Speaker Biography: Fr. Alzinir Francisco Debastiani, OCD

 Fr. Alzinir Francisco       Debastiani, OCD

 Fr. Alzinir Francisco       Debastiani, OCD

Delegado Geral para Ordo Carmelitarum Descalceatorum Saecularis, OCDS

Fr. Alzinir Debastiani was born in Abdon Batista, in the Brazilian State of S. Catarina, in November 1962. He made his first profession in the St Joseph Province – South East Brazil – at Sao Roque, on 25th December 1984.. After having finished his philosophy studies at the Catholic Pontifical University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte) and theology at the Teresianum Pontifical Faculty in Rome, he was ordained priest on 30th November 1991. In his Province he has carried out the following duties: Pastor, Formator, local Superior, Delegate for the OCDS and Provincial Counselor. In 2008, he was elected Provincial Superior, a duty which lasted one triennium. From 2012, he has been the Delegate General for the OCDS. The responsibility of the Delegate General is outlined in the Constitutions of the Secular Order in paragraph 41: A general Delegate assists the Superior General. His responsibility is to further relations between the Religious and the Seculars and to maintain contact with the Provincial Delegates and Assistants to each community, to ensure the purpose and well-being of the Secular Order.

Speaker Biography: Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

  Fr. Ronald Rolheiser

  Fr. Ronald Rolheiser

Member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
President of the Oblate School of Theology

Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, is a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Theologian, professor, and award-winning author, Rolheiser serves as president of the Oblate School of Theology. He holds Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Ottawa and Newman Theological College Edmonton and Master’s degrees from the University of San Francisco and University of Louvain, Belgium along with a PhD/STD from the University of Louvain. Apart from his academic knowledge in systematic theology and philosophy, he has become a popular speaker in contemporary spirituality and religion and the secular world. He writes a weekly column that is carried in over 70 newspapers around the world. He as a BA University of Ottawa and a BTh Newman Theological College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His experience spans from: Teacher of philosophy, Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Member of OMI General Council; community-builder, lecturer and writer.

Speaker Biography: Fr. Jorge Cabrera, OCD

  Fr. Jorge Cabrera, OCD

  Fr. Jorge Cabrera, OCD

Superior, Pastor & Postulant Director - Oklahoma Province of St. Thérèse

Fr. Jorge (Cabrera) de María Inmaculada, is a Discalced Carmelite friar who belongs to the Oklahoma Province of St. Thérèse. He entered the Order in 2001, made his first religious profession on January 1st, 2003 and his solemn profession November 14, 2008. He received the sacrament of Holy Orders on June 12, 2009. He has a Masters Degree in Divinity from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and a Masters in Spiritual Theology with concentration on Carmelite spirituality from the Centro Internacional Teresiano Sanjuanista (CITeS) in Avila in conjunction with the Pontifical University of Comillas in Madrid, Spain. He is currently residing at the Basilica of the Little Flower in San Antonio, Texas, where he assists in parish pastoral work and the spiritual needs of the OCDS and the Discalced Carmelite Nuns

Speaker Biography: Sister Mary Clare Mancini, OCD

     Sr. Mary Clare OCD

     Sr. Mary Clare OCD

Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Sister Mary Clare, O.C.D. entered the Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles at the age of 19 and has been a member of the Community for 23 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with a Minor in Physiology. She also holds a Certificate from the Carmelite Institute in conjunction with the Washington Theological Union in Carmelite Spirituality. Sister Mary Clare has served in various capacities for the Carmelite Sisters including Directress of Candidates for 5 years, Clinical Dietitian and Manager for 6 years, and CEO of 2 of their HealthCare entities for 8 years. She has been a presenter on various aspects of Carmelite Spirituality for the Retreat Apostolate of the Carmelite Sisters, various parishes and the Catholic Medical Association.

Jackson, Mississippi OCDS Community

Secular Carmelites of the Province of St. Therese



  • Front Row: Riza Caskey, Asuncion Cannon, Elmina Johnson, Juanita Butler, Sondra Powell
  • Back Row: Dorothy Ashley, Elena Buno, Maude "Helen" Jones, Betsy Carraway, Charles Carraway, Anita De Rouen
  • Not Pictured: Peggy Hamilton, Janice Byars-Powers, Louise Fusilier

