An Ulster History Circle blue plaque was last night unveiled to Mother Angeline Teresa McCrory in Brocagh. Archbishop Dr. Eamon Martin presided at the event at St. Brigid's Church in Brocagh to celebrate the achievements of the Mother, who worked as as advocate for the impoverished elderly.
Born Brigid Teresa McCrory in 1893, she was baptised in the Co. Tyrone Church and lived in the village until she was seven. She later moved to Scotland and then to France to join the Little Sisters of the Poor at the age of 19. She was sent on mission to the United States and served in Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, and the Bronx. In 1926, now as mother Angeline, she was appointed superior of a nursing home of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Bronx, New York. Mother Angeline and another six Sisters were later granted permission from Rome to begin a new community of care of the aged. She founded a new religious congregation, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, in New York in 1929. The Community opened 59 foundations and still serve 19 homes in eight U.S states and in a home in Dalkey, Co. Dublin. Mother Angeline died on January 21, 1984 on her 91st birthday and is buried in New York.
In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI issued a decree, the first major step leading to her canonisation. Chris Spurr from the Ulster History Circle last night said they were "delighted to honour Mother Angeline's achievements." "Inspired by her deep care for the elderly, she founded a new community and the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm have benefited thousands of older people in America and in Ireland," he said.