Theresians of Contra Costa County
Theresians International is a Catholic organization open to all Christian women. Membership in the organization, founded in 1961, is open to women of all ages – single, married and vowed religious. There are more than 2,000 women in about 150 small-faith communities in nine countries.
Since 1967, one of those communities has been based in Contra Costa County.
According to Theresians International, communities vary in size from 15 to 25. A recent trend toward small communities has dropped the average size to 12 to 18.
The Contra Costa County group has three members. They're "women of wisdom," said Mary Ann Kelly, who has been a member since the 1980s.
There were Theresians communities in Oakland, Southern Alameda County and Contra Costa County, Kelly said. Only the Walnut Creek-based group continues to meet.
The community has "been going a long, long time," she said. But having reached that age of wisdom, they have decided to continue meeting for a year. But that may be all.
"We need younger women," Kelly said. "There are so many groups younger women have that they can go to."
Kelly and her colleagues would be delighted to see another group form, and experience the spirituality and fellowship they have over the years.
The Theresians meet monthly as a prayer group, and to socialize. "It's a wonderful organization for women," Kelly said.
The community members are not supposed to be all from one parish, Kelly said, noting that over the years her community has included women from Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and Concord.
"That's so they would not be focused on one parish activity," she said.
The Theresians' unique feature is the combination of the "Five Dimensions," which include spirituality, education, community, vocation and ministry.
They also pray for vocations, particularly vocations for women.
At a typical community meeting, members might attend Mass together, then adjourn to homes or restaurants for their faith-sharing time. At one time, St. Bonaventure Parish in Concord graciously offering a meeting room for the Theresians.
Chapters in Texas and Louisiana are particularly active, Kelly said. The organization is based in Springfield, Illinois, at Sacred Heart Convent, the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield. Information about starting a new community is available at www.theresians.org or from Theresians International, 1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield, Illinois 62704.
back to top