Carmelite Events

Saint John of the Cross, Carmelite

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink

by Sr. Helena of Mary, O.Carm.


photo: Google

Feast Day: December 14th

Carmelite, Mystic, Doctor of the Church

The Carmelite Order celebrates the feast of Saint John of the Cross on December 14th. Saint John is first of my favorite male Saints, with St. Francis De Sales, as my second. Humanly speaking, his life was a story of poverty and sufferings but spiritually, it was a story of love between a creature and the Creator. To know Saint John we need to know some basic facts about him.

Juan de Yepes was born June 24, 1542 in Fontiveros, Spain. He had two brothers, Francisco and Luis. Luis died as a small child after his father's death. His father, Gonzalo De Yepes, belonged to a noble family of silk merchants. His mother, Catalina Alvarez, was an orphan girl who was raised by a local family and earned her living as a weaver. The two met when Gonzalo was on a business trip. Gonzalo fell in love with this attractive young woman and the two married "out of love" without the blessing of the Yepes family. Gonzalo was disinherited and the couple raised their family in hard work and financial straits but full of love and dedication. When Gonzalo died, Catalina was left to care for the boys. Life proved to be very difficult for her and the small family of three lived in abject poverty. Catalina assumed the heavy responsibility of feeding and raising her children. She was forced to move from place to place to look for a good paying job that would help her to meet even the bare necessities of life. This childhood experience of self-sacrificing love will form John and he would develop this subject and used it as a structure in his explanation of the Divine love of God and the standard of what our own response to God's love should be. His sayings of: "Where there is no love, put love and you will find love," "Love is repaid by love alone," "In the evening of life you will be examined in love," "When you experience something unpleasant, look at Jesus Crucified and be silent," are all sentiments formed by his own experience of self-emptying love.

Catalina was described as a very devout Christian woman who brought up her sons "with the greatest Christian spirit, and encouraged them to be devoted to the Mother of God." Years later, Saint John would recount a story of his childhood. He had fallen into a pond and a very beautiful lady appeared and stretched her hand to him in the motion of helping him. Young Juan refused to extend his hand to her because he did not want to get her dirty. A workman with a pole eventually fished him out of the pond and rescued him. Saint John often said that it was for this reason that he was very devoted and fond of Our Lady.
We cannot speak of Saint John without mentioning Saint Teresa of Avila. The two met when St. John went back to Medina del Campo to celebrate his First Mass after ordination. He had entered the Carmelites but felt unhappy thinking he was called to a more austere life of the Carthusians. St. Teresa had founded a reformed Carmelite community of nuns in the same town and was beginning a process of finding men to join her reform for the friars. This was to be a providential meeting. They met and talked and St. John confided to her his plans. St. Teresa for her part convinced John to join her reform and assured him that whatever he was looking for with the Carthusians, he would find in the Reformed Carmel. John agreed provided that he did not have to wait long.  John and Teresa suffered much for the reform of Carmel. It resulted in St. John being held prisoner for 9 months in a Toledo cell by his fellow Carmelite brothers. True to the practice of the times, he received the beatings and penalty imposed on a "renegade " religious. He was in a solitary confinement, deprived of any kind of mental or physical activity, in the cold and dark prison cell with a very small window to allow a little bit of light to enter. When the time ordained by God came, he escaped and made his way to a monastery of Reformed Carmelite Nuns in Toledo. They barely recognized him for they found him emaciated, confused and looking barely alive.
St. John's experience in imprisonment brought with it a purification of the purest quality. It would bring out the sparkle already in the diamond that was St. John. It produced the most beautiful poetry Spain  ever had, the 'Spiritual Canticle." John of the Cross would serve the Discalced Order in a spiritual way. He is considered to be the co-founder of the Order along with Saint Teresa of Avila. He died in Ubeda December 14, 1591 from a blood poisoning originating from a gangrenous ulcerated leg sore. He was beatified by Pope Clement January 25, 1675. His canonization occurred 50 years later on December 27, 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. He was declared a Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Pius XI August 24, 1926.
Personally, I love Saint John because he is a true voice of Truth. He is dependable because he doesn't water down the demands of the Gospel. He points to what is true and necessary and does not mince words to soften the blow. He challenges but at the same time he comforts with his words of love and understanding. He demands but at the same time understands the frailty of human nature. He holds up an ideal but makes room for human weakness. He feeds us with the solid meat of the spiritual. He is austere but at the same time poetic and eloquent. He speaks of mortification and detachment but always in the context of loving. He reminds us that we are special and loved by God. He reminds that we have been bought by the blood and death of Jesus and that nothing - no suffering, no trial, no persecution- can ever make us repay what He did out of love. Except to love Him back.

