Carmel of the Child Jesus of Prague and Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Goonellabah NSWWe were founded on 25th April 1966 from Dulwich Hill Carmel. Goonellabah, meaning “red flame tree”, is an Aboriginal name for an attractive tree that flourishes in our area. Once farmland, Goonellabah has developed into a residential area, while retaining the beautiful scenery provided by the lovely northern mountains. The northern view from Carmel is of the Night Cap Range, part of the Great Dividing Range. Our monastery church is part of St Carthage’s Cathedral Parish, Lismore, and parishioners come here daily for Mass. We distribute altar breads to many parishes, and produce a range of cards, bookmarks and other stationery items in our art room. We also make rosaries from beads that we grow in our own garden.
Besides Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours each day, we have two hours of silent personal prayer and an hour of spiritual reading. Our days pass very quickly. Outside the times of prayer, there is much to be done: sewing, cooking, sweeping, gardening, etc. While working, we try to keep our minds and hearts free for God. We meet twice daily for recreation. Throughout the year, there are times for both personal and community retreats.
In 1966, the founding sisters travelled from Sydney to Casino, where they were welcomed by Father Donnelly on behalf of Bishop Farrelly, and by many local people. They completed the remaining 32 kilometres to Lismore by car. (Goonellabah is just outside Lismore, so often we are called “Lismore Carmel”.) Because the building of the new monastery was not quite complete, the Carmelites accepted the generous hospitality of the Presentation Sisters before moving into their new home. After one week the move into the new building was possible, though many finishing touches had to be made! During this time, the sisters met people who were to remain friends throughout the years, many becoming members of the Friends of Carmel Auxiliary. Official Inauguration with the establishment of Papal Enclosure took place on 19th June, 1966.
A timber cottage that had stood on our site for over 100 years was still in excellent condition in 1966, so was incorporated into the building. This cottage had been the venue for the first ecumenical prayer meeting in the area. The cottage provided us with space for a choir, sacristies and workrooms, as well as a room for visiting priests. It was demolished only when a new and larger church was built in 1991. Dedication of the new church took place on 22nd March, 1992. This was a day of great joy for us all.
Over the years we have extended the area of our enclosure. In the 1980s a hermitage was built in our grounds. We have our own cemetery, in the centre of which stands a beautiful statue of Our Lady. Beyond the cemetery is an area that we call “Little King’s Park” because at its centre is a shrine of the Child Jesus of Prague. Our trees are tall and strong, and include many Australian rainforest types.
We are very grateful for the blessings we have received as the years have passed. Three of our foundresses have died, but the Lord has called young women to take their place. We thank Him in advance for the blessings of the future.
591 Ballina Road
Goonellabah NSW 2480
Tel: (02) 66 241240
Fax: (02) 66 244012
Carmel of Our Lady of Lourdes, Gelorup
Western AustraliaIn 1968, Mother Maria Immaculata in Bangkok Carmel conceived the idea of sending some Sisters to assist in an English-speaking Carmel where they could improve their English whilst assisting in the host Carmel. Moreover, the experience of life and work in a foreign Carmel would also be a very broadening one culturally for Sisters who had been insulated in Thai culture. The question was which Carmel. The choice fell to Nedlands, Western Australia.
Permission was readily given by the Father General, Fr. Finian Monahan and on April 25th, 1968, the first two Thai Sisters arrived at Nedlands Carmel. They were welcomed with open arms by Mother St. Gabriel and the Nedlands community. In the next four years, four more Thai Sisters followed in pairs to come to Nedlands Carmel.
During the period of Thai presence in Nedlands Carmel, Bishop Myles McKeon of Bunbury diocese in the South West of Western Australia, heard of the large numbers of Sisters in Bangkok Carmel desired a contemplative community in his diocese, and being a good friend of Mother St. Gabriel, he was aware that the Nedlands community did not have sufficient numbers to begin a foundation in the South West. He then conceived the idea of requesting a foundation from Bangkok Carmel.