Austin, Texas OCDS Community

Secular Carmelites of the Province of St. Therese

OCDS Community of St. Benedicta of the Cross

Meet the Austin, Texas OCDS Community 

  • Front Row: Karen Phipps, Karen Riley, Louise Vance, Michelle Estep, Rosie Garza, Sarah Green
  • Second Row: Norma Sigler, Mary Ann Ramirez, Sandra Larmeu, Kathy Brandner, Carmel DiCarlo, Sandra Gremp, Rafael Quintanilla, Diana Borja, Dieu Van Dinh, DeeAnn Smith
  • Back Row: Kristina Jones, Pat Tremko, Laura Durant, Janet McLaughlin, Marsha Benda, Randy Scott, JoAnn Murphy, Erika Calderon
  • Not Pictured: Gary Cummings, Joelle Hannabery, Hank Hurley, Elizabeth Korves, Kathy Rasmussen, Lucy Silguero, Larry Smith, Pat Thompson, George Wunderlick, Olga Lopez, Shawn Chapman, Tim Graham, JoAnn Greenwood, Rebecca Blankenstein, Joan Brown, Opal Gonzales

History of the Province of St. Therese - Tomorrow

Secular Carmelites

Many and varied are the ways in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station and the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ – how, pure in heart and steadfast in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master.
— The Primitive Rule of Carmel

The family of Discalced Carmelites also includes a large number of lay people, married and single, who share in the Carmelite charism of living a life of contemplative prayer at the service of the Church. These lay Carmelites are known as "Secular Carmelites." They commit themselves to daily prayer. They also assemble one afternoon per month in their respective cities for meetings that include community prayer, study of Carmelite spirituality, and recreation.

The Secular Carmelites are committed to dedicate themselves more profoundly to the Church and to the world within the context of their family life, work place, and local church parish. They express this dedication by promising to live a more evangelical life, witnessing to God's presence in the world through the evangelical counsels and the beatitudes. These promises are more than a pledge to pursue personal holiness. They are a commitment to the Church for her needs and concerns in this world.

The Discalced Carmelite Friars of the Province of St. Thérèse collaborate with the Secular Carmelites of our province. We serve as spiritual assistants to the communities of Secular Carmelites that are located in the cities where we have communities of friars. We also offer spiritual formation to the Secular Carmelites by leading days of recollection and retreats, as well as by offering individual spiritual direction.

To learn more about the
Secular Carmelites of the Province of St. Thérèse, visit their current website: http://thereseocds.org/

History of the Province of St. Therese - Today

Friars' Communities in Our Province

San Antonio - The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower

The community of Discalced Carmelite Friars of San Antonio, Texas, staff the National Shrine of St. Thérèse.  This shrine also functions as a parish, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Thérèse. The parish is popularly known as "Little Flower" and the church as "Little Flower Basilica."

The friars of this community also serve as chaplains to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of San Antonio, as well as to the local Secular Carmelites. They promote the spiritual teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux through their work at the Shrine and through The Apostolate of the Little Flower, a magazine published by the province under the direction of this community of friars. In addition, they oversee the Little Flower School (grades pre-K through 8th), located across the street from the Basilica, as well as the Gardens of St. Thérèse, a community garden project located on the monastery grounds.

Oklahoma City – Little Flower Parish

The community of Discalced Carmelite Friars in Oklahoma City staffs the parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Thérèse, popularly known as "Little Flower" parish, or "La Florecita." The friars minister primarily to the Hispanic community of Oklahoma City. They also serve as chaplains to the Carmelite Sisters of St. Thérèse, and oversee the free medical clinic that is located on the monastery grounds. The clinic is open to all persons who are otherwise unable to afford medical care. This community of friars also welcomes Carmelite postulants, men who come to live with the community in order to learn about our way of life as they discern a possible vocation to the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Dallas – Mt. Carmel Center

Mt. Carmel Center functions as a pastoral institute of spirituality. The community of friars offer retreats, days of recollection, individual spiritual direction, and lectures in Carmelite spirituality. Our friars also minister to the Secular Carmelites, Carmelite nuns, and to various parishes in the Diocese of Dallas.

Little Rock – Marylake Monastery

Marylake Monastery serves as the novitiate house of our Province of St. Thérèse.  Here, men seeking to become members of the Discalced Carmelites, undergo a year of intense prayer, discernment and training in the Carmelite life. Our community of friars is dedicated to the formation of these young religious, as well as to ministry to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Little Rock, the Secular Carmelites, and the Missionaries of Charity. The priests also offer the service of sacramental ministry to many parishes around the state of Arkansas. The provincial cemetery, where all the friars of our province are buried, is likewise situated on the grounds of Marylake.

