Carmelite Events

Little Sisters of the Poor Supreme Court Hearing

Thursday, March 24, 2016 | Comments (0) | Permalink

    by Mother Mark Louis Anne, O.Carm.

                 
The morning of March 23rd dawned warm and sunny.  Unlike the Hudson valley, flowering trees  were starting to blossom in Washington, D.C..  It was perfect weather for a rally, and one had been planned months in advance for the Little Sisters of the Poor Supreme Court case.

At the invitation of CMSWR, Sisters from California, Nebraska, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York and other areas converged at the Little Sisters home on Tuesday, March 22 for an evening supper and briefing by the Becket Fund staff.  They explained in detail the reasoning in the case. While the Federal Government granted an accommodation to religious organizations to have contraceptives and abortifacients paid for by the government and administered by the Sisters’ health plan under a separate section, this arrangement still remains ethically tied to the Little Sisters.  Their refusal to sign the accommodation subjects them to fines of 70 million dollars per year.  Curiously, large corporations such as Chevron, Exxon and Pepsi and grandfathered in and exempted.  In addition, the US Military and some large cities do not have to abide by the contraception mandate. So, one in three employer plans are already exempt.  The Becket Fund argues – why can’t religious organizations such as the Little Sisters be exempt as well.  Contraceptives could be provided by government health insurance exchanges and leave religious groups to follow their consciences.  That is an obvious win-win for all.

Sr. Mary Rose, Sr. Cyril, Sr. Jean Davis and I attended the rally, representing the Carmelite Sisters in the spirit of Mother Angeline, who would want us to support her beloved Little Sisters.  We had a lovely ride down on Amtrak, and were welcomed overnight at the Paulist Center.  Buses brought us to the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, and we had placards and were in chant and song mode by 8:30 a.m. in front of the steps.  (We were not allowed on them.)  Planned Parenthood had a rally next to ours, but the two groups kept to themselves and were peaceful.  There were representatives from other religions with us, some of whom were part of the court case, and many college students as well. Our own Stacey Jackson was also in attendance.  About 10:30 we had a series of speakers talk briefly about the issues.  One was the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, who spoke passionately and read a Scripture passage.  At 11:30 the oral arguments were over, and Little Sisters leadership along with the Becket attorneys came out of the Court building and down the steps to be interviewed by the press. There was a surge of cheers and song greeting the Sisters, and they felt the love and support of all.  We then proceeded to a lunch sponsored by the Becket Fund at which we shared the table with the Provost of East Texas Baptist University, who gave us a school pin and a blessing to send us on our way.  We then moved quickly to Union Station for the ride home. Carrying one of the signs with us, we were given thumbs up by a number of people in the street and on the train. 

Our Sisters felt very blessed to be part of this event and were given hope by the warmth and support of so many people – especially the youth, some of whom were at the Court by 6:30 a.m.  Please pray that the Court finds in favor of the Little Sisters so they can continue their ministry in peace.  That is their great hope.

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Blessing of Mother Angeline Heritage Center

Thursday, May 21, 2015 | Comments (1) | Permalink

 

by Mother Mark Louis Anne Randall, O.Carm.

Prioress General

A very hearty welcome to all our guests on this special day!  We are delighted that Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard could be with us to bless the new Mother Angeline Heritage Center and are also pleased to welcome Fr. James Donlon and Fr. John Moyna of the Tribunal of Mother Angeline’s Cause, Brother Robert Chiulli, assistant vice-Postulator, Sr. Stephen and Regine, our archivists, Fr. Ashley Harrington, O.Carm.,  and those who work on and promote Mother’s Cause.  It is a delight to have Mother Angeline’s family with us, and they didn’t even have to battle snow to get here! And of course, last but not least, our Sisters, who have turned out in record numbers for this important occasion.

There are special people I have not mentioned yet, but their names will unfold with the background on this beautiful building.  To appreciate this day, we have to look back four years when the Council and I began thinking about a way to honor Mother and her companions in a special way, to share their stories, and the history of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm with more people than we could with our well organized but small Motherhouse Heritage Room. But where do we start?