By Divine Providence, in 1974, Bishop Myles McKeon of Bunbury made a personal visit to the community in Bangkok Carmel. Mother Anne, who had been elected prioress three months earlier, met the Bishop in the parlour, and then called in the six Sisters who had studied English in Nedlands Carmel, and then Mother Anne called in the whole Community. The Bishop could see that it was indeed a very large community, and he then revealed his desire for a foundation of Carmelites in his diocese. The Sisters were not sure whether he was joking or not, and Mother Anne said: “No, no, my Lord! We can’t go. We don’t know anybody there!” However, two of the Sisters who had lived in Nedlands urged that the foundation be made. Bishop McKeon smiled at the two as they insisted that they knew the Nedlands Sisters, Australia was a beautiful country. So it was that when Bishop McKeon smiled and waved goodbye to the community, he took away with him the assurance that some Sisters did want to make a foundation in his diocese
Right away, the Bishop wrote a formal letter inviting Bangkok Carmel to found a daughter monastery in his Bunbury diocese. The letter from the Bishop was read at Chapter and came as a great shock to many of the Sisters who had formerly seen the proposal of the foundation as a preposterous dream and possibly even just a joke, but were now faced with a serious request and invitation. The issue was discussed at great length at Chapter, with the community given ample time to pray about it, to absorb the idea fully, and to consider whether it was feasible. Finally, after much prayer and lengthy deliberation, the matter was put to the vote and it was passed.
Therefore, seven from the Bangkok community and three from the Chanthaburi community (one of whom was Sr. Agnes from Singapore Carmel who had been helping at Chanthaburi) were called to make the foundation in Bunbury diocese.
Departure Day was fixed for November 4th, with flights booked on Qantas Airlines for the ten Sisters, but even on the departure day itself, the community was still struggling to obtain visas for Srs. Celestina and Elizabeth, both of who had studied English for two years in Nedlands Carmel. The Australian Embassy suspected them of desiring to return to Australia for political reasons! Finally Sr. Celestina proposed praying at the Bangkok Carmel’s grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, as it was under her patronage that the foundation was being made, and after fervently invoking Our Lady’s help, the two Sisters went to the Embassy again. They arrived at 10 a.m. and had to wait until 11 a.m., but then the visa came through from Perth, and the two rushed home to pack.
The foundresses flew into Guildford Airport early morning of 5th November and there at the airport terminal to greet them with a fatherly welcome was our own Bishop McKeon with Fr. G. Crocetti etc. The Bishop told them that he had counted them as they emerged from the plane, rejoicing that all ten had been able to come. After collecting all bags and cases, the group of foundresses was able to pile into four or five cars to drive to Nedlands Carmel.
There was a tremendous welcome from Mother St. Gabriel and the Nedlands community, who, by some miracle of organization and generous shuffling of their own cells and offices, had prepared individual cells for each of foundresses – 23 strong to sort out their cell allocations and to get the right nun with the right suitcases in the right cell. This was achieved by hilarious communications in good English, bad English, sign language and laughter.
For the next eight months, the foundresses enjoyed the unique experience of sharing the life of Nedlands Carmel while their own temporary monastery was prepared at Dardanup (a small farming centre – 12km from the city of Bunbury). During these eight months they made several trips down to Dardanup to see the operations there. And it gave the sisters time to adjust in Nedlands Carmel to the culture, language and climate.
The first time, the sisters went in the bus of the Stella Maris Club, accompanied by Mother St. Gabriel. Once arrived in Bunbury, they stopped at the Cathedral to pray and to be shown around by the bishop himself. He then took them to the convent of the St. John of God Sisters, where they enjoyed a marvelous welcome and lunch. Finally their little busload headed off to the Dardanup parish to meet the people and to see the very attractive and historic little convent (formerly a convent of the Sisters of Mercy) where they were temporarily to live.
There the sisters were given yet another tremendous welcome, as Monsignor Giles and the parishioners of Dardanup took them to their hearts with great rejoicing, humour and hilarity. This was their first meeting, 18th November 1976, with country people of Australia, and they loved the simplicity and joy and hilarity of their welcome, especially Mgr Giles who was like a father to them. The sisters spent almost all day meeting the people, all of whom clubbed together to help supply their needs – dairy farmer, butcher, baker, potato farmer, etc., etc.
On July 22nd, the sisters finally moved down to Dardanup – their goodbyes to the Nedlands Sisters were full of deepest gratitude.
The new convent – at downstairs where were subsequently closed in the two side verandahs, one side to be a chapel and the other side to be an Altar Bread office. Similarly upstairs the sisters closed in the two side balconies, one side to be a Vestments office and the other side to be a workroom for the Extern Sisters. They did not as yet have enclosure, so that visitors freely came and went until Enclosure Day, November 13th, 1977.
