Thérèse: The Story of a Soul set for tonight at Queen of Angels Church

PORT ANGELES — “Thérèse: The Story of a Soul,” the live theatrical one-woman drama performed by actress Audrey Ahern and directed by Patti Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions, will be presented tonight at Queen of Angels Catholic Church.

The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Queen of Angels, 209 West 11th St. Admission will be a free-will offering.

“Thérèse: The Story of a Soul” is a face-to-face encounter with Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, one of the most beloved saints of modern times. In this one-woman performance, Thérèse speaks directly to the audience with humor, grace and humility.

This is not the saccharine story of the “Little Flower,” but an honest, loving portrait of a real girl who struggled with anxieties, but overcame these obstacles. Thérèse’s honest, direct spirituality speaks powerfully to our busy culture with the encouraging message that anyone can become a saint.

The musical score is lyrical and inspiring, and was composed by Sister Clare Sokol, a Carmelite nun.

Because of her deep understanding of the spirituality of Saint Thérèse, she was able to capture the simplicity and romance of a young girl in love with God.

Sister Sokol and scriptwriter Patti Defilippis worked closely together to achieve an authenticity that would do justice to Saint Thérèse.

Thérèse was born Marie Françoise Thérèse Martin on January 3, 1873, the youngest child of the middle-class French family.

Her mother died when Thérèse was only 4-years-old, and she grew into a sensitive, temperamental and emotionally unstable child.

Despite this, she developed a deep and sincere love for God, undergoing a profound conversion at the age of thirteen, when she described in her autobiography, “In an instant, I grew up… I learned to forget myself, and think of others.”

After this, Thérèse was determined to enter the Carmelite monastery at the age of 14 with no other objective than “to save souls.”

She pleaded her case all the way to the pope and at the age of 15, she became a Carmelite nun.

At the Carmelite monastery of Lisieux, Thérèse soon began to discover the “Little Way,” which became her great contribution to the understanding of how to live the Christian life.

Thérèse contracted tuberculosis and as her health declined, she wrote her famous autobiography,

“Story of a Soul” at the request of her superiors. She died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux was canonized in 1924 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II, one of only three women to be given this honor in the history of the Church.

Audrey Ahern is a Texas-based actress now playing the role of St. Thérèse of Lisieux .

Ahern is an experienced actress, working in both live theater and film, with a special affinity for classical theater. She received her Master of Fine Arts in acting from West Virginia University, and her bachelor of arts in drama from the University of Dallas, where she spent time studying in Rome.

A life-long Catholic, Ahern chose St. Thérèse as her confirmation patron, and is thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to share St. Thérèse’s message of trust.

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