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August 2003 Newsletter

  August 2003  


In this edition:        

  • Dear Friends of Carmel
  • The community: Who becomes a Sister?
  • The spiritual life: My Prayer Book and the St. Benedict Crucifix
  • The Monastery addition: Update
  • Website news

  • Dear Friends of Carmel,

    It has been too long since we have been in touch with you! So much has happened in Carmel since our newsletter in March. Our community has grown by two and we will receive one more in early September. This last, who is from a small Caribbean island but studying in Paris, really will be the last we can squeeze into our existing monastery until our building addition is complete. In June, one of our postulants received the holy habit and on July 16th, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, one of our novices professed final vows and received the black veil. God continues to make fruitful our consecrated life in these dedicated vocations. We bless Him for the vocations from foreign countries, as this makes our community reflect the universality of the Church!

    Many of you have asked the question, "Just what kind of person is drawn to Carmelite life?" Our answer is that God calls and draws all sorts! Carmel is a world in miniscule, with all kinds of personalities and all types of talents. Maybe you would be able to grasp the different kinds of characters found here by knowing some of what we did before coming here. One was a nurse, another a teacher; one studied physical therapy, and quite a few of the Sisters worked with the elderly; one was (and still is) a licensed dietitian, while another was an x-ray technician. One of our younger Sisters opted for Carmel rather than going to medical school; still another Sister had her own retail business. We have Sisters who studied veterinary medicine, psychology and biology before leaving the college scene to enter Carmel. Many are artistically inclined, and there are singers in the group as well. There are three converts to the Catholic Faith among us. The wonderful thing is to see how Our Lord blends and uses all these personalities and talents for His greater honor and glory. And you would be amazed at how adept He is at that!

    We cannot count the number of times we have been asked to recommend a good prayerbook. At last, we are able wholeheartedly to recommend an excellent book of prayers and devotions. It is Fr. Lasance's My Prayer Book: Happiness in Goodness. This early 20th century Benziger Brothers publication has long been out of print. Now available in an attractive reprint of the original 1908 edition, with its imitation leather cover, it makes the perfect prayerbook for priests, seminarians, religious and lay people. Numerous priests highly recommend it. The book includes valuable spiritual reflections and counsels given by this holy and zealous priest, Fr. Francis X. Lasance, who because of paralysis was crippled most of his life. He fulfilled his priestly apostolate through compiling books like this one that have been loved by Catholics for nearly a century. We are pleased now to offer this book on our website.

    Another special item now found on our website is the St. Benedict Crucifix. It is a crucifix with the Medal of St. Benedict at the center. Popes have granted a plenary indulgence to the combination of these two sacramentals. They are both signs of divine power and protection against Satan, especially to the sick and dying. We offer this special crucifix in the French wood-inlaid (ebony and rosewood), as well as sterling silver. This makes a perfect gift for the sick and dying and priests who make sick calls to them. We send an explanation leaflet with each crucifix.

      Certainly, most of you are wondering how the building project is coming along. "Slowly but surely," is our answer! We have still not broken ground, and there have been the expected -- and unexpected -- obstacles. But there is good hope that we will begin building by late August. Funds for the building are still somewhat short, but we trust that God's Providence will supply just when the time comes to be paying the builders. We wish to thank those of you who have been the very signs of that loving Providence by contributing. We still need $200,000 to build this addition, and we are begging for your help so that we don't have to turn any vocations away. Some of you have been sending monthly donations, and for this we send our hearty thanks. As you can well imagine, the expenses increase as our numbers increase and we can never be grateful enough for the generous support that assists in taking care of these needs.


    Thank you for shopping our website. This is another way of supporting our Carmel. We are adding many new gift items to the site, so please keep checking back as the weeks pass. We are sure you will find some lovely things for Christmas gift-giving, all with the spiritual accent we all love to keep at Christmas. Of special note, besides the prayerbook and crucifixes mentioned above, are the wood, sterling, and porcelain rosary boxes imported from Italy. The quality craftsmanship of these beautiful boxes is superb and we are pleased to have found them to offer to you.

      Please email your suggestions to webadmin@sistersofcarmel.com.

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      © 2003 Sisters of Carmel. All rights reserved.