Saint John wrote his major works of The Dark Night, Ascent of Mount Carmel, Spiritual Canticle and Living Flame of Love. He also wrote some prose, prayers and Counsels. We have some surviving letters he wrote.   Saint John of the Cross is known as the Doctor of the Dark Night. That is an inaccurate description. His dark night was only a means to the greater end of transforming union in love. He is a Doctor of Love. Only if we see him in this light, will we cease to be afraid of him and his doctrine.

What is St. John's relevance in our modern day and age?  I believe first and foremost that he, like John the Baptist", is the voice that cries in the wilderness, "make straight the way of the Lord!" His voice bears the impact of conscience.  Our lives can become filled with so many needs, longings and wants, ambitions and plans.  We find our plates full , and yet, still go away hungry and thirsty.  We find ourselves in a world of options and freedoms, and yet, find ourselves enslaved and limited.   We find ourselves soaring so high in our spiritual adventure, and suddenly, find ourselves on a rapid descent and sometimes ending with a fatal crash on the ground of life.  What does John of the Cross say to all these?  "On the way to the mountain, nothing, nothing, nothing. And at the top of the mountain, still nothing."  (Ascent of Mount Carmel).  God is much greater than all the goods of this earth.  Much greater than the loftiest of our spiritual experiences.  Much greater than our mind can conceive.  He teaches us that the ascent to union with God is accomplished in darkness and nakedness.  He teaches that God is not found AFTER the darkness passes, but that God is IN the darkness, and to embrace this darkness is the surest way to find God.  Faith, Hope and Love, the three things that last.  In the end, these are the surest guides we can depend on. We are living in these times of faith-crisis.  We look for signs and miracles.  We exalt grand spiritual experiences and gravitate to what our intellect can understand.  We are confronted by worldly idols and created some ourselves.  We put out our hands and frantically grab whatever makes us happy, only to be disappointed because they all make us feel empty.  In short, we look for God in all the wrong places.  St. John invites us to journey WITHIN.


Saint John of the Cross, pray for us!

R.I.P Sister Patricia Francis Keating, O.Carm.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink



Sister M. Patricia Francis, O.Carm. died peacefully at St. Patrick’s Home on the morning of November 19, 2016, with the Sisters at  her bedside. Sr. Patricia Francis was in the 56 th year of her Religious Life.

Annie Mary Keating was born on August 1, 1933, entered the Congregation on September 7, 1960, and received the Habit on April 3, 1961.  She professed first vows on April 17, 1963 and made her perpetual profession on July 1, 1967.

In the early years of her religious life Sr. Francis was assigned to Cathedral Faculty House, St. Joseph’s Seminary and Mater Christi Seminary.  She was later assigned to Catholic Memorial Home, Fall River, MA (1971-1974), St. Teresa’s Manor, Manchester, NH (1974-1982), and Our Lady’s Manor, Dublin, Ireland, where she spent twenty-six years of her religious life (1982-2008). While at Our Lady’s Manor she worked in various areas of the Home including Housekeeping, Dietary, and Activities, and also helped keep the Refectory in good order.  She returned to the United States in 2008 upon being assigned to her final mission, St. Patrick’s Home, Bronx, NY, where her health steadily declined.

