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Thérèse relics end many Catholics' lapsed practice

The pilgrimage of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux has been accompanied by an unexpectedly large number of "conversion experiences", according to the Regional Vicar of the Discalced Carmelites, Fr Greg Homeming.

The Catholic Weekly reports on Fr Homeming's observation that lapsed Catholics intrigued by the story of St Thérèse of Lisieux and the relics tour have returned to the sacraments after 20 or 30 years away,

Fr Homeming was one of a group of Discalced Carmelite and visiting priests who were surprised to find themselves hearing confessions from 7.30am until 2am for the three days that the reliquary was in the parish Church of the Infant Jesus in the Perth suburb of Morley.

"People were coming because they'd seen it on the news, then said they were sitting in the church and felt suddenly moved to go to confession," he said.

"They said: 'It's been five, 10, 20 or 30 years since I've last gone and I've forgotten how to go to confession'.

"Priests were visibly (available) there and people would just sit at the back of the church for half an hour and then come up spontaneously.

"After confession I told them to come back to the next Mass and so for some it was probably the first time they'd received communion in 30 years as well."

Fr Homeming says that although the church was occupied around the clock, it was always "very silent, very reverent".

Therese - the official Australian website

Catholic Weekly