On Dardanup Enclosure Day was marked with great solemnity. At the enclosure door, the Bishop handed the key to Mother Anne, and the sisters all filed in. After a final deeply grateful wave and bow to the Bishop and the people, they closed the door behind them and Mother Anne locked it with an enclosure key. They felt ecstatic with joy to return to deepest enclosure.
For seven years, they held an annual fete to raise money. The money was to help meet their immediate needs and to help pay for the new monastery which Bishop McKeon planned that they should eventually build. Friends worked so very hard for these fetes, first at Dardanup and then for a few years at Gelorup.
On November 25th, 1981, one of extern sisters, Sr. Marie Therese died peacefully of breast cancer at the St. John of God Hospital, Bunbury.
Bishop McKeon’s health forced him to retire, and the Perth auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Quinn, became Bishop of Bunbury. Shortly after his installation as Bishop, Mother Anne consulted him about finding suitable land for a new monastery.
The first block of land proposed was at Australind, a suburb fronting on the ocean. It was a beautiful area but completely flat, and the sisters were warned that they would not be able to grow flowers and vegetables there, the soil being poor and the ocean wind strong and salty. So they continued searching for a more suitable block of land Bishop Quinn drove Mother Anne and Sister Agnes to Gelorup to look at land there where a new road had been cut through. They viewed Lots 10, 11 and 12, driving slowly up the hill, and at the top found Lot 13 at the end of the road. They all got out of the car there and admired the block, its jungle of huge trees, and its beautiful views down the front and the back. On a subsequent day the whole community were taken to see the land and immediately loved it. t was then that the Bishop bought the land with diocesan money and donated it to them.
Then Iris Rossen drew up plans for a new monastery, working in closest co-operation with Mother Anne, Sister Agnes and the community. This was a long, slow, thorough process with a great many changes of plan. Iris worked hard to keep the plan economical but at the same time suitable for the Bunbury climate. She aimed at a beautiful but simple monastery. Once the plans were finalized, the builder asked for tenders from contractors for the clearing of the land where the foundations were to be laid.
In September Bishop Quinn came to lay and bless the foundation stone, while Bishop McKeon and many of the sisters’ friends assisted at this ceremony. They actually were fully installed by the opening date, March 25th. The day dawned bright and sunny for the big ceremony of their installment and blessing of the new monastery.
On 4th November 2001, the sister celebrated their 25th Anniversary of their foundation in W. Australia.
The Rule of Carmel is short and simple, biblically based and centred on Christ. Its spirit is that of the desert: silence, solitude, simplicity and unceasing prayer. t was originally written for a group of hermits of Mt. Carmel in Israel, between 1206 and 1214. Since then it has inspired Carmelites to a way of life in which one is free to ponder the word of the Lord and to grow in union with him. St. Teresa of Jesus founded her first Convent, St. Joseph’s in her hometown of Avila in 1562. Her vision and spirit created a new family in Carmel where in joyful love her followers could grow in friendship with Christ and be wholly dedicated to the Mission of the Church. Since then the Teresian Carmelites have been contemplative at the heart of the Church. United with St. Teresa in her lifetime, St. John of the Cross, gives us with her the spiritual foundation of our family in the Church. Carmel has been blessed with many great spiritual guides and Saints including St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity and Edith Stein, who show the power of the Teresian spirit up to our own day.
The life of Carmel is a balanced Christian and human life. As known for its joyful laughter as for its profound silence. St. Teresa wanted her communities to be joyful because Christ is present in his family gathered together in love. There is time each day for the sisters to have recreation together.
Prayer is central to the identity of a Carmelite, whose life is witnesses to what prayer really means. For St. Teresa, prayer is a love and growing relationship with Christ. To create a spirit of prayer throughout the day silence is generally observed. It provides opportunities for coming into frequent contact with God. Silence, solitary prayer is essential whole meaning of Carmelite life. As it was said by Pope Leo XIII, “The Spirit of Prayer – to attain this end – three things are necessary: Silence, Retirement, and Mortification without them no prayer and without prayer, Carmel is nothing more.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the ideal of our life in Carmel by following her who both kept the word of God in her heart and worked for him. We, Carmelite follow her footstep in serving God. Mary’s presence among us as we are her daughters and sisters pervades our entire Carmelite vocation. It imparts a special Marian tone to our contemplation, sisterhood, evangelical self-denial, and apostolic spirit.