Sr. Francis loved to knit dolls used for raffle prizes for the Homes and did that right up until the time she broke her wrist.  She also loved her word search books and enjoyed time in the “pub” with her ginger ale, socializing with the residents.

Sr. M. Patricia Francis was welcomed Home by our beloved deceased Sisters during this month of the Holy Souls and now rejoices in their company.As we remember them, may they also remember us!


Wednesday, November 30, 20162:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Chapel (With Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m.)

St. Patrick’s Home

66 Van Cortlandt Park South

Bronx, New York 10463



Thursday, December 1, 201610:00 a.m.

 St. Patrick’s Chapel

St. Patrick’s Home



Thursday, December 1, 20162:00 p.m.

Queen of Carmel Cemetery

St. Teresa’s Motherhouse

600 Woods Road

Germantown, New York 12526


R.I.P Sister Rosemary Ann Rubocki, O.Carm.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink


Sister Rosemary Ann, O.Carm. died peacefully late in the evening of November 18, 2016 with the Sisters and her family present.  Sr. Rosemary was in the 34 th year of her Religious Life.

Rosemary Ann Rubocki was born on January 13, 1950 in Joliet, IL to Paul and Elizabeth (Elias) Rubocki.  She originally received the Habit on March 30, 1970 but left before making final profession.  After five years she entered again on June 4, 1982, professed temporary vows on June 5, 1983 and professed perpetual vows on December 8, 1984.  Always responding to a call to Carmel, Sr. Rosemary also spent time in a Carmelite Monastery and a Carmelite Hermitage as a transfer Sister.

Sr. Rosemary’s assignments included St. Joseph’s Manor, Villa Teresa, Ferncliff Nursing Home (1985-1991), St. Teresa’s Motherhouse (2003-2007), St. Margaret Hall (2007-2013), and was twice at  St. Patrick’s Residence, most recently since 2013. Over the years she served as Prioress, Assistant Administrator, Postulant Director, and Community Archivist, during which time she assisted in preparing the documentation needed to advance the Cause of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa.  Having been trained as a Social Worker, Sr. Rosemary was the Director of Social Service while at St. Patrick’s Residence the first time.  During her second assignment there, as she carried the cross of illness, she again tapped into her social work training by extending a listening ear to residents and families and offering them her prayerful support.

All the Carmelite Saints and all the Carmelite Souls have welcomed Sr. Rosemary Ann into the heavenly kingdom, and we rejoice in knowing that she now beholds for all eternity the face of the Living God.


Monday, November 28, 20162:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel(with Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m.)

St. Patrick’s Residence

1400 Brookdale Road

Naperville, IL 60563


Tuesday, November 29, 201610:00 a.m.

 Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chapel

St. Patrick’s Residence

Naperville, IL 60563


Tuesday, November 29, 2016 

Burial will follow the Mass

 Resurrection Cemetery  

Romeoville, IL 

Remembering Our Deceased Sisters

Friday, October 28, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink

As the month of November approaches, a special prayer service in remembrance of our deceased Sisters was held at Saint Teresa’s Motherhouse Chapel on October 28, 2016. It was attended by the Congregation’s Administrators and Prioresses who were at the Motherhouse for their meetings. The Avila Sisters also participated.  The names of the deceased were read.  "Heart Cards" bearing their names were placed on a beautiful trellis.  The participants then processed to pick a card and to pray for the deceased Sister whose name was on the card.  The prayer service brought back long gone faces of happy memories.

May the souls of our deceased Sisters rest in peace! May they receive the reward promised by Jesus to those who loved Him.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25)





Saturday, October 22, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink

The Carmelite Sisters sponsored the Annual Rosary Rally held at their Motherhouse in Germantown, NY. It has been a custom for those participating to walk in procession around the convent property, enjoy and  admire the foliage and beautiful scenery the Hudson Valley has to offer, and conclude with the highlight October crowning of Our Lady. This year, however, the weather was not conducive to a procession and the event was decidedly held in Chapel. The Eucharist was celebrated by Father Christopher J. Iannizzotto, O.Carm.
As in previous years, tables were set up for the many free religious items and books. Despite the rain, it turned out to be a beautiful day to honor Mary! Thanks to all who joined us! Hope to see you again next year!




