May 2015 

Dear Fr. Philip,

Greetings from Avila, the birthplace of St. Teresa, Foundress of our Order of Discalced Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. 

I am happy to know that you are holding a meeting with the parents of St. Therese School this evening, Monday, May 18. At the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, you shared with me that you were searching for ways to increase enrollment at St. Therese School, but that you were concerned that if enrollment continued to decrease, you might be forced to close it. On behalf of the California-Arizona Province of the Discalced Carmelites, I can confidently say that, as the Order entrusted with the care of St. Therese Parish, we believe that the Parish School is an important part of the pastoral care of the Parish. Therefore, I and the members of the Provincial Council want to assure the school parents that the Discalced Carmelites of the California-Arizona Province support your efforts to increase enrollment at St. Therese School. 

In your efforts to ensure a serene future for the school, after consultation with the Department of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Parish Finance Council, and members of the Parish, you have chosen a new curriculum which emphasizes what is called a “classic education.”  I and the Provincial Council support you in your commitment to making St.Therese Parish School an affordable school where children will receive not only a solid formation and education in the Catholic faith, but will also be prepared for secondary education at their chosen high schools. 

Let me take this opportunity to thank all the teachers who, some for many years,  have been so committed to the families and children of St. Therese School. Teaching in a Catholic school is a special vocation to be sure. May God reward all who labor to teach His little ones the sweet and sacred doctrines of Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let us remember that the first word spoken to the Risen Christ was, “Teacher.”  May we be His students always. 

As we now prepare for the Solemn Feast of Pentecost, I ask the Holy Spirit to grant you an abundance of love, peace, and joy as you go forward in the endeavor to make St. Therese School a place where the Risen Christ is encountered, truth is loved, and virtue is cultivated. 

Be assured of my prayers, 

Fr. Stephen Watson, O.C.D.