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Barre DRE says beatification of founder of Our Lady of Life Institute a 'joyful confirmation'

BARRE--For Teresa Hawes, the upcoming beatification of Venerable Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus is an opportunity to spread his teachings about the importance of an intimate relationship with God and the role of the Blessed Mother.
 
“It’s a joyful confirmation that his teaching is a sure path to union with God,” she said.
 
Discalced Carmelite friar and founder of the secular institute Notre Dame de Vie in Venasque, France, he will be beatified Saturday, Nov. 19, during an international Mass celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato in the Parc des Expositions in Avignon, France.
 
Pope Benedict XVI declared Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus venerable in 2011, and the upcoming beatification brings him one step closer to canonization.
 
Hawes, director of religious education at St. Monica Church in Barre, is one of 14 members of the institute attached to the house in St.-Paul-d'Abbotsford, Quebec. She is the only consecrated member of the institute in Vermont; there is one Vermont associate.
 
Notre Dame de Vie is an institute of the consecrated life for women, men, diocesan priests and incardinated priests.
 
Hawes met members of the institute in the mid 1970s while studying in France and participating in retreats with them. “I felt drawn to the contemplative prayer,” she said.
 
She took perpetual vows in 1986.
 
Consecrated men and women of the institute strive to be a humble sign of the Church’s presence in the midst of the world, evangelizing and serving the Church.
 
“Our charism is living Carmelite silent prayer in the world and teaching that prayer to others,” she explained. “We are hoping the beatification will make [Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus] better known and encourage people to find out more” about his life and about the institute. “He believed all the baptized need to live out an intimate relationship with God is silent prayer…. Everything we need to be contemplative is in our baptismal grace.”
 
Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus was born Henri Grialou in 1894 into a simple and deeply Catholic family in a mining village of southwest France. From early childhood he wanted to be a priest.
 
He completed his seminary studies after World War I and was ordained in 1922. He entered Carmel and took the name Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus.
 
Called to share his charism with many, he founded the Institute of Notre Dame de Vie with Marie Pila in 1932 in Venasque, France.
 
He died in 1967 at Notre-Dame de Vie in Venasque.
 
The miracle connected to his beatification was the sudden and definitive cure of an infant in the 1980’s.
 
A former French and religion teacher at St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski, Hawes facilitates prayer groups, retreats and workshops on prayer.
 
She noted that Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus was a humble and enlightening witness to the inner paths to God and attentive to the needs of the times and the Church. He said, “There are people seeking God everywhere. Ah! How I would like to go and speak to them all about God’s infinite love!”
 
The beatification, she said, “makes this even more possible.”
 
  • Published in Diocesan
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