The Formation team and  four novices visited Hyde Park, New York on December 23rd for this year's display of nativity scenes from all over the world.  The location is called Mariapolis Illuminosa of the Focolare Movement.  The interesting  scenes of the birth of Christ depicted in different cultures certainly capture this one moment in history- a Child was born, not just to a particular race and nation, but as Savior of the world.


Sr. Luke points to a nativity scene painted on a framed leaf from India
Sr. Maureen Paul with Mexican display



The Novices are geared up to celebrate the coming of Jesus on Christmas day!  Whether it be putting up Christmas decorations around the novitiate wing, or baking cookies to give as gifts to special recipients, the spirit of the Season is definitely in full swing with just five days to go before Christmas!  Merry Christmas to one and all!



by Sr. Hope Therese, O.Carm

My favorite virtue is HOPE.  It has literally been with me my whole life.  In order to explain just how important the virtue of hope is to me, I will need to give a little of my background.  I was born and baptized Dianna Hope Maring.  My parents had hoped they would have another child.  Little did my parents know just how much I would need that virtue.  From the time I was born I have had various medical issues.  My family and I hoped and prayed that everything would turn out fine.  Through the grace of God all of these issues have been resolved.  In college, I had to do fieldwork placements to become an occupational therapist assistant.  I thought I wanted to work with children because I had occupational therapy as a child.  Playing with children is fun.  Working with them is difficult and complicated.  The children had Individualized Education Plans that I did not find holistic or realistic.  I dropped out of one fieldwork placement with children and failed another.  Clearly God was telling me to go in another direction.  I was despairing over what to do with my life.  I could not figure out God’s plan for me.  With a heavy heart and lack of confidence, I decided to do two more fieldwork placements.  Both of them were in nursing homes.  One was with a COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant).  The other was with an activity director.  My favorite was with the activity director.  I did very well in both of these placements.


by Sr. Mary Catherine Angeline, O.Carm.

Mary, our Mother and Sister, is a true gift to us in Carmel.  Throughout the centuries Carmelites have always been under her patronage.  In our Carmelite tradition as found in the Book of Kings and Carmelite liturgy, Mary was represented by the small and humble cloud appearing on the horizon to announce the end of the drought at the time of Elijah the prophet. She has always been the source of refuge and grace for all Carmelites.  She takes the place of model and intercessor for us and acts as guide on our journey to move ever closer to her Son Jesus.  As I begin my life in Carmel, I find this relationship with the Queen and Mother of Carmel, in living the interior life.  Trying to imitate Mary, who most assuredly always had her Son in her heart and mind, uniting her being to His, I search and strive to cultivate a spirit of prayer and recollection.  We are to be available to the Spirit of love in Community and wherever his Providence places us.   As we are conscious of our weaknesses and limitations, we implore daily her protection to heal and lift us up.  With a gaze of love directed towards her, we implore to accomplish all that God desires for each of us.  Through her hands, we ask for mediation to perfect our offerings to her Son for the world at large.  In this way, Love triumphs over suffering, as Christ triumphed over sin and death for the salvation of souls. 

Mary, Beauty of Carmel, pray for us.



Advent signals the start of a new liturgical year.  In the different convents and monasteries of the Carmelite Order, the Holy Infant Procession has been part of our tradition.  After the First Sunday Eucharistic celebration, Sr. Maureen Paul carried the Holy Infant Jesus, in procession with the rest of the Community.  The Infant will then spend a night with each Sister as part of the Advent waiting for Christmas.




The Novitiate is a time of learning.  Although religious formation is an ongoing process and does not stop even after one has professed religious vows, the novitiate is especially dedicated to an intense exploration of one's vocation, Scripture and Church documents studies, community life and prayer, and integrating the Rule and Constitutions of the Order to daily living.  An essential aspect of religious formation touches on work.

The Rule of Carmel says "You must have some sort of work to do, so that the devil may find you always occupied, lest because of your idleness he manage to find some way of entering into your soul.  In this you have the teaching and the example alike of the blessed apostle Paul, in whose mouth Christ spoke, who has been appointed and given by God as preacher and teacher of the nations in faith and truth; if you follow him you cannot go astray." (Rule of Carmel, Chapter 20)



Baking some pretzels, rolo, and nut delicacy for our employees at St. Teresa's Motherhouse in thanksgiving for all they do for the Sisters throughout the year!



Our four novices celebrated their first Thanksgiving Day in Carmel with much gratitude and excitement.
Sharing her first impression, Sr. Hope Therese has this to say: " It was beautiful. It really made me feel at home. The altar was beautiful; the tables were set up very nicely.  I missed my family but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  At this point, I’m really getting more attached to the Sisters. They’re becoming more and more like my own family."  Sr. Mary Catherine also shared the same sentiment with an added reflection on Thanksgiving Day's Eucharistic meaning for her. "My first Thanksgiving here was very exciting!  To see the combination of Eucharist, Mass, and the dinner we had with the Community, was very significant for me."  "I truly enjoyed my first thanksgiving in Carmel with my Sisters.  The turkey and all the trimmings were wonderful! The tables were beautiful and I really felt I was with my Carmelite family" added Sr. Maureen Paul.  Sr. Luke Mary was speechless and could only agree on what have been said so far!

