Like a big family around the table of the Eucharist, we listened to the Word of God. There were TA members, relatives, co-workers, former students and friends, and they all came together on Friday 12 January in the Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Almudena in Madrid, Spain, to give thanks for the one hundred years that have passed since the pontifical approval of the Teresian Association on 11 January 1924.
“On this afternoon we are a family united to pray and to give thanks for the gift of faith and the history that God has been weaving over these one hundred years,” said the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, José Cobo Cano, who presided over the celebration. Concelebrating with him were Cardinals Antonio María Rouco and Carlos Osoro, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martínez Camino, and some twenty priest friends.
The TA president, Gregoria Ruiz, and the General Council, as well as the leadership team of the Spanish sector, attended this official commemoration. In many parts of the world where the TA is present, similar events were held in unity of spirit and communion on 11, 12, 13 and 14 January. Throughout the year, many other events will mark this anniversary with a sense of gratitude and commitment.
Communion and mission
The TA president, Gregoria Ruiz, gave some introductory remarks. She said, “We come with joy to give thanks because so many people, women and men, have brought this charism of the Church to life over the past one hundred years. They did so with their availability and self-denial, their courage and dedication, and they proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ in many different places and cultures. We also come to renew our commitment to communion and mission at this time of grace. We beseech the Lord to allow the holiness that he instilled at the beginning to continue to circulate and bear good fruit in today's world. May we be ready to enter into dialogue with everyone and be especially sensitive to the needs of the most vulnerable.”
Salt and light
In his homily, the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, José Cobo, said that “the Teresian family as part of the Church is a reminder of all those communities that are salt and light in the world. There are so many people, families, communities and friends who live and work in the service of God while being thoroughly human in their essence.”
The archbishop spoke about the features of the charism. He asked the Association to bring the torch of light and the spirit of Christ to our polarised world of populism and post-truth. We must continue to do so through education that is transforming and inclusive, and that helps us to better understand the feminine face of the Church and the role of women within it.
The universality of the Association was acknowledged by having the second reading in English and the prayers of the faithful in several languages.
Offerings were brought to the altar by people of different ages: flowers, as a sign of the diversity of our projects, cultures and countries; the TA Statutes, a sign of ecclesial belonging and the unity of the TA; bread, the product of our daily work, indicating the challenge of kneading culture, education and study with the leaven of justice and the salt of God's wisdom; and wine, with the desire to be witnesses of meaning and joy.
The choir of the Veritas School in Madrid accompanied us with their instruments and songs. One of the songs was about the offering to Our Lady, and another was a song being sung in TA schools in Spain for the centenary called “Pedro Poveda, tu nombre” (Pedro Poveda, your name).
At the end of Mass, the clergy and the TA leaders went to the chapel of St Pedro Poveda in the Cathedral to pray and to bless a relic of his that is kept there.
María Rita Martín, the TA vice-president, thanked all those who had accompanied and made the ceremony possible. She added, “may this network of solidarity and profound communion continue beyond these walls and let us be ‘united as one’ in the Association and the Church.”
Photo gallery from the event
TA Information Department.
TA Translation Team.
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