Carmelite Events

100th Fatima Centenary

Saturday, February 04, 2017 | Comments (0) | Permalink

by Sister Helena of Mary, O.Carm.

The year 2017 marks the 100th year of Mary’s apparitions to the three children at Fatima, Portugal.  In order to celebrate with dignity this centennial, Pope Francis has mandated a Jubilee Year, with the inherent plenary indulgence, from November 27, 2016 to November 26, 2017.

You can read more about it HERE.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York  held an Enthronement Ceremony of a special statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on February 4, 2017.  There was Mass celebrated by Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., Scriptural Rosary participated by both Lay Carmelites, Carmelites in initial formation and the public at large.  Our novice Sister Philomena and I attended.  Below is a short history of the Statue of Mount Carmel installed at the Shrine as found in the booklet circulated at the event:

 

"In the final Fatima vision on October 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Lucia Dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, clothed as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and holding the Brown Scapular in her hands.

Lucia joined the Discalced Carmelite nuns in 1947.  Father Donald O’Callaghan, O.Carm. and Father Albert Ward, O.Carm. visited Sister Lucia at her convent in Coimbra, Portugal to speak with her about how Mary appeared as Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the last vision.

With the help of Father Louis Gonzaga Oliveira, O.Carm., Father O’Callaghan commissioned the famous sculptor, Jose Ferreira Thedim to create a statue based on Sister Lucia’s interpretation of the vision.  The statue embodies the vision exactly as described by Sister Lucia.  Our Lady is holding the Brown Scapular in her hand.  The presence of Jesus as a child in this vision is also significant because he seems to be waiting and anxious to receive into his small arms all who will take the scapular.

The statue of the final vision was blessed on September 13, 1949 by the Bishop of Fatima before being shipped to New York.  It was displayed at Our Lady of the Scapular Carmelite Parish in Manhattan and blessed by Francis Cardinal Spellman on July 16, 1950.

The Carmelites left Our Lady of the Scapular-St. Stephen’s in 2007 but the statue remained in Manhattan.  In November 2014, Father Mario Esposito, O.Carm. asked that the statue be returned to the Carmelites of the Saint Elias Province and in July 2015 it was brought back to Middletown, New York.

Father Michael Kissane, O.Carm. directed that the statue be cleaned and restored to its former beauty.Plans are currently underway to have it permanently installed at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York."

 


 

 

 

 

 



Celebrating Advent!

Sunday, November 29, 2015 | Comments (0) | Permalink

"Advent, this powerful liturgical season that we are beginning, invites us to pause in silence to understand a presence. It is an invitation to understand that the individual events of the day are hints that God is giving us, signs of the attention he has for each one of us. How often does God give us a glimpse of his love! To keep, as it were, an "interior journal" of this love would be a beautiful and salutary task for our life! Advent invites and stimulates us to contemplate the Lord present. Should not the certainty of his presence help us see the world with different eyes? Should it not help us to consider the whole of our life as a "visit", as a way in which he can come to us and become close to us in every situation?" -

Benedict XVI, Homily at First Vespers of Advent, November 28, 2009.

 

Novena to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 | Comments ((Disabled)) | Permalink

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and Holy Face, OCD

Feast Day: October 1

 by Sister Helena of Mary, O.Carm.

