Carmelite Mother Anne Teresa, OCD, dies at 74
ARLINGTON — “Mother Anne Teresa has been the rock and stronghold of our community for so many years,” said Mother Teresa Agnes of Jesus Crucified, OCD, prioress of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington. “She lived a beautiful life. A true Carmelite with a pure spirit and pure heart, and all she wanted was to be faithful to Carmel and to raise her daughters in the Carmelite ways.”
On February 12, 2022, Mother Anne Teresa of Jesus, OCD, took her final breaths in the monastery she had helped to build. She was surrounded by the council sisters, her hospice nurse, and three family members. “She slipped off into the Lord’s arms,” Mother Teresa Agnes told the North Texas Catholic. “We have a special intercessor in Mother Anne Teresa.”
Born Anne Henrietta Kulinski on July 15, 1947, she spent her early years in Illinois with her family. As a teenager, she felt called to consider cloistered religious life. “What I desired in my heart was a life of prayer,” she told the NTC in 2017. With help from the Holy Spirit and her aunt, Sister Electa of the Holy Family of Nazareth Sisters in Wichita Falls, Kulinski found her way to the Carmelites in Fort Worth. At the time, the Carmelites lived in a house near the Trinity River in Fort Worth. Over Christmas break, Kulinski visited the sisters and immediately felt at home. She finally entered the order the September after she graduated from high school in 1965.
There she was mentored by Mother Margaret Mary of the Blessed Sacrament, who gave Kulinski the name Sister Anne Teresa of Jesus. According to Mother Teresa Agnes, the name Anne Teresa was inspired by Kulinski’s baptismal name and by the name of a Carmelite sister from another monastery who had recently passed away. Sister Anne Teresa took her Solemn Vows in 1970.
Alongside her friend Mother Maria of Jesus Crucified, Sister Anne Teresa became a leader in her community. “They were the dynamic duo,” said Mother Teresa Agnes. Together, the two guided their community to live the Carmelite spirituality after Vatican II, expanded their Fort Worth residence as much as they could, and were foundational in the building of the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Arlington. The brother of Sister Anne Teresa worked for the architectural firm that provided plans for the monastery, and Sister Anne Teresa oversaw much of its building process.
“She was always forward looking,” said Mother Teresa Agnes. She contributed to “a wonderful library” for the sisters and encouraged the community to participate in Gregorian chant. She also used her artistic talents and technological expertise to sew habits, make ceramics, and print many booklets and novenas.
In 1986, about two years after the Carmelites moved into the Arlington monastery, Sister Anne Teresa was elected Prioress, thereby becoming Mother Anne Teresa. Mother Anne Teresa ensured that the monastery would be both a physical and spiritual home to all the Carmelites who enter.
One of her responsibilities as prioress was to clothe the novices and select their names. In 2019, before the clothing of Sister Maria Sagrario of the Pierced Heart of Jesus, Mother Anne Teresa explained how she chooses a name. “Sister [Maria Sagrario] gave me three names, and out of the three I pray about it, and I may choose one and I may not.”
“There’s at least eight or nine of us that she has named,” said Mother Teresa Agnes. “She taught us how to be Carmelites.”
Mother Anne Teresa remained an active leader in her Carmelite community, participating in daily life even until her final weeks. “She worked and worked, until she could not,” said Mother Teresa Agnes.
Her funeral Rosary was prayed by Father Jonathan Wallis, Vicar General of the Diocese, on Thursday, February 17, and the Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Bishop Michael Olson on Friday, February 18.
Mother Anne Teresa of Jesus was preceded in death by her parents, Anne and Stan Kulinski, her sister Marianne Price, and the Carmelites who have passed on before her, including Mother Margaret Mary and Mother Maria of Jesus Crucified. She is survived by 11 Carmelite sisters in the Arlington Community, and by her siblings Joanne Sloan, Adele Kulinski, Celeste Kulinski, Ted Kulinski, and many extended family members.