2016 Jubilee Celebration

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | Comments (1) | Permalink

During this Year of Mercy, we give thanks to God for our Sisters who celebrated their 80th, 70th, 60th, 50th and 25th Religious Jubilees!  The event was held at Saint Teresa's Motherhouse in Germantown, NY on June 4, 2016 and was attended by Carmelite Sisters, families and friends.  Most Reverend Mitchell Thomas Rozanski, Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts was the Main Celebrant.    It was certainly a day filled with sunshine, joy and graces. 


Sr. M. Benigna Consolata Palmiere, O.Carm. 


Sr. Carolyn Therese Keane, O.Carm. (Not Pictured)

Sr. M. Xavier Frances Marchiony, O.Carm.


Sr. M. Shawn Bernadette Flynn, O.Carm.

Sr. Teresa Kennedy, O.Carm.

Sr. Mary Ellen Bernadette Magano, O.Carm.

Sr. M. Patricia of the Queen of Carmel Markey, O.Carm.


Sr. M. Shawn Bernard of the Holy Spirit Daniel, O.Carm.

Sr. Joseph Marie of the Holy Spirit Maloney, O.Carm.

Sr. Alice Webster, O.Carm.


Sr. M. Francis Pio Bucha, O.Carm.

Sr. M. Julie of St. Joseph McCarthy, O.Carm.

Sister Benigna, our 80th Jubilarian, also celebrated her 100th birthday this year! 



R.I.P Sister Veronica of the Little Flower, O.Carm.

Saturday, September 10, 2016 | Comments (2) | Permalink



Sister M. Veronica of the Little Flower, O.Carm. went home to the Lord very peacefully in the very early morning hours of September 9, 2016 in the 71 st year of her religious life.  Although she was of advanced age and slowly failing, there was no indication that Sr. Veronica’s death was imminent.

Born on November 1, 1918 in the Bronx, NY to Eugene and Constance (DeBlasio) Ciarlante, Ella Rita Ciarlante, (known as Eleanor) entered the Congregation on September 7, 1945 at St. Patrick’s Home.Taking the name Sr. M. Veronica of the Little Flower, she received the Carmelite Habit on March 19, 1946, professed first vows on June 16, 1947, and made her final profession on October 3, 1951.

During her 7 decades in Carmel, Sr. Veronica ministered in New York, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.She gave generously of herself to the apostolate in various capacities, including Dietary (she studied at the New York Institute of Dietetics), Housekeeping, Purchasing, and Administration.During her time at St. Rita’s Home in Columbus, OH (1969-1970 and 1985-1990), Sr. Veronica fulfilled the roles of Superior and Administrator, and was also appointed to the role of

Superior/Administrator for six of her seven years at Garvey Manor, Hollidaysburg, PA, where she was stationed from 1990-1997. She stayed the longest period of time at St. Patrick’s Home, Bronx, NY (1999-2009), followed by St. Patrick’s Manor (2009-2016) where she lived out her final years as a resident, and received loving care from our Sisters and staff.

Sr. Veronica loved to cook, especially Italian food, and was very proud of her Italian heritage. She always did her best in whatever she was asked to do, and was loved and respected by all who knew her.May the Lord whom she served so long and faithfully, now bring her into the joyous company of our Sisters who have gone before us.May Sr. M. Veronica of the Little Flower join them in praying for the blessing of good and holy vocations to our beloved Congregation.


Tuesday, September 13, 20162:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Holy Family Chapel      Evening Prayer at 7:00 p.m.

St. Patrick’s Manor

863 Central Street

Framingham, MA 10701-4892


Wednesday, September 14, 201610:00 a.m.

 Holy Family Chapel

St. Patrick’s Manor


Wednesday, September 14, 2016 2:00 p.m.

