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.