(L to R:  Sr. Mary Catherine, Sr. Hope Therese, Sr. Maureen Paul, Sr. Luke Mary)


Remembering All Carmelite Souls

On November 3, 2012, the Carmelite Friars of the St. Elias Province, celebrated a Mass of Remembrance for their deceased members.  The Eucharistic celebration was held at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York with Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm., as the main celebrant.  The celebration was also attended by other Friars of the St. Elias Province, Third Order Carmelites, Brothers in Formation and their Directors, Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm and Novices, as well as many other friends of the Carmelite family.  After Mass, the congregation walked in solemn procession to the cemetery located within the grounds of the shrine for the blessing and prayers for the dead.

May Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Gate of Heaven, intercede for all the souls of the faithful departed! May they rest in peace!


by Sr. Hope Therese Angeline, O.Carm

My family visited me twelve days after receiving the Carmelite habit.  It was so great to see them and we had a wonderful time! Visiting me were my parents John and Jo Ellen, my sister Melissa, my brother- in- law Scott, and nine-month-old baby nephew, Jacob.  Everyone looked great!  We chatted and took pictures and had a delicious lunch.  We took a short walk and took more pictures!  Then we played card games and chatted some more.  Can you guess what we did before they left?  That’s right.  We took some more pictures!  It’s easy to understand since they had no pictures of me in habit yet.  It was thrilling to see Jacob sitting up and “commando crawling” on his stomach for the first time.  Seeing these milestones is very precious to me.   I think they all got a little teary eyed from seeing me in the habit for the first time but they were tears of joy.  It shows me how far we’ve come from when my parents and I were shedding tears of sorrow after my first visit as a postulant.  That was the most difficult time in my vocation so far because of my severe homesickness and doubts.  Now all doubts are gone.  The homesickness remains but it is not as bad as it once was.  All visits are bittersweet but now they are more sweet than bitter.  The difference in my first visit as a postulant and my first visit as a novice makes me think of the difference between Jesus meeting his mother on the road to Calvary and meeting her in all his glory after his resurrection.  Nothing but God’s grace could have brought us this far and helped us heal from the separation.  Every visit is becoming less draining and more rejuvenating.  Visits from my family are my oasis in the Carmelite desert.  I eagerly look forward to every one!  However, I am growing to love my Carmelite family more and more every day.  I am beyond blessed to have two fantastic families who know and love me, and most important of all, care for my spiritual well-being.  We are all helping each other get to heaven.  That is what families are for.  Some day we will be together for eternity, glorifying God!    


 What An Exciting Day!

October 13th was the day designated for our Novices to receive their first visit from their families after they received the Carmelite habit.  Sr. Hope Therese and Sr. Luke Mary were thrilled to have their loved ones come that day and to spend some extra special time with them.  It was also a special time for the Sisters to meet their "extended family" and to share lunch with them.  Thankfully, the day was as perfect as could be, for a little ground walking and picture taking.  Avila was at its finest that day!

Sr. Hope Therese with  Mom ( Jo Ellen Maring)

Sr. Hope Therese with Mom and Dad.  A beautiful portrait of St. Therese was given to Sr. Hope by her sister Melissa.
The Maring Family
Sr. Luke Mary's family
Sr. Luke Mary's sister and brother.



On this Feast of St. Therese, October 1, 2012, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm thank God for the grace of welcoming new Sisters to our Congregation.  The Reception Ceremony started with the four Postulants entering the Chapel and gathering in front of the main altar.  They were then asked the question, “What do you desire?” The Postulants then responded, “I ask the mercy of God and the habit of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I wish to learn and to live this way of life and to be tested, so that I may be admitted to this religious Community for the following of Christ.”  After invoking God’s blessings, the holy habits were then blessed and given to each Postulant by Mother Mark Louis Anne, Superior General, as they left Chapel.


   The Postulants then returned to Chapel dressed in the Carmelite habit and knelt down to receive their religious names:  “Your name in religion will be- Sr. Luke Mary Angeline, Sr. Mary Catherine Angeline, Sr. Maureen Paul Angeline and Sr. Hope Therese Angeline.”
The Chapel then filled with applause as the Community gave a warm welcome to our new Novices!  The Eucharistic celebration of the Feast of Saint Therese then followed.  Our main celebrant, Father Ashley Harrington, O.Carm, of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province, thanked God for the graces bestowed upon the new novices and our Congregation.  It was appropriate that Father Ashley would make “remembrance” as the theme of the day.  This happy event, experienced by all the Sisters who by their own calling answered the call of God, is an invitation to our new Sisters to etch and to cherish in their memories this “first hour, of the first day, of their Carmelite religious life.”   The journey has started, and the road is long, but for those who chose to follow the Will of God in their lives, every day of the journey is a new beginning since the Will of God is always in the present.

(L to R): Fr. Ashley Harrington, O.Carm., Sr. Luke Mary Angeline, O.Carm., Sr. Hope Therese Angeline, O.Carm., Sr. Maureen Paul Angeline, O.Carm., Sr. Mary Catherine Angeline, O.Carm., Mother Mark Louis Anne, O.Carm.

 A delicious meal was then enjoyed by everyone present.  Congratulations, Sisters!  May you find your life in Carmel joyful, fulfilling and full of promise!