Women of Grace® Event Details

Benedicta Enrichment Seminar: "The Science of Weakness: A Journey into the Life and Teachings of St. Therese of Lisieux"

Benedicta Enrichment Seminar:

"The Science of Weakness: A Journey into the Life and Teachings of St. Therese of Lisieux"

Malvern Retreat House

Thursday, July 20, 8am - 7pm ET

Friday, July 21, 8am - 2pm ET

The legacy of St. Therese of Lisieux was not carved out of heroic martyrdom or great deeds on the world stage. Instead, her legacy is all about what great things the Lord can do with even the simplest souls. Join us as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Flower of Lisieux with a special Benedicta Enrichment Seminar entitled, “The Science of Weakness: A Journey into the Life and Teachings of St. Therese of Lisieux.” Presented by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS, this series of five conferences is based on the writings of St. Therese, various Theresian scholars, and documentation from the beatification and canonization processes that reveal fascinating details about her life, her loves, and the weaknesses that spawned her Little Way of Spiritual Childhood. Only by stripping away the gossamer veils that too often hide the humanness of the Little Flower can devotees fully appreciate the origins of the teachings of her Little Way and how we too can turn our weaknesses into strengths! 


8:00 AM Breakfast and Registration

9:30 AM Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Fr. Ken Geraci, CPM

10:15 AM Welcome and Introductions

10:30 AM First Conference: Marie-Francois Therese Martin: A Study in Weakness

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS 

This conference will center upon little-known facts about the life of Therese and how her unusual upbringing shaped her view of the world and the faith.

11:30 AM Reflection

12:00 PM LUNCH

1:30 PM Second Conference: Theresian Humility: Finding Strength in Weakness

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

This conference explores how Therese’s weaknesses inspired the formation of the Little Way.  Through her acquisition of true humility and growth in poverty of spirit, Therese teaches us how to confront, accept, and even love our weaknesses, so that we can allow the grace of God to transform them into strengths.

2:30 PM Reflection

3:00 PM Chaplet of Divine Mercy 

Fr. Ken Geraci, CPM

3:30 PM Third Conference: Theresian Mortification: Suffering for Love

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

This conference looks at how Therese’s endearing habit of “scattering flowers” of little mortifications performed with great love can help us to turn our everyday suffering into a powerful force for spiritual growth.

4:30 PM Reflection


6:30 PM Discussion

7:00 PM Closing


8:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM Fourth Conference: Theresian Confidence: Taking Jesus by His Heart

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

This conference celebrates the most cherished hallmark of the Little Flower of Lisieux – her indomitable confidence in God – all of which sprang from her reliance on the virtue of hope.

10:00 AM Reflection

10:30 AM Fifth Conference: Theresian Surrender: Abandonment to God

Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

In this conference we study Therese’s love for the present moment where she lived in the constant company of God and found all the grace she needed to confront the challenges of the day. Participants will learn to do the same and discover a thoroughly Catholic form of “mindfulness” that will lead them closer to God.

11:30 AM Reflection 

12:00 PM LUNCH

1:00 PM Afternoon Tea with Therese!

2:30 PM Closing

Event Date/Time(s)

START: Thursday, July 20 at 8:00 AM US/Eastern
END: Friday, July 21 at 2:00 PM US/Eastern

Event Information

COST: $295 includes accommodations for 2 nights and 5 meals ($235 Wednesday arrival)
Malvern Retreat House
315 S Warren Ave
Malvern, PA 19355

Contact Information

Registration now open!!!

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Event Speakers

  • Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

    Susan Brinkmann, O.C.D.S., is an author and award-winning journalist who is a member of the Third Order of Discalced Carmelites. She serves as the Director of Communications and New Age Research for Women of Grace® and is a frequent guest on EWTN's Women of Grace® television show. Susan formerly worked as a Correspondent for the Catholic Standard & Times, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. For the last 10 years she has been the lead researcher for Women of Grace’s New Age Q&A Blog which is the largest blog of its kind in the world. The library of information now exceeds 1200 entries on everything from acupuncture and angels to wicca and yoga. She has also authored eleven books, including the Learn to Discern Compendium: Is it Christian or New Age, and her latest book, Day by Day in the Little Way: 365 reflections on the Teachings of St. Therese of Lisieux.  Along with Johnnette Williams, she co-authored the Young Women of Grace Study Program which teaches girls ages 13+ about what it means to be authentically feminine. The Catholic Guide to Mindfulness, was published by Avila Institute, and her Like a Catholic series, which has imprimaturs from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was published by the Catholic Life Institute Press. Her national journalism awards include the Bernadine-O'Connor Award for Pro-Life Journalism, the Eileen Egan Journalism Award from Catholic Relief Services, and numerous awards from the Catholic Press Association and the Philadelphia Press Association.