The Nuns believe that God is leading them to embark on the endeavor of relocating and building a new monastery. This is because some major concerns have arisen about the monastery’s present building and location. A few of these are: the presence of one of the country’s largest shooting ranges across the street; the increasing maintenance problems of an old building; and finding space for a growing community. The Nuns (with help from Friends of Carmel JMJ) have found a beautiful piece of property in the Gettysburg area, and, God-willing, would like to build a new “little dovecot of Carmel” in that corner of the Harrisburg diocese.
Their plans are relatively modest. For a small chapel (capacity of eighty) they would like to use traditional European architectural designs and native Pennsylvania stone. The attached monastery, tucked behind this chapel, would be built with the gentle austerity and simplicity which has always characterized the houses of Discalced Carmelite Nuns.
Knowing that the Nuns will need funds and support to carry this project to completion, we, the Friends of Carmel, have come forward to do what we can. Down through the centuries our forbearers raised visible testimonies of their faith. These chapels, churches, cathedrals and monasteries still stand today in our cities and countryside, monuments in stone and wood to the beauty that is created when God and man work together. We too wish to give testi-mony to our faith, working with God to create something beautiful, and we invite you to join us.
Here is a little of the history behind the Nuns’ decision to re-locate and build a new monastery. At first they pursued the possibility of a renovation and expansion of the existing building. They were told by architects and other advisors that such an endeavor would be neither practical nor cost effective. An entirely new building, they said, would be actually much more feasible. After careful examination of different options, it was concluded that the Elysburg land would not be ideal for such a project. So, in the summer of 2012, we to help the Nuns search for another property within the diocese. We were providentially directed to a property owned by a Catholic widow who was looking for buyers. She and her late husband had been convinced that their land was meant for a mission. When she met us, she be-lieved that the construction of a Discalced Carmelite Monastery was this mission ..so did we.
The Nuns believe the land is perfect for their permanent home. It is in a rural area, but very close to a large Catholic seminary and college, Mount St. Mary’s, and other Catholic shrines, as well as being not too far from major cities, airports, and highways. The contours of the land itself suggests seclusion and privacy, while at the same time allowing a wide view of the surrounding countryside.
In answer to the Nuns’ prayer to the Infant Jesus, on Christmas Day 2015 a kind gentleman stepped forward and offered to fund the preliminary stages of the excavation. With this gift, the Nuns are now able to move towards their goal of eventually building a new monastery and chapel here in the diocese of Harrisburg. We wish to help the Nuns obtain the funds necessary to begin construction after this groundwork is completed. Please consider helping us help the Nuns!
Carmelite monasteries in Spain from which the Nuns hope to draw inspiration for creating the plans for their new monastery.
A cloistered monastery: a sort of self-enclosed village for Nuns who never leave its walls.
Rick Castriano is a professional civil engineer who has generously offered his services to the Nuns as they plan for their New Monastery. He is here shown looking over plans at the Nun’s property.
Riccardo Vicenzino, the head of a New York City architectural firm, is committed to creating a building that will best express and foster the Nuns’ Carmelite way of life. Here he and his associate Peter Guidetti are at work, surrounded by their many sketches and images of the new Monastery.
Michael Bauer is a mechanical/nuclear engineer. He has assisted the Nuns in the development of floor plans and artistic 3D models for the new monastery.
Friends of Carmel JMJ
430 Monastery Rd.
Elysburg, PA 17824
It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.