Community Prayer Service

Welcome to the website of the Irish Province of Carmelites. Please take some time to explore the site, which features a wide selection of news, articles, and other spiritual and intellectual resources.

WELCOME TO THE THE IRISH PROVINCE OF CARMELITES WEBSITE

Carmelites live and work in 26 nations throughout the world.  We are teachers, retreat directors, chaplains to hospitals and prisons, in parish ministry, counsellors, spiritual directors, and missionaries.

In Ireland, Carmelites have care of one parish in Dublin: Whitefriar Street, which is also an important and historic city centre church.  People come to Whitefriar Street and to other Carmelite churches at Kinsale, Kildare, Moate, Terenure College and Gort Muire to share in the celebration of the Eucharist and other religious services.

Irish Carmelites are still committed to education at Terenure College, Whitefriar Street, Third Level and through CIBI (Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland), which provides distance-learning courses on Carmelite Spirituality.

Opportunities for sharing and teaching the Carmelite spiritual tradition also arise through preaching, retreats and occasions of special devotion. The Irish Carmelites established a mission in Zimbabwe in 1946. This has now developed into a vibrant presence, with many young Zimbabwean Carmelites.

St Titus Brandsma

The canonisation of Titus Brandsma took place at St Peter’s, Rome, on Sunday, May 15th. This is a great moment of joy for the Carmelite Order, as St Titus has been an inspirational figure to all who walk the Carmelite path for many years.

Latest News

Here we feature a selection of news stories from across our communities and ministries in Ireland. This section is updated regularly so please check back often for our latest news. To access an archive of all recent news stories please click here.

Annual Joint Carmelite Pilgrimage to Knock

The annual Carmelite Pilgrimage to Knock will take place on Sunday, September 11th, 2022. The pilgrimage is a great occasion of community and prayer, an opportunity for the Carmelite family and all associated with us to come together at our national shrine.

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Upcoming Carmelite Saints & Blesseds Feast Days

In this section, we feature all the upcoming Carmelite Saints & Blesseds Feast Days. In each case, we provide a very brief story of their lives and contribution both to the Order and society in general, together with a short prayer or reflection. We update this section regularly. For a comprehensive look at all Carmelite Saints and Blesseds, please see here.

Reflections on Daily Readings

In this section, we assemble all the readings for the coming week and provide a useful reflection on their main themes. We update this section on a weekly basis, so please check back regularly. To see more please visit our full year of reflections here.

November 27 – December 3, 2022

Advent – The First Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle A; Weekday Cycle 1.

First Sunday of Advent 

Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 121; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:27-44

Today we begin the Advent season in which we make our preparations for the Lord’s birth into our lives at Christmas. The theme for today is very much of waiting but also of being ready for the moment which will arrive at a time we do not expect. The first reading from the Prophet Isaiah speaks of the mountain of the Temple of the Lord towering above all mountains and that in the Lord’s time there will be peace and not war. In the second reading from his letter to the Romans, St Paul exhorts us to wake up and to live honest Christian lives because the Lord’s time is at hand – we must show our faith in him by how we live and witness. In the gospel, Jesus is warning us to be prepared and ready because we do not know when the day of the Lord will arrive. It could be today, it could be next year, but, whenever, we must not be found wanting or caught off-guard – we must be alert and ready. We do this by reforming our lives every day and living according to the Gospel precepts and commandments of God.

Monday of the First Week of Advent 

Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 121; Matthew 8:5-11

The readings throughout the Advent Season help us to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas by putting certain images and thoughts before us regarding the Son of God. We begin today with a text from the Prophet Isaiah which is one of the major prophetic writings of the Old Testament and which began to be written down in 744 BC. In today’s text we are told that people will stream to the Lord’s Temple and that there will be a time of peace and prosperity between nations and peoples. The Psalm takes up this theme and speaks of rejoicing when others say ‘let us go to God’s house.’ In the gospel from St Matthew we have the cure of the centurion’s servant. When Jesus said that he would go the centurion’s house the man said that he didn’t have to do that – all he had to do was to say the word and the servant would be cured. The man had tremendous faith in Jesus and in his word and it is this example of faith which we are to ponder on today. This is the faith that we are each called to have and to demonstrate if the birth of Christ at Christmas is to have any meaning in our lives and if we are to reach eternal life.

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

Isaiah 11:1-10, 11-14; Psalm 71; Luke 10:21-24

The reading today from Isaiah speaks of an offspring of Jesse who will be king and who will rule with God’s blessing. In his time there will be peace and prosperity for all and the kingdom will be sought after by the nations. On this king will rest the Spirit of the Lord who will bring him wisdom and insight, counsel and power, knowledge and fear of the Lord. The Psalm continues this theme and says that ‘In his days justice shall flourish.’ In the gospel from St Luke we see that Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit and proclaims that everything has been entrusted to him by the Father and that the only way to know the Father is through the Son. This means that the birth of Christ at Christmas is not a mere nicety or an excuse for a celebration – without getting to know Christ and accepting him into our hearts we cannot really know the Father. If we are to enter eternal life then we need to strengthen our relationship with both which we do in these days of Advent.

