A Joyful Meeting!

                                           Sr. Pia Ignatius, O.Carm. and Fr. Greg Houck, O.Carm.

On June 9, 2014, Sr. Julie, Sr. Cyril and I attended the Ceremony of Simple Profession at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Middletown, NY. The Brothers who were professed were Brother JosephThinh Tran, O.Carm. and Brother Francis X. Hai Pham, O.Carm. from the Saint Elias Province; Father Cyril Farmer, O.Carm., Brother Kenneth Ketterlin, O.Carm., Brother Felipe Navarette-Diaz, O.Carm., from the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province; and last but certainly not least, Brother Matthew Tonini who was later to be professed in Melbourne, Australia on June 22nd.  It was a true privilege and honor to be able to witness our brothers in Carmel pronounce their First Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity to God according to the Rule and Constitutions of the Order of Carmelites.  You could feel the joy and love that radiated from everyone who attended.  These celebrations are constant reminders of our love for Christ and our fellowman.  Standing in solidarity with our brothers in formation helps to inspire us to persevere in our growth in Carmel. 
As luck would have it, Fr. Greg Houck, O. Carm. was in attendance as well.  He and I have a long history together.  It was under his teaching and guidance that I became an altar server prior to my entrance to Carmel, and later a Eucharistic minister, at my home parish of St. John the Evangelist in Leonia, NJ.  He used to refer to me as a “career altar server” and it was with great delight that I was able to embrace him as a fellow Carmelite. I do remember him as being a bit taller and not having so much gray hair in his goatee!  It truly is amazing how the Holy Spirit works.  Who knew that 20 years down the line we would meet up again and that his influence on my spiritual growth would have made such an impact on my life?  He is no longer just “Father Greg” but now he is my brother in Carmel. 


Article: The Carmelite Vocation

by Thomas Mcginnis, O.Carm

We often read in books and hear in lectures about the various schools of spirituality within the Catholic Church. We are told, for example, that the Dominican school is distinguished by its emphasis upon the intellectual element in the spiritual life; the Franciscan school, by a similar emphasis upon the affective element. The existence of such schools may at first sight appear strange; yet serious consideration will tell us that the oft-quoted words of St. Augustine apply not only to individual souls, but as well to individual religious orders, individual pious congregations, individual nations: “some follow this path; others, another”. READ MORE


Mission Bound (2nd time Around!)

Our Senior Novices are packed and ready to go to their Mission Houses!  All four are bubbling with excitement as they go their separate ways to their second mission experience.  Sr. Maureen Paul can't wait to depart for Garvey Manor in Hollidaysburg, PA. Sr. Luke Mary is headed to Little Flower Manor in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Sr. Hope Therese will be flying out early in the morning to Kahl Home in Davenport, IA and Sr. Mary Catherine also leaves on Pentecost Sunday for Mother Angeline McCrory Manor in Columbus, OH .  The Avila Sisters will certainly miss them but we have in our midst our Canonical Novices, Sr. Pia Ignatius and Sr. Julie Michael, who will certainly keep the Sisters entertained until the Fabulous Four returns!  Go Sisters!

A special Jubilee Mass was held today, June 7th, for our Sisters celebrating their 25th, 50th, 60th, 70th and 75th religious jubilees!  Most Reverend Raymond Chappetto, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn was the principal celebrant.  After Mass, the Sisters, Priests and invited guests continued the celebrations with food, music and dancing in Carmel Hall.  Bishop Chappetto posed with our six Novices and also gave our four Senior Novices his blessing as they leave for their individual assignments.

                                 (L-R): Sr. Pia Ignatius, Sr. Julie Michael, Sr. Luke Mary, Bishop Chappetto, Sr. Hope Therese,
                                                                            Sr. Mary Catherine & Sr. Maureen Paul

                                                              Our Senior Novices with Bishop Chappetto

                                                                            Blessing for the Journey ....

                                                                        ... And a few words of wisdom

                                                                         Sr. Pia Ignatius and Sr. Maureen Paul