The community daily renews its life and vocation by celebrating the Eucharist, proclaiming the word and singing the praises of God. The praise and gratitude, the remembrance of the mysteries of salvation and the pre-taste of the heavenly meal celebrated in the Mass are extended through the day by the Divine Office.
Each Carmelite community supports itself by its own work. Our sisters in Gelorup make altar breads and Vestments to earn their living.
The offices and duties that are necessary for life together are also shared, so that sisters work in the sacristy, kitchen, laundry and garden.
Priority is therefore given in the community timetable as well as to personal silent prayer such as Eucharistic Liturgy, Liturgy of the hours in common, two hours of personal prayer, Spiritual reading and community works, etc.
Our sisters are enclosed and follow the directives of the Holy See regarding the separation from the world. The purpose of enclosure is that the sisters might be free from distraction and anxiety so they can give themselves totally to the Lord. Their way of life is a hidden one of prayer and self-giving. Those, the Lord calls to Carmel know the blessings of his peace and the freedom He alone gives.
66 Gelorup Rise
Gelorup WA 6230
Tel: +61 (08) 9795 7807
Seven Sisters came to South Australia from the Carmelite Monastery in Kew, Victoria, on the 3rd December, 1935, bringing their tradition of contemplative life to Adelaide. They settled at the edge of the Adelaide Plains, entrance to the land of the Kaurna people, who for many centuries had known their ‘sacred spaces’ within these Plains, and had revered and celebrated their spiritual traditions here.In the spirit of this reverence for the holy, we Carmelites who live here today see this as our ‘sacred space’ a place open to God in the whole of life as it unfolds each day; a place to which others are welcome. Some come to share in Eucharist or to join in prayer, to explore their own contemplative calling, or simply to spend some time in quiet reflection.
At the heart of our life is relationship with Jesus. This is the inspiration we find in the Carmelite Rule written eight hundred years ago which exhorted the first hermits to a life of allegiance to Jesus. We, too strive to have;
…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…dwell abundantly in your (our) mouths and hearts and to do all in the Word of the Lord.
(The Rule of Carmel 19)
This relationship with Jesus is also the great discovery of St Teresa of Avila in her own prayer. She said; Prayer is a friendship with the one who we know loves us (Life:8.5).
This was the heart of her reform in Carmel in 16th century Spain, and following her we try to find ways to live this relationship within the Church of today, mindful that the Church is a hearer of the Word before it is a preacher of the Word.
We take Mary as our nurturing mother and guide as we ponder God’s Word. Mary experienced what happened in Jesus’ life, and she treasured all these things in her heart; (Luke 2:51).
We invite anyone who wishes to contact us by phone or email.
(P O Box 226)
Semaphore SA 5019
Tel.: 08 8341 5599
Fax.: 08 84491185
Launceston Carmel was founded from Glen Osmond Adelaide in June 1948 at Longford Tasmania. The community moved to the present monastery built in the hills of West Launceston in April 1975 at the request of the then Archbishop Guilford Young to be nearer the priests and people. The parish priests in Launceston supply daily Mass which a small regular congregation also attend.
Life in our CarmelWe live in strict papal enclosure as desired by St. Teresa and given by the Church.
Our life is essentially one of prayer and sacrifice, for the sake of the Church and the world, supported by life in community.
We enjoy two hours of community recreation each day.
We wear the habit of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a sign of our consecration.
We support ourselves by simple manual work including the making of vestments, church linens etc. and some printing. This with the ordinary work of housework, gardening, kitchen activities etc., occupies about 5 hours each day.
Daily Holy Mass and the full Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours)
2 hours of contemplative prayer made in community each day.
1 hour of spiritual reading in the cell each day.
We also pray the Angelus 3 times a day.
The Rosary is said privately by each sister.
Each month the Sisters have a private hermitage day
Each year each Sister makes a 10 day retreat in our hermitage
Each year the community has an 8 day preached retreat.
Young Sister's Testimony
Feeling called to the contemplative life, and having sought guidance in the discernment of God's will, I was led to this community. I entered in February 1998.