Monasteries of Discalced Carmelite Nuns

Little Rock, Arkansas 
Carmel of Saint Teresa of Jesus

The Carmelite nuns in Little Rock were founded in 1950 from the Carmel of Loretto, PA in response to an invitation from the bishop of Little Rock, Albert Fletcher. The first mass for the new community was celebrated August 22, 1950 and one month later the Carmel was canonically erected.
During the early years the young community had it’s full share of trials living in a temporary house not suited for a monastic way of life. They also had the disadvantage of being located next door to the School Board offices that were actually bombed in 1959 during that volatile period of the equal rights movement. Providently this led to the relocation of the community. In the late summer of 1959 the community moved into their new monastery built on property donated by the diocese, 22 acres of wooded land. The most outstanding feature of the monastery is its rather large chapel with its steep roof situated against a backdrop of pine and oak trees. The first mass was offered there on September 19, 1961. Bishop Fletcher and his successors, Bishop Emeritus Andrew McDonald and Bishop Peter Sartin, have all been true pastors to the community giving guidance and helping in many other ways. Most recently Bishop Sartin blessed the entire building and the grounds upon the completion of renovation.
As a way of supporting themselves the nuns distribute altar breads to the diocese of Little Rock and a few other parishes and churches, including those of other Christian denominations. Their greatest joy is to labor in the vineyard of the Lord as those who offer lives of prayer in many forms throughout the day on behalf of the Church and the world. This work is also a means of support since, as the Lord told St. Teresa, “You take care of my business and I’ll take care of yours” (cf. Life). This promise of Jesus Christ to St. Teresa has held true for her daughters also. The nuns are very grateful to all those who manifest the goodness of God by their generosity to them and always remember them in their prayers and sacrifices.

Savannah, Georgia
Carmel of Our Lady of Confidence

Eldridge, Iowa
Carmel of the Queen of Heaven

Residing now in Eldridge Iowa, in the Heartland of America, we are a group of 10 women, whose chief ministry is that of a life of prayer. Living in close community and guided by a constantly renewed global vision, we offer the world an alternative vision and a way of life which calls for much personal transformation. In a style which is contemporary, we consider it our task to heal the split between deeply human values and a culture which often does not give a home to these values.

Sioux City, Iowa
Carmel of Our Lady of the Incarnation

We are a small community of cloistered contemplative religious who live a simple traditional lifestyle totally dedicated to God. Ours is a life of prayer and sacrifice which is our particular apostolate directed toward the service of the Church, praying for God's people, especially His beloved priests. Our life of prayer is fostered by the silence and solitude of the cloister, which, in turn, is balanced by a joyful sisterly community life.

Covington (New Orleans), Louisiana
Carmel of Saint Joseph and Saint Teresa

We, the Carmelite Nuns of Covington, feel blessed to have found such a place suited for life of prayer, silence, and solitude in peaceful wooded surroundings amid lovely gardens. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to many friends who have helped us and continue to help make it possible for us to live our life of prayer in service to God, the Church, and the whole world. 

Lafayette, Louisiana
Carmel of Mary, Mother of Grace

It is significant that in this nation "under God" the first religious women to live under the Stars and Stripes were contemplative Carmelite Nuns, dedicated totally to the worship and praise of God and to intercessory prayer for the needs of the Church and all their brothers and sisters. Soon after the American Revolution ended, found daughters of St. Teresa, three of them American English, established a monastery at Port Tobacco, Maryland. This Carmel moved to Baltimore in 1831 and subsequently established communities in St. Louis and New Orleans.

In 1867 the beautiful Creole socialite, Louise Roman, niece of Governor A.B. Roman or Louisiana, entered Carmel of St. Louis. On November 21, 1877, she led a group of four nuns back to her native state. In 1878 they located in a pre-Civil War cottage in the French Quarter in New Orleans. The permanent monastery dedicated to St. Joseph and St. Teresa was completed in 1895. It was this monastery which opened its doors to welcome Heloise Marie Caillouet (Mother Marie Dolores of the Passion) of Thibodeaux, Louisiana in 1919 and Lucy Mary Hermes (Mother Theresa Margaret of the Sacred Hearts) of Austin, Texas in 1934. They were to become the foundresses of the Lafayette Carmel.

Jackson, Mississippi
Carmel of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Thérèse

Arlington, Texas
Carmel of the Most Holy Trinity

In the beginning, there were many elements that converged to make Fort Worth Carmel a reality. Not the least of these elements was the delicate and beautiful plan of Divine Providence, which has unfolded to wonderfully through these 49 years.