Feast of St Andrew the Apostle

Romans 10:9-18; Psalm 18; Matthew 4:18-22

In the first reading from the letter to the Romans, St Paul speaks of the importance of spreading the Good News because if the Word is not spread then people will not hear of Christ and so will be unable to believe in him or to call upon him. In our gospel text for today’s feast we read of the call of St Andrew by Christ. Andrew responded generously to the Lord’s call and without hesitation and he spread the Gospel among the peoples even to the point of giving his life in martyrdom for Christ. His example of spreading the Good News is set before us today and we are reminded that we have all been called by Christ to do the very same in our own day.

 

Like so many of Christ’s apostles very little is actually known about Andrew. He was the brother of St Peter, a disciple of John the Baptist, and was the first to be called by Christ. In St John’s Gospel he tells his brother of Jesus with the words – “We have found the Messiah.” He is also mentioned in the gospels as the one who brought the Gentiles to Jesus and the one who pointed out the boy with the loaves and fishes. He is said to have preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and Greece and to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaia. He is the patron saint of Scotland, Greece and Russia.

Thursday of the First Week of Advent 

Isaiah 26:1-6; Psalm 117; Matthew 7:21, 24-27

In the text from the Prophet Isaiah today we read that the Lord has set up a strong city for his people. Those who lived in the high citadels have been knocked from their thrones so that even the poor trample on them. The Psalm reminds us that ‘It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in men [or] princes.’ In the gospel passage we see Jesus teaching the people and telling them that it is very easy for people to call out his name and seek his help but this does not win entry to heaven. We must have faith in Christ but we must put that faith into practice and carry out the will of God if we are to enter heaven. While faith may be a personal thing to each one of us it is something which must be lived out in a communal way in that what we believe must be seen by others in the way in which we live. If we haven’t been living out our faith then we need to look at that carefully and make a change if we are to worthily receive the gift of Christ in our lives in a few weeks’ time.

Friday of the First Week of Advent

Isaiah 29:17-24; Psalm 26; Matthew 9:27-31

Our reading from Isaiah continues to speak of how things will be different in the day of the lord when the Messiah shall come among the people. Those who are lowly will be raised up, those who plot evil against the good will be silenced, shame will be removed. The Psalm asks the Lord that we live in his house for ever. In the gospel we see Jesus restoring sight to two blind men but only after they had affirmed that they had faith in him and his ability to cure them. This is the sort of thing which the first reading spoke of and so we can see that Jesus is the one to whom the first reading refers. It is now time for us to affirm our faith in Christ as we move towards the celebration of his birth.

Saturday of the First Week of Advent 

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Psalm 146; Matthew 9:35-38, 10:1, 5-8

Our first reading speaks of the people being punished and how miserable life will be. But it also speaks of the Lord healing his people and how he will be gracious to them when he hears them cry out to him. In our gospel passage we see that Jesus has been travelling throughout the countryside and teaching people in various towns and villages. He feels sorry for them because they want the message he has but he has not enough time to get around to them all. So he sends out the Twelve to preach in his name and to heal the sick. There is a reminder here that we too should preach the Good News wherever we go and we can do this very effectively by the way in which we live our lives. A good life demonstrating the Gospel values can speak more than a good sermon for actions speak louder than words. The harvest today is still vast and we each have a role to play in the building up of the kingdom so that the celebration of Christmas may have greater meaning for all of us.

 

Memorial of St Francis Xavier, Priest

Francis Xavier was born in Navarre in 1506 and was one of the original seven companions of St Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits. He was one of the greatest missionaries and concentrated his efforts on India and the Far East. He organised his newly-founded communities in such a way that they were well able to survive after he had moved to new territories. He died in 1552 on his way to China. He was named Patron Saint of the Foreign Missions and of all works for the spreading of Christianity by Pope St Pius X.

Vocations

The Carmelite Order is present throughout the world, made up of people from many different cultures and traditions. What unites the Order is the call to live the threefold charism of prayer, community and service. Have you considered a life in the Carmelite Order?

Other Quick Links

Please see below some quick links to other sections in the site which you may find interesting.

Carmelite Library

The Carmelite Library, located in Gort Muire, Dublin, can be accessed by appointment.

CIBI

The Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland (CIBI) provides distanced-learning courses in Carmelite Spirituality.

Carmelite Archives

The Carmelite Archive, located in Gort Muire, Dublin, can be accessed by appointment.

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