by Sr. Dianna Maring


Celebrating the first Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Carmel is a milestone in the life of a postulant.  Mary is the Patroness of the Order and so we have a special devotion to her.  This devotion was one of the many things which drew me to the Carmelites. An oratory or small chapel in Mount Carmel was dedicated by the early Latin hermits to the Blessed Virgin.  I love that our Community says the Rosary together three days a week.  I believe that by doing this we will receive special graces and assistance from Our Lady.  As Carmelites, we are consecrated to her and are meant to follow her example as closely as possible. It is true that Jesus said that no one gets to the Father except through him but Mary is an excellent way to get to Jesus!  She is a powerful intercessor we should always rely on.  Not just as Carmelites but as Catholics.  How great and pure must Mary be that our Lord allowed her to raise him!  The Lord was subject to her while on earth and so anything we ask of the Lord through Mary’s intercession will be granted as He wills it.  The Sisters celebrate this feast the way they celebrate any feast- with a beautiful Mass and good food!  The Eucharistic celebration was lovely with many beautiful hymns to Our Lady.  As St. Augustine said, and Mother Angeline affirmed, to sing is to pray twice!  The liturgical music is always my favorite part of Mass, next to the consecration and Holy Communion, of course.  Music always moves me and inspires a passion in me for my faith.  The food, as always, was delicious.  I had the salmon with dill.  The day after the Feast I had the honor and privilege of giving a presentation on the brown scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the assisted living facility Carmel Terrace.  The residents all learned a lot and seemed to enjoy the presentation very much.  I was impressed that some of the residents still had their first communion scapulars.  Some even remembered the responses to what the priest says when he enrolls you in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular!  I enjoyed myself as well.  I was thrilled to promote such a grace filled sacramental!  I will surely take any other opportunities I get to promote this sacred symbol of Our Lady's grace and merciful love.  The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a beautiful day.  One that I look forward to celebrating in years to come!


On July 14, 2012, Feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, we were privileged to join our Sisters in St. Patrick’s Manor, as they celebrated the 60th Religious Jubilee of Sister Rosemary Heaton, O.Carm.   The day began with a beautiful Eucharistic celebration followed by a delicious meal. Sister Rosemary's brother and her sister in law, the local Carmelite community, our dear Residents and friends participated and shared in Sister Rosemary's joy. 

Celebrating Mass with Carmelite Sisters

 Jubilee Cake!

It was a beautiful witness to us who are starting out at the beginning of our journey in Religious Life.  It is wonderful to see one who has served so faithfully with so much joy for sixty years and always with a smile on her face.
God bless you, Sr. Rosemary, for many years to come!
Posing with Sr. Rosemary


by Sr. Lois Wetzel, O.Carm

The Postulants had an exciting couple of days!  They traveled to the Motherhouse to see Sr. Anthony de Lourdes and to be fitted their religious habits in preparation for their becoming Novices in a couple of months.   It is hard to believe that their mission experience at St. Patrick’s Manor is nearing its end!  Time has gone so fast!  They continue to enjoy the summer as they serve our residents in such a variety of ways and learning more about our ministry to the Aged.   It was very exciting to hear about our Foundress, Mother Angeline Teresa, declared  Venerable by our Holy Father Pope Benedict!  We see her spirit alive here at St. Patrick's Manor in the Sisters and lay staff-members who give such dedicated service to our residents.  

Sr. Maureen Sullivan
Sr. Dianna Maring

Sr. Cathie Hinkle
Camera shy Sr. Heather Lukose



Sr. Maureen Sullivan

As a new Postulant, people always seem to be asking, "So what made you decide to become a nun?"- As if there was a simple, straight-forward, easy to grasp answer that could be contained in one or two sentences.  As if it is impossible for someone my age to make such a drastic change.  As if I knew the answer myself! 
One hundred and forty five days ago, I arrived at Saint Teresa’s Motherhouse, Avila on the Hudson, the Motherhouse of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.  I was exhausted and freezing (it’s really cold coming here from New Mexico by way of Florida in February).  Having just sold my house, my car, and gotten rid of most of my stuff which I had accumulated a lot of, I found myself wondering, "What the heck am I doing here?  Is this truly Your Holy Will, O God, or am I making a terrible mistake and doing something seriously foolish?"   After all, I had a good job, I liked my independence and solitude, I loved the desert, my friends, family, parish, and the residents and families at the nursing home where I worked.  I found myself wondering how many of them I would never see again in this life.  And so I grieved.  I had tried to live a good and Christ-centered Catholic life and served the Lord through my work at home and at church.  I really liked the life I had been living but I had this nagging feeling that it just wasn't enough.  I couldn't escape the thought that I could do more and that God was calling me to a very different way of life.
For that first month at the Motherhouse in New York, I found myself surrounded by gentle, loving, kind, and understanding women-in-habit and I tried not to look too startled when they called me "Sister”.  Would I ever get used to it?


Sr. Dianna and Resident

by Sr. Dianna Maring

The elderly are poor because they have to give up
many of their possessions to enter the nursing home.
Jesus was poor.

Many elderly have very little affectionate physical contact.
Jesus was chaste.

Many elderly entrust their care and treatment
To others who give what is best for them.
Jesus was obedient.