It was on October 2, 1958, that the Foundation of Carmel in Fort Worth was officially established. On that day, Msgr. Vincent J. Wolf, who was then rector of St. Patrick Co-Cathedral, came in to bless the new Carmel, to seal the enclosure, and to celebrate the First Mass in the tiny chapel of the now cloistered Monastery. Bishop Thomas K. Gorman, who had planned to come but was unable to do so because of illness, had delegated Msgr. Wolf to officiate in his stead 

By 1977 it was clear that the possibilities for further expansion of our small city lot were exhausted. Through the generosity of a longtime benefactor, a beautiful, wooded 56 acre tract of land was purchased in Arlington, a fast-growing city between Fort Worth and Dallas. It was ideal: secluded, yet central to our wide circle of friends and altar bread customers. In collaboration with the nuns, our architects designed a striking building, one that is most often described in terms of its beauty and simplicity and its unique blend of both the classic and traditional. And for us, so wonderfully suited to the monastic life.

Before leaving Fort Worth, we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of our Foundation in 1983.  At that time we were in the process of building our new monastery in Arlington, and the community was happy to move in on November 28, 1984.  The Dedication of our Chapel and Open House took place in May of 1985.  Since that time we have made additional enhancements to the grounds with landscaping and walkways, etc. 

We made altar breads and did ceramic work when we were in Fort Worth and during the first years after our move to Arlington.  At present we are engaged in art and printing work, hand crafts, Newsletters and Novenas as a means of communication with our friends and benefactors, and other work necessary for the upkeep and care of our monastery and garden areas.

May God be praised for His blessings to us during these may years in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

New Caney (Houston), Texas
Carmel of the Holy Trinity

We are a small community of contemplative women whose lives are dedicated to prayer for the Church and for all people. Our foundation, which was originally located in Houston, Tx, was made in 1958 from the Carmel in San Antonio In 174 we moved to New Caney, in a wooded area at the northern end of the diocese of Galveston-Houston.

San Antonio, Texas
Carmel of the Infant Jesus of Prague and of Our Lady of Guadalupe

We are a bilingual contemplative community dedicated to a life of unceasing prayer: a gift of loving service in and for the Church and the world today. We are dedicated to the apostalate of prayer, at the service of all humanity, the Church, and particularly for the Church of San Antonio.

We are a small community, sharing who we are and what we have with one another, helping one another along the path of holiness.

It is Christ who has invited us to live this way of descipleship. He is our life, His Mother Mary is our Mother, guide and companion, whose virtues we strive to make our own, as she forms us in the image of her Son.

We live in simplicity, in the silent presence of Christ, working to earn our living, in solidarity with the poor of the world. It is a joyful life of loving and giving.

Our day is divided into times of solitude and silence, in times of private and community prayer, in times of work and times of recreation. Our ideal is to strive to be good friends of Christ, being many times alone with Him, Who we know loves us, carrying in our hearts all who are in the heart of Christ.


History of the Province of St. Therese - Yesterday

Our province of Discalced Carmelite friars began as a delegation from the Province of Valencia, Spain.  Three friars from that Spanish province were thrown out of Mexico in 1914 by Pancho Villa, the revolutionary. They entered the U.S. at El Paso, Texas and given permission by the Bishop of Oklahoma to establish themselves in that diocese and undertake the care of the Mexican Catholics.

The three friars were Frs. Luis Benages, Bernard Brotons, and Cyril Corbato.  Fr. Bernard wrote to their Father Provincial in Valencia, asking for Fr. Edward Soler, to serve as a superior, more versed in the missionary spirit.

Fr. Edward, living in Cuba, sailed to New Orleans where he learned English well enough to continue his journey to Southeastern Oklahoma, where Frs. Bernard and Luis were ministering to the Mexicans.  Fr. Edward decided they might as well lobby for a place in the capitol of Oklahoma City, which they did.

As the 1920s began, Fr. Edward was faced with many decisions about the direction of a new province of Discalced Carmelite friars in the United States. Fr. Cyril had built a monastery in McGehee, Arkansas, where Fr. Edward had accepted a teaching assignment. His health was not good and he sent a letter of resignation to the Provincial but it was politely ignored.  Fr. Bernard had proposed to start a magazine in English dedicated to St. Thérèse, called the Little Flower Magazine. The friars denied the project but the Carmelite Tertiary sisters (today known as Carmelite Sisters of St. Thérèse) were listed as publishers and 5,000 copies were printed in April 1920.

