Never mind the expression “if these walls could talk.” How about if this desk and inkwell could talk?
These items — second-class relics that belonged to St. Therese of Lisieux — have been on a tour of the United States. Sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies, the tour began in August and continues through mid-October. St. Therese and St. Francis Xavier are co-patrons of the church’s missionary work.
St. Therese is said to have used this desk almost daily from 1894 until her death from tuberculosis in 1897. It is where she composed her autobiography “Story of a Soul,” as well as many plays, poems and letters.
Oblate Father Andrew Small, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, called the desk’s tour a “unique moment for evangelization in the United States” and said he hoped people would be inspired by the saint’s writings.
During the tour, those viewing the desk will be invited to write their name on a piece of paper and place it on the glass covering over it.
“This simple act is a way for pilgrims to unite their hearts with that of St. Therese and to place all their hopes and sorrows in heaven with her,” said Father Andrew.
The priest traveled to Lisieux to personally receive the writing desk from the Carmelite Sisters in France. When he returns the desk he plans to place these prayer intentions at the tomb of the saint.
“The life of St. Therese offers a lesson for each of us, baptized into the continuing mission of Jesus,” Father Andrew said. “She was a missionary in a very real and valid way without ever leaving the Carmel in Lisieux — through her prayers, the offering of her personal sufferings to the Lord, her devotion to the Eucharist.”
Tour stops are posted below but locations and details may change so those who wish to view the desk should confirm times and locations. Additional stops may include Kansas City, Kan., Toledo, Ohio, Newark, N.J., Venice, Fla., and the Byzantine Diocese of Passaic, N.J. Prayer services, veneration and/or recitation of the rosary are being held at the stops.
The desk has already been several places: Seattle Archdiocese — St. James Cathedral Cathedral, Seattle, Sept. 14, and St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Stanwood, Wash., Sept. 15; Diocese of Orange, Calif. — future Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, Sept. 18-19.
Upcoming stops on the tour include:
Archdiocese of San Antonio
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, San Antonio Sept. 21 8 a.m. to noon
includes 9 AM Mass
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, San Antonio Sept. 21 1-3 p.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, Sept. 22 7 a.m -3 p.m.
Includes Masses at 8 AM, 10 AM, Noon
Archdiocese of St. Louis
Carmel of St. Joseph, St. Louis Oct. 5 1-4p.m. and 6-8:30 p.m.
Prayer service at 1 p.m., rosary at 7:50 p.m.
also 10 a.m. Mass and veneration Oct. 6
Diocese of Metuchen, N. J
St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral, Metuchen, Oct. 13 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Evening prayer, and veneration of relics
St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral Oct. 14, 9:45 a.m. – noon
Veneration of relics; Mass in honor of St. Therese