 Queen of Carmel Cemetery 

St. Teresa’s Motherhouse

Germantown, NY 12526 


Welcome Sisters!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink

Our Sisters in Temporary Vows with their Director invited the Novitiate and Sr. Mary O'Donovan (Vocation Director) for a great dinner-out and some fun. Twice a year the Temporary Vow Sisters return to the Motherhouse from their respective Mission Houses for a week of prayer, community and conferences. Seated from front left: Sr. Pia Ignatius, Sr. Maureen Paul, Sr. Hope Therese, Sr. Philomena Anne (novice). Seated from front right: Sr. Catherine Angeline, Sr. Mary (vocation director), Sr. Lois Ann (director of temporary vows), Sr. Luke Mary and Sr. Mary Josephine. Not pictured: Sr. Helena of Mary (novice director).

Renewal Program 2016

Tuesday, September 06, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink

On September 6 - October 1, the Annual Renewal Program for the  Carmelite Sisters will be held at Saint Teresa's Motherhouse in Germantown, New York. The program runs for a month with Retreat being held at the last week of the program.  During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Session I opens with reflections on "The Wideness of God's Mercy: Year of Mercy and Saint Faustina" given to us by Sister Caterina Esselen, O.L.M .  Sister Caterina is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy to which Sister Faustina belonged.  Sister has been proclaiming the message of Divine Mercy at conferences, in parishes, schools and prisons.  On the second week of the program (Session II), Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm. will speak on the topic of "Daughter of Carmel- Carmelite Spirituality in the Life of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa."  Father Mario is the current Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa and was recently appointed General Postulator for the Order of Carmelites effective 2017.  Reverend Leopold Glueckert, O.Carm . closes the program with his two-day talk on "The Carmelite Mystics ." Father Leo was a member of the Historical Commission for the Process of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa's Cause from 2004-2005.  For over 30 years, he has taught Carmelite history to the Novitiate in Middletown, NY.  During Session III, Sister Kelly Connors, P.M, JCD will be our speaker.  The title of her conferences is "Companions on the Journey- Tools for Successful Community Living."  Sister Kelly is a member of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, United States Province.  She serves as canonical consultant to various dioceses and religious institutes and speaks nationally and internationally on Canon Law and Religious Life.

The Renewal Program will close with a week-long Retreat preached by Reverend Peter DiMaria on October 1, Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.



  Relic of Saint Faustina.

  Sister M. Caterina Esselen, O.L.M

  Participants of the 2016 Carmelite Renewal Program with the Temporary Vow Sisters

87th Year Anniversary of Foundation

Saturday, September 03, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink


Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa (center) and her Six Companions

In 1929, Mother Mary Angeline Teresa pioneered a different approach to the care of the elderly and infirm. In addition to fulfilling physical and spiritual needs, she stressed the importance of a home-like atmosphere that encouraged residents to maintain their personal sense of dignity and independence. To that end Mother Angeline founded a new religious community - the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. With six other Sisters she set about making her vision a reality. From this relatively new beginning the work of the Congregation flourished and the Community was invited to work in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and as far west as Iowa. We currently serve in 20 facilities in the United States and Ireland. Mother Angeline Teresa’s philosophy of care is the keystone of the Carmelite commitment. The Sisters labor to make each Carmelite Home a genuine haven of love and Christian joy, serving each guest as if ministering to Our Lord Himself. Through their lives of prayer and in concert with the dedicated men and women who share their commitment to serve the elderly, the Carmelite Sisters share the Gospel message with the people of God and bring His love and healing to the Aged entrusted to their care. We are grateful to God for the continued grace of being able to minister to our beloved residents.  In these times of vocational and healthcare challenges, we continue to hope and pray, that the work began 87 years ago will continue to bear fruit and flourish for the greater glory of God and His Church!


"Foundation Tree" displayed in the Sisters Dining Room to celebrate the day.


Cassandra Tritto is the artist of the "Foundation Tree" and current employee of St. Teresa's Motherhouse.  Great job, Cassandra!


Foundation Day Photo Board display outside the Sisters Chapel at St. Teresa's Motherhouse