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Friday, 11 May 2018 10:16

New Carmel to be power-house of prayer for Wilcannia-Forbes

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0518CarmelitesWF 300A new Carmel will make its home in the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese at the invitation of Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE.

Five nuns will come from communities of Discalced Carmelites in Nebraska and Pennsylvania to form a Monastery of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the western New South Wales diocese. Two of them are Australian – Sr Francis from Canberra, who joined the Nebraska convent around 15 years ago and Sr Mariam originally from the Blue Mountains, who joined one of the Pennsylvania convents in 2011.

Bishop Macbeth-Green told The Catholic Weekly that he had been keen for a long time to get a contemplative order into the diocese, so long as they could be self-funding.

“The main reason we want them is that contemplative religious are the powerhouse of any diocese, in their prayer and their witness. They are the heart of the Church. Because ours is a rural and remote diocese, the nuns will be a great source of consolation for clergy and our people," he said.

“The second thing is that we’ve had the tradition of the Carmelites here at Parkes, which ended when they joined the community at Dulwich Hill to form the monastery at Varroville in the late 1980s. I’m really looking forward to the possibly of having a Carmelite powerhouse in my diocese again.”

The nuns live a life of strict enclosure and solitude, and prayer and sacrifice for the Church and the world. They observe the traditions of the Carmelite order under the 16th century Discalced reform of St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila, but also trace roots to Mexico with their particular communities celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Divine Office.

Read the full article in The Catholic Weekly here.

PHOTO: Carmelite nuns at their monastery in Pennsylvania (Website of the Carmelite Monastery of Jesus, Mary and Joseph)