The success of the friars’ promotion of Thérèse was in perfect timing as Pope Benedict XV declared Thérèse “Venerable” in August 1921. In April 1923, she was beatified and then in May 1925, Pope Pius XI canonized her.

The many events leading up to this great honor were all chronicled and anticipated in the friars’ Little Flower Magazine. Her body was exhumed and a procession was led through the streets of Lisieux to her Carmelite monastery, where a new tomb had been prepared for her (later a replica of that tomb was built at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, Texas); and the illumination of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome for her canonization.

The choice of St. Thérèse as our provincial patron can be traced back to the events of her beatification in 1923. In February 1923, the final act of the Apostolic Process of St. Thérèse’s cause for beatification and canonization was completed, as the decree approving her miracles was read in the Consistorial Hall of the Vatican. Pope Pius XI then gave a speech in which he gave tribute to the Little Flower. “With all our heart we congratulate the religious family of Carmel on the new flower which the charity of the Divine Heart has caused to spring up in their garden…”

Shortly after the saint’s body had been moved, the beatification ceremony took place in Rome on April 29, 1923 and that same day, a ceremony was held in Oklahoma City.  Our Carmelite Fathers calculated the hour at which our Venerable sister had been beatified in Rome, and as soon as Thérèse had been raised to the altar in Rome, one of our fathers offered a Mass to her on our own altar, thereby consecrating that altar to the newly Beatified.  The first National Shrine in the United States dedicated to St. Thérèse, was erected in San Antonio in 1931. 

Speaker Biography: Barbara Tinervia, OCDS

 Barbara Tinervia, OCDS

 Barbara Tinervia, OCDS

Barbara Tinervia has been many things in this life - a spouse to her high school sweetheart for over 40 years, a Special Education teacher, a proud mother to their three now adult children, a happy grandmother to six darlings, a La Leche League leader, a customer service manager in a call center, a community college instructor in remedial writing, a caregiver to her mother during Alzheimer’s, an avid runner, a pharmacy data analyst, but always a Catholic seeking the best way to live our faith.  This last endeavor has led her to Carmel, where she has been for over 15 years.  She has served on OCDS local community councils and as Central Office Administrator for the Provincial Council.  The older she gets, the more she realizes she doesn't know, but it's all grace because the Good Lord has it all covered.

Speaker Biography: Loretta Gallagher, OCDS

Loretta Gallagher, OCDS

Loretta Gallagher, OCDS

Loretta L. Gallagher is a founding member of the St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes OCDS Community in Danvers, MA and made her Definitive Promise in 1993. An educator by profession, she graduated from Goucher College with a B.A. in Education and an M.S. degree from Simmons College in Educational Administration, subsequently teaching at both the elementary and junior high levels. She has served as the Archdiocese of Boston Coordinator for the Monthly Prayer Request for Priests (MPRP) Apostolate since 1994 and maintains the national website for that organization. A founding member and current president of the Serra Club of Boston, Loretta also serves on the Board of Trustees for St. John's Seminary in Boston.  Loretta has led Carmelite pilgrimages to the Holy Land, France, Spain, Mexico and Canada. She has served as President of her community and as a member of the Washington OCDS Provincial Council.  In 2012, she Chaired the OCDS Congress in Wakefield, MA. Loretta has been married to her high school sweetheart, Brian, for 40 years; they have a son and a daughter (both married) and four precious grandchildren.

Speaker Biography: Paul Schubert, OCDS

    Paul Schubert, OCDS

    Paul Schubert, OCDS

Paul Thaddeus Schubert was born in London, England on an Air Force base and was raised in Houston Texas in a large Catholic family.  He attended Spring Hill Jesuit College in Mobile Alabama where he received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Math and also a master’s of business administration. He was married for 23 years and is now a widower, with two adult step-children and three young granddaughters. He works in the grocery industry as a buyer. He has been involved in OCDS for about 25 years. 

Speaker Biography: Elizabeth Korves, OCDS

 Elizabeth Korves, OCDS

 Elizabeth Korves, OCDS

Elizabeth has been a Secular Carmelite for almost 30 years.  She has served a number of times on her local council and was a founding member of the OCDS Provincial Council for the Oklahoma Province.  She served 8 years as the president of the Provincial Council during which time she visited many of the communities within the province.  Elizabeth has given many talks to communities, at days of recollection, retreats, and within her parish.  She has bachelor’s degrees in both social work and religious studies from The University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Pastoral Studies from Loyola University of Chicago.  Elizabeth currently is the Assistant Fellowship Manager at The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School which she describes as one of the best jobs in the world because she gets to help provide money to graduate students to further their studies.