Year of Faith: Guidance from a Carmelite Saint
Published on Friday, November 9 2012 10:07 PM
At times, when I am reading certain spiritual treatises in which perfection is shown through a thousand obstacles, surrounded by a crowd of illusions, my poor little mind quickly tires; I close the learned book that is breaking my head and drying up my heart, and I take up Holy Scripture. Then all seems luminous to me; a single word uncovers for my soul infinite horizons, perfection seems simple to me, I see it is sufficient to recognize one’s nothingness and to abandon oneself as a child into God’s arms.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Letters II: 1093-4
Buy Coffee and Help Support The Nuns
Published on Thursday, May 24 2012 5:30 AM
For those of you who drink coffee every day, you will be happy to learn that Friends of Carmel JMJ has partnered with Mytic Monks Coffee to help support the financial needs of the Monastery.
To help the Nuns and enjoy Mystic Monk Coffee
in the process just go to the above drop down menu "Help The Sisters" > "Get a Coffee Subscription"
and then fill up your cart for Carmel.
You can order one or more types of coffee and for each bag in your subscription the Nuns will receive a $3.00 donation. If we can sign up 100 year long subscriptions of 3 bags each we have the potential to earn over $10,000.00 for the Nuns.
What an easy way to show your support for these wonderful Nuns who spend almost 8 hours of their day in prayer for our spiritual and physical well-being.
If you have any questions about the Coffee Drive
, just call me at the phone number to the right or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. As always, thank you for your support
and, as the Nuns say, "you can be assured of our prayers."
Anthony DiSanto, Treasurer
The Catholic Witness Article - Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Carmelite Community Welcomes Bishops for Celebration of Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
By Jen Reed
The Catholic Witness
Published on Saturday, March 24 2012 9:10 PM
The Discalced Carmelite Nuns enclosed at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg found themselves doubly blessed as they celebrated the July 16 feast of their patroness – Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Present for the Solemn High Mass celebrated in the monastery’s chapel were Harrisburg Bishop Joseph P. McFadden and Pittsburgh Auxiliary Bishop William J. Waltersheid.
“It was a wonderful blessing that we had very much been looking forward to,” Mother Stella Marie, prioress, said of the feast day celebration, for which Bishop Waltersheid served as celebrant and homilist and at which Bishop McFadden was present.
“It was a day of great grace for us,” she told The Catholic Witness
As former Diocesan Secretary for Clergy and Consecrated Life, Bishop Waltersheid worked with former Harrisburg Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades to establish the community in Elysburg – the second order of Discalced Carmelites in the diocese – in 2009.
The nuns are quick to acknowledge the support they’ve received from Bishop McFadden, Bishop Rhoades and Bishop Waltersheid.
In his homily during the July 16 Mass, Bishop Waltersheid called upon those gathered – the nuns enclosed behind an iron grille enclosing them in the monastery and the faithful seated in the chapel’s pews – to “pray today in a very special way for all in the Diocese of Harrisburg here on the Mount, Mount Carmel.”
“Today, we celebrate her feast. We celebrate her, who reaches out to each one of us in a very special way,” Bishop Waltersheid said.
“What a great gift of grace for us all to be here on this holy ground. It is truly holy ground here on this hill,” he remarked.
The Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Elysburg, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Danville and the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary in Lancaster are the three contemplative communities of nuns in the diocese.
There are currently 14 Discalced Carmelite Nuns at the monastery in Elysburg, and their community members are young. Five are in solemn vows, and the remaining are in formation. The youngest is 18.
The congregation was officially accepted in the Church in 1226, though Carmelites trace their origins from Old Testament times as they consider themselves daughters of the Prophet Elijah. In 1251, St. Simon Stock, the general superior of the Carmelite order, received the Brown Scapular from Our Lady during an apparition. She promised special help to those who wear the Scapular with devotion.
The Discalced Carmelite Nuns encourage the faithful to wear the Brown Scapular as a sign of devotion to Mary, whom they strive to imitate.
“Just as a priest is an alter Christus
or ‘other Christ,’ we try to be ‘other Marys’ so that we can support the priesthood by our prayers, just as Our Blessed Mother supported Our Lord throughout his ministry by her silent prayers and her silent presence,” Mother Stella Marie noted.
Their apostolate is to pray for the needs of the Church and for the world. They live a strictly cloistered life in order to set themselves apart from the world and dedicate themselves to God.
The nuns awake at 4:30 a.m., pray parts of the Divine Office eight times a day, attend daily Mass and pray before the Blessed Sacrament twice daily.
Prayer intentions can be submitted to them via mail or at the entrance of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph at 430 Monastery Road, Elysburg, Pa., 17824. Faithful are also welcome to attend Mass at the monastery Monday-Friday at 7 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand the why and the wherefore of our life because we are very hidden,” Mother Stella Marie said. “We just would like all the faithful of the diocese to know that we are bonded with each and every one of them. We are very much a part of their lives in the sense that we pray daily for each and every person. No one should hesitate to write for intentions or to come by and give their intentions at the turnstile. Even though we are hidden, we haven’t forgotten anyone. We feel very united with them.”