Sunday, July 17, 2016

More "great news" concerning nuns this morning

Praying for All in the Church and the World
  • January 14, 2016
    CARMELITE MONASTERY VISIT  The five sisters who will be moving to Malta, two from the United States, two from Guam and one from Poland, from the Monastery of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel in Morristown are pictured during a visit by Bishop Serratelli on New Year's Day.

    Growth of cloistered Carmelites in Morristown leads to new contemplative community in Malta

    MORRISTOWN  In today’s world, life moves at a rapid pace with technology right at our fingertips. There never seems to be any moment for peace and quiet in the “full-speed ahead” atmosphere of current times.

    But at the Monastery of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel here — far removed from the hustle and bustle of the world — things are much different. Here fingertips are used to pray the rosary, rather than send a text message. Behind its closed walls, Discalced Carmelite sisters, a contemplative religious order, spend their day praying for all in the Church and the world.

    Bishop Serratelli went to the monastery on Madison Avenue, one of Morristown’s busiest thoroughfares, to celebrate Mass on New Year’s Day and to hear the good news that the community’s growth will allow a new community to be created in Malta, a southern European island country.

    Currently, there are 21 cloistered sisters living in the Carmel. The capacity of the monastery is 18, and with several more young women interested in the formation process, the contemplative religious order is ready to form a new community in Malta.

    Mother Therese Katulski, prioress of the monastery, said, “We are grateful to God to see this growth within our community. Just a few years ago, we only had a few nuns and now, so many want to seek this contemplative vocation. This is an actual miracle to see this happen.”

    Five sisters in the Morristown Carmel will be moving to Malta to serve the Church there, which has deep Catholic roots going back to the time when St. Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked there. While there is a strong Catholic presence in Malta, similar to many other European countries, times are changing rapidly.

    Sister of Christian Charity Joan Daniel, diocesan chancellor and delegate for religious, said, “I was blessed to be able to attend Holy Mass on New Year’s Day at the Carmel Monastery in Morristown. Listening to Bishop Serratelli as he prayed for the five sisters chosen for their new foundation in Malta, my own vocation was renewed. These five sisters have the true missionary spirit and the Island of Malta will be blessed by their presence. Religious life in all it dimensions is being blessed and strengthened and with God’s blessing will continue to grow and flourish.”

    Carmelite Father Pius Sammut, spiritual adviser for the Morristown sisters, suggested Malta as a place to begin a new community and asked Archbishop Charles Sciculuana of Malta for permission.

    “The archbishop welcomed the idea with open arms,” said Father Pius.

    Now, the order is in the process of finding a place for the new monastery in Malta as the five sisters — two from the United States, two from Guam and one from Poland — prepare to move there.

    The Morristown Carmel was founded in 1926 by Bishop John O’Connor, then bishop of Newark, who wanted to build a monastery in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary in thanksgiving for the jubilee anniversary of his episcopal ordination. Mother Mary Magdalene of the Carmel in Wheeling, W. Va., came to Morristown on Dec. 30, 1926, accompanied by her spiritual director, Paulist Father Henry O’Keeffe, and four sisters. The chapel, dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, was consecrated on May 17, 1941. Among the prelates at the ceremony was the then-Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen.

    The Discalced Carmelites wear simple rope sandals and a brown habit living a life of fasting, prayer and sacrifice, secluded from the world, behind monastery walls. Each day is prayer centered with small periods of time devoted to necessary house or yard work. The day begins at 5 a.m. with prayers said individually and as a community. Most of the time is spent in silence, breaking it only for prayer or song during brief times for afternoon and evening community recreation.

    Mother Therese said, “The world and the Church need prayers. There is a reason why God is calling so many young women to serve him through contemplative orders.”

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