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This volume is a tribute to the academic achievements of Fr Christopher, O’Donnell, O.Carm., a Carmelite of the Irish Province of Carmelites and Emeritus Professor at the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin. Fr Christopher’s life in academia has spanned more than sixty years during which he has made major contributions to the study of sacramental theology, ecclesiology, Mariology, spirituality, and in the field of Carmelite studies. The articles included here come from friends, confreres and colleagues of Father Christopher and in their subject matter range across the wide field of interest that is his. Several branches of the Carmelite family are represented here as are representatives from different Christian denominations. Many authors have included their own personal tributes to Fr Christopher, often with particular reminiscences, singling out one or other of his many talents. Sentire cum ecclesia is a fitting title for this Festschrit. For this is what Fr Christopher (a supremely gifted communicator at both academic and popular levels) always encourages his students, his confreres, his colleagues and anyone who listens to him to do: to listen, to think, to see, to hear, to ‘feel’ with the Church. The major achievement of Fr Christopher’s academic career has been to draw out the ecclesial dimension of theology, of the history and practice of spirituality and, above all, of the Carmelite charism. For Fr Christopher spirituality is essentially ecclesial, a call to holiness in the Church. The volume includes a complete bibliography of Fr Christopher’s work from 1952 to 2015. The Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Fr Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., and the Prior Provincial of the Irish of Province of the Carmelites, Fr Richard Byrne, O.Carm., have kindly provided forewords to the volume, each paying his own personal tribute and witnessing to Fr Christopher’s immense contribution. Both make their contributions to the volume as former students of Fr Christopher. Fr Christopher has written widely – at both academic and popular levels. Life in the Spirit and Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1981) was his first published book. His work At Worship with Mary (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1988) is a study of the Marian feasts. Ecclesia: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Church (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1996) is Fr Christopher’s major contribution to ecclesiology. Developing his insight into love as an ecclesiological theme, Fr Christopher published Love in the Heart of the Church: The Mission of Thérèse of Lisieux (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 1997) and Prayer: Insights of St Thérèse of Lisieux (Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2001). His Mary Mother of God (Dublin: Columba Press, 2012) was previously published in Italian and Czech translations. Most recently Fr Christopher published God of Mercy: Penance, Confession, Reconciliation – A Resource for Schools (Great Wakering, Essex: McCrimmons, 2015) with Sr Jude Groden, R.S.M., further testament to his lifelong dedication to the apostolate of education and a timely contribution to the celebration of the Church’s Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. In 2006 Fr Christopher was the recipient of The Cardinal John J. Wright Mariological Award of The Mariological Society of America. Fr Christopher is currently a member of the Carmelite Community at Gort Muire in Dublin.
Contents of the Volume
Foreword Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., Prior General – Richard Byrne, O.Carm., Prior Provincial
Introduction Simon Nolan, O.Carm.
Bibliography of Christopher O’Donnell, O.Carm., 1952-2015
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I am very pleased to present this edition of the classic, “Methods of Prayer in the Directory of the Carmelite Reform of Touraine”, written by the former Prior General, Fr. Kilian Healy, in 1956. This work began life as a doctoral dissertation at the Gregorian University in Rome. It is a tribute to the book’s great influence that it has been republished almost fifty years later.
Throughout the long history of the Carmelite Order there have been many reforms, the most famous of which being that initiated by St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century. Due to various political reasons, the Discalced Reform and the original Order went their separate ways. Next in importance is the Touraine Reform in the 17 th century, and it is this reform that spread to the whole Order and had a profound effect on its spirituality. Fr. Healy makes it clear that the spiritual writers of the Touraine Reform esteemed St. Teresa and her teaching on prayer greatly.
Joseph Chalmers O.Carm.
(Third Pinting: 2016)
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