The elderly have to leave their families to enter the nursing home.
Jesus had to leave his beloved mother to begin his ministry.
Some elderly have trouble communicating.
Jesus had trouble with people not understanding or accepting his message.

Many elderly have trouble sleeping because of medications they take. 
Or because they have to be awakened to be taken care of.
Jesus couldn’t sleep in the garden of Gethsemane.

Many elderly have arthritis in their hands and feet.
Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced.

Many elderly are neglected by their friends and family in their hour of need.
Jesus was abandoned by his friends when he was on the cross.

Many elderly have mobility issues.
Jesus couldn’t move on the cross.

Many elderly are often cold due to poor circulation.
Jesus was cold on the cross.

Many elderly have difficulty swallowing and are thirsty because they are on thickened liquids.
Jesus was thirsty and had trouble swallowing the sour wine on the cross.

The elderly grow weaker day by day.
Jesus grew weaker hour by hour on the cross.

No one is as close to God and Heaven as the elderly are at the end of their lives.
Jesus was united with God the Father in Heaven at the end of his life.

The elderly need to be taken care of.
Jesus needed to be taken care of after he died on the cross. 
He also needed others to spread his message throughout the world.



Hi! My name is Sister Cathie and I would like to share with you my experience with the death of my father.  My father, Robert, died an edifying death.  I had been with the Carmelite Sisters for only two months when I received a call that he took a turn for the worse.  The Sisters were astounding in their support.  I had not even finished the evening phone call informing me that Dad was not expected to survive the night, and Sister Carol, started a search for a flight home for me which was in Illinois.  My father's journey continued for a few more days giving time for all of my seven siblings to arrive at his bedside and spent time together.  Dad received the Sacrament of Anointing at the hospital.  My siblings wanted him to have his spiritual comforts and so we decided to transfer him to St. Patrick’s Residence, one of the Carmelite Sisters' facilities in Naperville, Illinois, for his last three nights.  The Sisters provided an entire room next door to Dad’s room for our large family-spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren- who were able to visit.  The Sisters stopped in frequently making sure my father was comfortable.  My siblings were ALL so very amazed by the extent of their hospitality!  Only God will know the true extent of the fruits sown those days.



My first six weeks in Saint Patrick's Manor, Framingham, Massachusetts, were spent in the Activities department.  I was very impressed with the creativity of the Activity Staff, and also on how well they were attuned to the Residents’ needs.  One very creative idea was making pins out of eyeglass lenses.  Activities like nail care and personal visits are very appreciated by lonely Residents who need socialization.  Visiting someone or doing their nails may not seem like much to us, but it makes them feel special.  Many of them rarely get the individual attention and socialization they need.  They feel lonely and abandoned in the final years of their life, just as Jesus felt in the final hours of his life.  We need to keep this in mind when working with our Residents as individuals! The next 4 weeks were spent in Occupational and Physical therapy. 
Although I have no more interest in working as a COTA (Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant) like I once did, Therapy will always hold a special place in my heart.  Residents who need therapy are truly united to the Suffering- Christ.  The therapy staff is so compassionate and sympathetic when a Resident is experiencing pain.  They always seem to know what to say or do to make the Resident feel better.  I was impressed by the hospitality of the therapy staff and the way they got their patients special drinks during and after their therapy sessions.
I recently completed 3 weeks with the Certified Nurse Aide Program.  They work so hard and do so much that they could not possibly have enough appreciation or recognition.  Taking care of residents the way they do is truly a selfless and sacrificial job.  Tending to another’s needs the way they do must allow them to forget themselves and think only of the person they are caring for.  Sacrificing your time, thoughts, and energy to care for another is a beautiful thing.  This is humbling work that I’m sure the Lord blesses with abundant graces.  I admire the nurse aides greatly.   I could not be more impressed by all that they do!


I thank you, Lord, for your plan for me.
For all that was, is now, and will be.
I thank you, Lord, for a peaceful land.
For warriors’ hearts that understand.
I thank you, Lord, for the chance to learn.
So that anything I need I earn.

Thank you, Lord, for family and friends.
For love and support that never ends.
Thank you, Lord, for religious freedom.
We practice until the time you come.
Thank you, Lord, for my physical health.
For detachment from money and wealth.

Thank you, Lord, for the fish of the sea.
That all swim around so gracefully.
Thank you, Lord, for the birds of the air.
Flying so freely without a care.
Thank you, Lord, for the creatures that crawl.
Your creations, Lord, I love them all

For the winter and renewing snow.
For the springtime when the flowers grow.
For the summertime and the warm breeze.
For the autumn and colorful leaves.
For the sun of Joy and rains of Hope.
And the rainbows that unite them both.

For good times and bad times in my life.
Times when only your love would suffice.
For a chance to give and place to live.
A chance to repent and to forgive.
For the unique person that I am.
As one with the sacrificial lamb.

For the glowing moon and stars of night.
For all humans precious in your sight.
For a pure heart that beats for you still.
For complete surrender to your will.
For the clothes that lay upon my back.
For all that I need and do not lack.

Thank you, Lord, for a spirit so tough.
That keeps me going when things get rough.
For your gift to us in sacrifice.
For all that we have you paid the price.
Thank you for unconditional love.
Inspiration from the holy dove.
And for graces you send from above.

Thank you, dear Lord,Your praises I sing.
I give thanks to you for everything.