TITLE: New Beginnings: Soundings from the Book of Exodus

DATES: 6th – 10th July 2020

LECTURER: Fr. Thaddeus Ekuma OCD

Fr Thaddeus is a Carmelite priest and holds degrees in Pastoral Care and Theology from Dublin City University and the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, Rome, respectively. Currently, he is a member of the University of Oxford, pursuing graduate studies in Biblical Theology. His research interests include Characterization in the New Testament, the Gospel of Mark, Greco-Roman religions and Narratology in the Bible. He is also on the Executive board of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI).


The book of Exodus is probably the most referenced book of the Old Testament in the New. It forms the operative narrative behind the Jewish understanding of their relationship with God and became for the New Testament writers the model for Christian journey through Jesus into God. This course will explore the importance of Israel’s Exodus in understanding our Christian journey into God.

TITLE: New life in Christ: The Gospel of Mark and Mystical Initiation

DATES: 6th – 10th July 2020

LECTURER: Fr. Alexander Ezechukwu OCD

Fr Alexander is a Discalced Carmelite priest and a biblical scholar. He holds a Licence in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. Fr Alexander has also done graduate studies in Linguistics at Leiden University in the Netherlands, Biblical Archaeology and Hebrew Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and currently doing graduate research work at the University of Oxford. His research interests include the Gospel of Matthew, Legal Hermeneutic of Second Temple Judaism, Social History of Early Christianity in the First Two Centuries, Jewish and Early Christian Socio-religious movements and Pauline Studies.


The secret of the identity of Jesus is a major theme in the Gospel of Mark. This course will explore how this secrecy motif aims to entice the reader to engage in a mystical initiation into a way of life characterized by altruistic love and totally oriented towards Jesus. The nature of mysticism from both a biblical and Carmelite perspectives will be highlighted, and the Gospel of Mark will be the primary text of the course.


TITLE: Holy Wisdom: Exploring the Spiritual Canticle of Saint John of the Cross

DATES: 6th – 10th July 2020

LECTURER: Fr. Matt Blake OCD

Fr Matt is a Discalced Carmelite of the Anglo-Irish Province and is currently the National Director of the Carmelite Secular Order, UK. In this capacity he has developed an extensive Carmelite ministry in the doctrine of the saints of Carmel and the Carmelite tradition. He is a well-known speaker at Carmelite conferences and regularly gives lectures at the International Center of Teresian and Sanjuanist Studies – CITeS (“University of Mysticism”), Avila, Spain.


In the Spiritual Canticle, St. John of the Cross presents the magnificent goal to which he intends to lead the one who seeks a deeper and fuller experience of the spiritual life. That goal for John is intimacy with God. This course will introduce the spirituality of St John of the Cross as expressed in the Spiritual Canticle, the major themes of this work which is a love story between God and the soul, and the significance of these for daily living. The course begins Monday morning and ends Friday afternoon.

TITLE: St Therese and the Spirituality of the Little Way of Love

DATES: 6th – 10th July 2020

LECTURER: Fr. Vincent O’Hara OCD

Fr Vincent is a Discalced Carmelite of the Anglo-Irish Province. He is part of the leadership of the Province and currently the Prior of Avila Spirituality Centre, Dublin. He is a well-known speaker and has given retreats as well as courses on Carmelite spirituality over many years. He is a module author and corrector for the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland and has several articles published in Mount Carmel Magazine.


This course on St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897), the youngest Doctor of the Church and a respected spiritual teacher of our time will explore aspects of her life and spirituality. The course will help you to appreciate the influences on her spiritual teaching especially from her parents Louis and Zelie, both canonized saints of the Church, and the great Doctor of Mystical Theology, St. John of the Cross. You will also have a deeper understanding of the wisdom of her spirituality of the Little Way and its relevance for our world marked by much violence. The presentation will be a combination of lectures and workshops.