Mangaluru, Oct 1: The Apostolic Carmel inaugurated the bicentennial birth anniversary of its foundress Venerable Mother Veronica on Saturday October 1 at St Ann’s Chapel. It was on this day, 200 years ago, a star kissed the mother Earth that would bring forth a Congregation – the Apostolic Carmel. This noble child, Sophie Leeves was born to a devout Anglican family, Henry Daniel Leeves and Marina Haultain on October 1, 1823. As per God’s wonderful design, she embraced the Catholic Church, consecrated herself as a sister and hearkened to the call ‘I want you in Carmel’.
During the Eucharistic sacrifice, the sisters recalled with gratitude, her sacrifice, heroism in facing the challenges, deep trust in God, love for the poor and needy and a fond desire to empower women. Symbolising 200 years with 20 lamps, a lamp for each decade, the sisters and an AC Associate joined the entrance procession along with the celebrant Rev Fr Archibald Gonsalves OCD.
Fr Archibald in his homily connected beautifully the life of Venerable Mother Veronica and St Therese of the Child Jesus whose feast was celebrated today. He highlighted the noble and heroic life of Mother Veronica and urged every Apostolic Carmelite to live her call by rededicating her life to Jesus and His mission.
After the Mass, seven sisters representing North, South, East, West, Sri Lanka, East Africa and Karnataka carried the lighted lamps and placed before the portrait of Venerable Mother Veronica, after which the bicentennial logo was unveiled to the tune of the hymn ‘I have brought you into the land of Carmel’.