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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 two parishes in Dublin: Whitefriar Street, which is also an important and historic city centre church, and Knocklyon.  People come to these 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.

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.

The Lady of the Place

On July 16th, the Carmelite Family celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. From the very beginnings of the Order, Mary has had a special place in its spirituality. She is Patron, Mother and Sister and Model for all Carmelites.

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News from the Students in Zimbabwe

Brother Shelton Sylvester Zimondi, O. Carm., has kindly sent, for this issue of Carmelite Contact, a report on life among the students at Mount Carmel in Harare and of some events in the wider Commissariat.

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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.

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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.

September 12th to September 18th, 2021

Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Fourth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle I.

Isaiah 50:5-9; Psalm 114; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35

In the first reading we read a passage from Isaiah which we usually associate with Christ for he did offer his cheek to those who tore at his beard and he willingly accepted insult and injury for he knew that God was with him. In our gospel text from St Mark we see Jesus questioning the disciples as to who they think he is. St Peter makes his great profession of faith by saying that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus then goes on to tell them that he is to suffer and die, in fulfilment of the text we read from Isaiah, but the apostles do not fully understand what he is saying and so Peter tries to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem. Jesus rebukes him because he was, albeit through a lack of understanding, preventing Christ from carrying out his salvific mission. When we too prevent the kingdom of God from being realised on earth – even if it is simply because we do nothing – then we are no better than Satan who does not want the kingdom of God to become a reality.

In our second reading from St James the apostle reminds us that faith without good works is dead. It is not enough to say that we love God – we must let that faith be seen by the way in which we live our lives but without showing off or drawing attention to ourselves. In this way the faith of others and our own faith may be strengthened and renewed.

Memorial St John Chrysostom, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

1 Timothy 2:1-8; Psalm 27; Luke 7:1-10

Born about the year 347-349 in Antioch, John was ordained in 386. His gifts of speech and eloquence gave rise to the name “Chrysostom” – “Golden Mouth.” He was made archbishop of Constantinople in 398 and was one of the greatest of the four Greek Doctors of the Church and one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen. He worked tirelessly for the spread of the faith and its defence against heresies. His courage brought him many enemies and he was banished from Constantinople by civil decree on a number of occasions, which the Western Church tried to resolve but in vain. He died in 407 during one such banishment.

 

Feast of the Triumph of the Cross

Numbers 21:4-9 or Philippians 2:6-11; Psalm 77; John 3:13-17

St Helena was, for a time, wife of Emperor Constantius and was the mother of Emperor Constantine I – the first emperor to become a Christian. With her son’s approval she travelled to the Holy Land in search of the sacred places and relics associated with our Lord. Among the relics she discovered was the True Cross which she is said to have discovered on this day in 320 and in 335 had churches dedicated on Calvary and the True Cross venerated there. This annual feast is a chance for us – outside of the Easter Season – to reflect on the significance of the cross in our lives and of the redemption which Christ won for us by his death and resurrection.

 

Our Lady of Sorrows

Hebrews 5:7-9; Psalm 30; John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35

Today’s memorial recalls in a particular way the sorrows which Our Lady underwent as the mother of Christ. Mary, standing by the cross, ‘suffered intensely with her only begotten Son and united herself as his Mother to his sacrifice, consenting with love to the offering of the victim who was born of her’, whom she also offered to the Eternal Father (Marialis Cultus).

1 Timothy 4:12-16; Psalm 110; Luke 7:36-50

Again today St Paul reminds St Timothy, and those who read the letter, that what we do and say must be done properly and with care because it is done in public. As Christians we speak and act on God’s behalf as his disciples and so others must see that in the way we live our lives. Timothy is the ‘bishop’ of Ephesus and so must lead the flock by example and show to those who criticise him that he is right and a dedicated servant of the Good News. In the Gospel we see Jesus at table with some Pharisees when a woman of ill-repute comes into the room. She anoints Christ’s feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. The polite guests are indignant that he should put up with this but he points out that she has done this because she loves him as her Saviour while the host failed to show him as much love or respect. Here again Christ is looking at the inner person and judging in a way which we usually overlook. We are reminded to be Christ-like in our actions and in our dealings with others no matter who they are for Christ is dwelling in each one of us.

 

Memorial of St Cornelius, Pope, & St Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Cornelius was elected pope in 251 and was martyred two years later under the persecutions of Emperor Gallus. During the persecutions under the Roman emperors many Christians left the faith to save their lives eventually returning to the faith before they died or when the persecutions eased. Cornelius and Novatian clashed over this with Novatian saying they should not be re-admitted and Cornelius being more pastorally sensitive and forgiving. Part of this clash saw Novatian have himself elected as pope in opposition to Cornelius (Novatian was anti-pope from 251 to 258). Caecilius Cyprianus was born in North Africa at the start of the third century and became a lawyer before converting to Christianity and became a bishop in 249. He is remembered with Cornelius because he supported Cornelius in the struggle against Novatian and was beheaded on the 14th of September, 258 on the instruction of Emperor Valerian. Both of these men are named in the Roman Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I).

Feast of St Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem & Lawgiver of Carmel

Albert Avogadro was born in the middle of the twelfth century in Castel Gualtieri, in the plains of northern Italy. He became a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross, at Mortara, and was elected their prior in 1180. He was appointed Bishop of Bobbio in 1184, Bishop of Vercelli in 1185, and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1204. For nine years he was also a papal legate for Pope Clement III. Given the troubles in the Holy Land at the time of his appointment, he spent his time as Patriarch living in the northern coastal town of Acre where he was murdered by an unhappy Hospitaller on September 14, 1214. He is an important figure for the Carmelite Order because during his time as Latin Patriarch he was approached by the hermits living near the Spring of Elijah who asked him for a Rule of Life, a rule to govern their living in community. This he wrote in the form of a letter sometime between 1206 and 1214 and, in so doing, gave the formal beginnings to what is the Order of Carmelites.

 

Readings:

Ephesians 6:11-18; Psalm 118; Matthew 20:25-28

The first reading from the letter to the Ephesians is one which was quoted by St Albert in the Rule of Life he left for the first Carmelites. The passage reminds us that even though salvation has been won by Jesus Christ, the Christian is to remain vigilant because evil forces are still at work, trying to lead people away from God. The idea of God’s armour has its origins in the Old Testament (Isaiah 11 and 59, and Wisdom 5) and it is to be worn by the Christian if they are to be successful in the struggle. In his Rule, Albert exhorted the early hermits to be aware of the presence of the evil one and to arm themselves against him. For Albert, the devil or the evil one was no mere symbol, but a living being who works against God.

The gospel text from St Matthew reminds us that we are servants to one another, and we are not to be served. We are servants of God, servants of the Gospel, and servants of one another. This is very much found in the Carmelite Rule where the Prior is first among equals, not their lord or master, but simply their leader for a time. These readings are particularly important for us as Carmelites as they give scriptural grounding to our way of life.

1 Timothy 6:13-16; Psalm 99; Luke 8:4-15

St Paul continues his exhortation to Timothy today and reminds him that Christ is the source of all life and so he must remain steadfast as a servant of Christ. As Christ bore witness before Pontius Pilate so too Timothy must bear witness until the end of his life. In our Gospel passage we have the familiar parable of the Sower going out to sow seed. The different places where the seed fell represent humankind’s response to Christ. The important phrase for us is “Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!” If we truly listen to the word of God then we will grow in the faith for we will realise the great promise that awaits those who listen, hear and take to heart the word of God.

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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