September 23rd marks the beginning of our novena to St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  Over 100 years after her death, St. Therese is as popular and lovable as ever.  Some attribute it to her winning personality and her ability to attract people of different personalities from different cultures, making her the "greatest Saint of modern times." But Therese was not just a charming little girl or a good Religious, or a deeply Catholic young woman. Her spiritual doctrine is attractive because it speaks to the core of every man and woman's heart: that even in our weakness, and especially because of our weakness, God loves us. "It is so good to know that I am weak and in need of God's mercy", she exclaimed. "I am not afraid of the justice of God because justice is giving to someone his or her due, and God knows we are nothing but dust."  In Therese, we see our own weaknesses, our deep desires and longings. Her scruples are our struggles, her victories and failures mirror our own.  She gives us hope because she proves to us that hoping in God will yield fruits and that our hope will never be in vain. She saw the misery of man, embraced it in faith, hope and love, and showed us that weakness is not a hindrance to union with God.  She was a breath of fresh air to a world which saw perfection and heroic deeds as standards of greatness.  Therese redefined the essence of perfection and elevated it to perfection in love.  It is not what we do for God which matters, it is what God does in us, and through us.  It is not doing extraordinary deeds which matters, it is doing something ordinary in an extraordinary way.   In Therese, love alone counts.  "It is love alone which attracts me."  And yet, hers was a love defined not in sweetness and consolations, not in flowers and rainbows.   She proves to us that true love, true charity, is borne in true knowledge of the person of Jesus, nurtured in aridity and spiritual darkness, effected by the act of the will, and bears fruit in complete self forgetfulness and sacrifice.  She was a true daughter of St. John of the Cross who said:  "He who seeks not the Cross of Christ, seeks not the glory of Christ."  Therese can be easily misunderstood because of the flowery, romantic words and phrases she used to express herself.  But if one tries to get pass the language, one will find a treasure and source of inner peace in her writings.  As we begin to honor her with nine days of prayers, let us get to know her again by re-reading the story of her life.  Many of us have read the Story of A Soul so many times.  But just like the life of Christ, we can always glean new insights and learn new lessons from the experiences of this girl who called herself "Little Therese."

"God, our Father, you have promised your kingdom to those who are willing to become like little children.  Help us to follow the way of Saint Therese with confidence, so that by her prayers we may come to know your eternal glory.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen."

 The rest of the nine-day novena clips can be found on YouTube.

Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

Wednesday, October 01, 2014 | Comments (0) | Permalink
The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm celebrated the Feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus in a special Carmelite liturgy offered by Very Reverend Mario Esposito, O.Carm.  After Mass, each Sister was invited to venerate the Saint's relic and to receive a blessed rose in her honor. At the prompting of Mother Agnes of Jesus, Saint Therese's oldest sister and Prioress of Lisieux Carmel at the time of St. Therese's death, the future Saint described her mission as "sending down a shower of roses" to those who ask for her help.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, pray for us!



Prayer to Saint Elijah- Leader and Father of Carmelites

Saturday, July 19, 2014 | Comments (2) | Permalink

Feast Day:  July 20

 

"O glorious St. Elijah, ever a mirror of sanctity and justice, while living in this valley of tears, obtain for us of God the grace to be your followers on earth, that we may one day be partakers with you in the everlasting glory in heaven.  O great Patriarch of the Order of Mount Carmel, teacher of God's people and the defender of their Faith, disperse, we entreat you, the darkness of our intellect, obscured by our evil passions, and preserve in our hearts the Faith which is kept living by works of charity.  O holy Patriarch of the Most high, taken into heaven in a chariot of fire, and who shall be the precursor of Christ, when He shall come in the splendor of his infinite majesty to judge the living and the dead, pray for us, that loving Him and sincerely serving Him on earth, we may have the great happiness of loving Him for all eternity in the blessed kingdom of heaven.  Amen."

Christmas Novena

Saturday, December 17, 2011 | Comments (0) | Permalink

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 December 17-25 "Adorable Infant Jesus, you not only humbled yourself to assume our human nature, but chose also to come to us a little child, weakest and most defenseless among us.  Teach us , then, to learn the real greatness of humility, and that human strength is made perfect in weakness by your divine aid. Lovable Infant Jesus, have mercy on us and help us in our need.  Let us rely alone on God, our most provident Father, who watches over us always.  By your grace may we approach our heavenly Father in confidence, with a trust like that of a little child.  Admirable Infant Jesus, have pity on our littleness and weakness and assist us by your divine power in our present necessity.  Please help us today to reverence all life, and for your sake to love all living things which your goodness created and your coming recreated.  Amen. V: Lord, you made us little less than the angels. R: You have crowned us with your glory and honor. Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace and King of the Universe, you chose to come among us as a helpless Infant in order that we might all approach you more readily, confidently and without fear.  In your goodness, Divine Infant, manifest your power to all, preserve us from sin and bring us safe at last into your heavenly company. Amen."