WAKAW, Sask. — The Oct. 1 morning celebration at St. Theresa Parish in Wakaw began with the arrival of St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission students from Bruno, Sask. Thirty-eight students, along with their director of formation and three instructors, joined with parishioners to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Theresa.
Founded in 2007, St. Therese Institute is a Christian community of faith formation for youths aged 18 to 35 in Bruno. Retreats for adults are held in their Healing and Growth Centre. The vision of the institute is to live in the charisms of the Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux. The group started coming to the Wakaw Parish about seven years ago for an annual day of devotion in honour of St. Therese of the Child of Jesus.
After an initial welcome by a local parishioner, director of St. Therese School Jim Anderson outlined the agenda. The morning began with eucharistic celebration presided by Pastor Rev. Phong Tran, concelebrated by visiting priest Rev. Dennis Phaneuf from Saskatoon. The choral group, with guitars and other instrumentals, led the music liturgy.
Guest speaker Chris O’Hara gave a talk on St. Therese and her faith in restoring relationships by practising the “Mercies of the Lord.” He emphasized how important this was to St. Therese for her formation, to know the mercy of God through His love and forgiveness.
Wakaw parishioners prepared and served a lunch to all in attendance. Lunch was followed by a talk from Lisa Anderson, a core instructor at the school. She spoke about the parents of St. Therese, Louis and Zélie Martin, canonized on Oct. 18, the first couple ever to be canonized at the same ceremony. Lisa said it is very important for us to know and understand the extremely difficult lives of the Martins. Despite their trials and tribulations, they were still able to maintain their sanctity. Lisa feels their canonization will be “a spark to us in today’s married world to give us hope for our own family life and sanctity.”
Reciting of the rosary and meditations on St. Therese followed. Each student received a lighted candle from Anderson and placed it on the altar as a sign of devotion to St. Therese of Lesieux and their commitment to their year of formation.
The program concluded with adoration.