Formation Workshop

by Sr. Helena of Mary, O.Carm.

On January 26-28, 2018, Sr. Philomena, Sr. Helena and Sr. Mary, participated in a workshop sponsored by the Religious Formation Conference Region 7 members, at Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappinger Falls, NY.  It was attended by those in initial formation- pre-novices, postulants and novices- with their respective directors.  There were about 30+ participants and our own Carmelite brothers with Fr. Mario were also present.  The topic was on "Addictions" presented to us by a Marist Brother Sean Sammon, FMS , a renowned speaker and author of many related books.  It was a very enriching workshop on many aspects.  Brother Sean's expertise on the subject, along with his manner of clear, engaging, and organized presentation, afforded those present with a working knowledge and insight of this most relevant and significant issue in religious formation.

Aside from the opportunity to learn, the workshop also offered an opportunity to reconnect with new attendees from different religious communities. Religious communities represented were the Congregation of Notre Dame, Sisters of Saint Joseph (Brentwood), Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet (Latham), Felician Sisters, Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Religious Sisters Filippini, Sisters of Saints Cyril & Methodius, Franciscan Sisters of Allegheny, Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, Sisters of St. Joseph (Springfield), Order of the Holy Cross, and Carmelite Friars (St. Elias Province).

On Saturday evening, a social was organized with every congregation presenting some form of entertainment ranging from the serious to the comical. The Carmelite Sisters sang in parts "Seek Ye First." Sr. Mary performed a solo Air called "I Am Ireland" on her tin whistle and Sr. Philomena volunteered to lip-sync a song "The Voice" by Celtic Women.  Everyone had a ball! 

With Carmelite Friars

Brother Sean Sammon, FMS


A Christmas Visit to the Big Apple!

by Sr. Philomena Anne, O.Carm.

On December 27, 2017, my novice director Sr. Helena and I went to New York City, to see The Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall.  We left at 7:15 am for an 8:00 am bus schedule.  The show started at 11:00 and it was amazing! There was a part of the show in 3D and we got great seats up close. An organist on the side played a carol that looked very cool and the organ looked very complicated to play.  On the sides of the main stage, there were performers singing as they went up to the stage that you would not see in a DVD recorded performance of the Rockettes.  What cool special effects there were on stage that you would not get to see on a DVD either!  There was even a live nativity scene with live sheep and a camel. It was definitely much more exciting to see in person!  After the show, we got in line and Sr. Helena and I got our pictures taken with one of the Rockettes.  That was very cool. I told Sr. Helena I bet that was the first time they ever had their picture taken with Sisters! We got two hard copies- one for the Sisters’ pantry and one I sent to my family. We went to the afternoon Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The sanctuary was decorated beautifully for Christmas and the manger was huge. When Mass was over, we ate lunch at the NBC News building that had places to eat and to shop in.  After lunch, we went to the decorated windows of Saks Fifth Avenue.  The theme was the 100th anniversary of Sleeping Beauty. The windows were dressed with scenes from Sleeping Beauty.  We took some pictures next to some of the windows with a funny part of that one man who decided to pose in our picture to be funny, and of course, we did not realize it until after we already took the shot and he was there! We also visited the skating rink at Rockefeller Center.  We saw the huge Christmas tree and took a few pictures. We had a few hours until our bus home so we went to Time Square since I have never seen it. The buildings were huge and there were so many giant, lighted up billboards. We then took the subway train to the bus station and got some coffee on the bus home.  The New York skyline at night with all the buildings lit up was so pretty! Something I had only seen on postcards. It was a wonderful experience to be there during the Christmas Season!  I thoroughly enjoyed it! 
Posed with a Rockette

Santa with the Rockette reindeers

The Big Apple Trolley Bus

Live Nativity Scene

Saint Patrick's Cathedral

Saks Fifth Avenue Sleeping Beauty windows

A bite of the Big Apple

The Rockefeller Center

Times Square