Enter Rev. Richard Vosko, a priest of the Diocese of Albany, and specialist in the building of sacred spaces.  Father Vosko helped us focus on what we hoped to accomplish and referred us to those who could help make our dream a reality.  He helped facilitate our meetings until the project was well underway.  Kerns Group Architects of Arlington, Virginia were engaged, as was Michael Callan, our exhibit designer.  We began the project with the Zandri Construction Company, but sadly, its principal Dick Zandri died suddenly, and the company was not able to continue without him.  Happily, Geoff Miles, our Zandri based project manager for the McCrory Center project was able to pick up the reins as a consultant and see the project to completion.  He did this with the invaluable assistance of our own Bill Clark and later the supervisory skills of Jeff Griffin.  I cannot emphasize enough the creativity, care and hard work of this team and its firm determination to have everything built to perfection.

The project has been far from simple.  Where do we build? How do we build?  What do we present?  Father Vosko kept us on track through all the initial stages.  There were so many large and small decisions made along the way by the former and present Councils.  There were delays and usual problems which came up but handled with faith that all would work out in the end.  And it has!

So here we are today, telling the story of Mother Angeline and our Congregation in this beautiful building built so carefully and lovingly.  We hope it will not only educate people about Mother but provide a place of peace and reflection.  We thank all those who in any way contributed to this building – those already named and the artists who added the final touches in wood, glass, stone and bronze - Mr. Robert Whelan, who painted Mother’s portrait, Sr. Margaret Beaudette SC, who sculpted Mother in bronze, Kevin Morgan and staff who created the beautiful stained glass window and David Bacharach who designed the monstrance sculpture in the garden. We especially thank Michael Callan for capturing Mother’s essence in word and picture and Empire for fabricating the panels you see around the Center.

There are many people not here today who also contributed to the funding of this project with gifts large and small.  We will have a special donor reception on August 29, at which time the donor panel on the way in the building will be activated. We will also have an open house on September 12 and hope our neighbors in the area will take the opportunity to visit us and see the rich history here at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse.

In the meantime we proceed with the blessing of this center.  For this occasion, we have something special.  Having recently visited Ireland for the annual Board Meeting at Our Lady’s Manor, we were able to take a trip north to Tyrone – to St. Brigid’s Church in Brocagh, where Mother Angeline lived her early life.   A special Mass in the Church where she was baptized opened with the sprinkling rite.  The baptismal font used to baptize Mother was filled with water, blessed, and the Congregation sprinkled with it.  We were able to fill a few holy water bottles from the font after Mass and brought some home to use on this special occasion.  So the circle is complete – from the beginning of Mother’s life to a celebration of it here at the Mother Angeline Heritage Center.

May this building be a source of many blessings for others.  Thank you for being here and for all you do for our Congregation.

 

PHOTO GALLERY


 

 

 

 

 

 

Official Statement: "The Sisterhood Project"

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 | Comments (6) | Permalink

Mother Mark Louis Anne Randall, O.Carm.

Superior General

The Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm were approached earlier in the year by Hot Snakes Media to participate in a docu-series on discerning a vocation to the religious life.  The series, named THE SISTERHOOD, was being filmed for the Lifetime Channel. It involved young women who felt a call to religious life and their visits to various religious communities for a week at a time, participating in their prayer life, community and ministry.

We were initially skeptical about the concept, especially as discernment is a lengthy and relatively private process. Multiple discussions with principals at Hot Snakes and Lifetime, however, convinced us that their intent was to respectfully highlight the life of women religious and offer a glimpse of that life to viewers who may have limited knowledge of or exposure to religious sisters. 

While we, as other religious communities, would rather quietly go about our daily lives without fanfare, we also recognize that our Holy Father is asking us to step outside our comfort zone and bring the light of Christ to those who may not otherwise be touched by His message. By our participation in The Sisterhood, we hope to communicate in some small way the beauty and peace that comes from living a life dedicated to the Lord, bring greater understanding of what religious life is all about and invite young women to consider the possibility of a religious vocation.  We also wish to convey our deep love and care for the elderly we serve, fostered in us by our Foundress, Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa and nurtured through our prayer and community life in Carmel.

 

 Photo Courtesy: MyLifetime.com