Nuns in PA

Some time back, we looked at “Nuns and Home Improvement”, here. One of the groups we looked at were the Carmelites of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. From their website (my emphasis):

The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is a papally enclosed Discalced Carmelite community in the farmlands of Fairfield, Pennsylvania (near Gettysburg – TC). In communion with the Roman Catholic Church and approved by their diocesan bishop, the Most Rev. Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese, the cloistered Nuns live lives of solitude, prayer and sacrifice. Their monastery is at full capacity — and their numbers continue to grow.

The primary mission of the Carmelite Order is to pray and offer oblation for the Church and the world. The use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Divine Office sets this monastery apart and their observance of the Rule and Constitutions is part of an unbroken tradition stretching back from Mexico to Spain to Mount Carmel itself in the Holy Land.

They are affiliated with the Carmel in Elysburg, PA. Visit ElysburgCarmelites.Org to learn more…

Well, the National Catholic Register has an article on them, here. From The Register:

“[The] nuns are originally from a Carmel convent in Valparaiso, Nebraska, and as the order has experienced a surge in vocations, small groups of nuns have branched out to form new communities. The Fairfield Carmelites currently number 11, with most in their 20s and 30s, wear the traditional habit, make use of the extraordinary form of the Mass and Divine Office, and pray for the Church and the world. “We don’t engage in an active apostolate, but live a retired and cloistered life,” said Mother Therese of Merciful Love, the subprioress and novice mistress.

The nuns spend up to six hours per day in formal prayer, and the remainder of the day is spent in silence and personal prayer…

These are cloistered nuns: “…as the sisters value “hiddenness,” they don’t allow their faces to be photographed…

I wish to emphasize two things:

(1) The monastery is at full capacity, and their numbers continue to grow.

(2) They use the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

As has been pointed here and elsewhere, the future of the church is in her past. The Extraordinary Form needs to be mainstream: every Sunday, prime time, every Holy Day, not kept off in the closet like some weird uncle. Liberating the Extraordinary Form will NOT fix the church. But it IS a necessary first step. If you, priests and bishops, will only say it. They. Will. Come. When, O when, will our church leadership understand this?

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