I found a lifestyle totally dedicated to prayer and sacrifice lived in strict enclosure for the glory of God, the good of Holy Church and the salvation of souls.
I made my solemn profession in November 2002.
It was the “cloistered desert" I had been looking for.
Mother Prioress OCD
7 Cambridge St
Launceston TAS 7250
website: > https://launcestoncarmel.com
Tel: +61 (03) 63313585+61 (03) 63313585
Fax: +61 (03) 6331 7017
We are in the Perth Archdiocese. Founded; 28th May, 1935, from Dulwich Hill Carmel, Sydney. We are situated in the city of Nedlands, which is a suburb of Perth.Preparations for the foundation of our Carmel were carried out when Archbishop Clune CSSR was Archbishop of Perth. The seven founding Sisters – all young, the Prioress was only 29 yrs – came from the Carmel of Dulwich Hill, Sydney, travelling by sea on the ‘Manoora’, and arriving on 28th May, 1935, the day of Archbishop Clune’s funeral. They stayed with the Good Shepherd Sisters until their enclosure was erected on 16th June, 1935. Life was very severe in their small buildings, as they worked hard to plant gardens and trees, and to earn their living mostly by baking altar breads and making vestments and altar linens. The return of Archbishop Prendiville from Ireland, where as Coadjutor he had learned of his accession to the Archdiocese of Perth, was the beginning of the constant support of the hierarchy to this day. From the beginning, the Sisters received loving help from priests, religious and laity, enabling them to carry out their vocation, and to build on to the monastery, as circumstances required. In 1937 the first sister to enter this monastery from the West, arrived, and was soon joined by another from Sydney.
Early experiences, such as attempted ‘raids’ upon the sisters in their then isolated position, led to the entrance of a succession of dogs, a feature of this monastery. The greater part of the monastery wall was built in the early forties of bricks made by the Sisters, and laid with the help of two elderly friends of the monastery. This great labour was archetypal for the community efforts made through the years. We treasure their legacy of love for the Church and the Holy Father and our Order.
Our life is essentially a life of prayer for the Church. In the Carmelite tradition, we try to live in the presence of God in a life centred upon Jesus. Daily Mass, the Divine Office in its fullness, hours of silent prayer, spiritual reading, work and recreation and rest form part of our daily schedule.
At this time there are fourteen sisters in the Nedlands Carmel. We have sisters from Irish, British, Burmese, Dutch, Tongan, Jewish, Vietnamese and Australian backgrounds. From our very beneficial contact with our Thai sisters in Gelorup, Western Australia, and from Thailand, we have learned to appreciate the value of other cultural heritages.
We see ourselves as people gifted with a wonderful charism to be lived out for the Church and for all people; we see ourselves as flawed people, dependent upon the loving mercy of God to persevere and grow in our life for Jesus. We are committed, as is the whole Order, to a continual renewal of life and growth in formation. We love our vocation and would be glad to share our insights with you.
Carmel of the Most Holy Trinity
100 Adelma Road
Nedlands WA 6009
Tel: +61 (08) 9386 3672+61 (08) 9386 3672
Fax: +61 (08) 9386 3681
Email: Prioress, Nedlands
Ormiston Carmel, QLDThe Carmel of Holy Spirit, situated in the outer Brisbane suburb of Ormiston, was founded from Sydney Carmel in 1927, in response to a request from Archbishop James who had promised St. Therese on a visit to Lisieux, that he would endeavour to establish a Carmel in Brisbane for the enrichment of his diocese and the church in Queensland. For thirty-eight years, the community lived in the home of a former State Premier in the suburb of Auchenflower, and moved to Ormiston only in 1965. Because of lack of funds, the Monastery was built in three stages, the last stage, the Church and one wing inside, being completed in 1975.
Many adaptations in our lifestyle had to be made after moving from a small urban property, to a much larger rural complex. Although today the surrounding area has been developed, our property is bounded on three sides by the waters of Moreton Bay, and in our spacious grounds, we still help to support ourselves by pasturing cattle for sale, growing some vegetables and maintaining a small orchard, as well as keeping bees and extracting our own honey. We also make Paschal candles and Altar Breads. Modern technology has impacted on our way of life, with limited use of internet and email facilitating necessary tasks and contacts. We also print photo and greeting cards for sale in our Church foyer.
A strong spirit of unity and joy has enabled us to adapt our traditional lifestyle and customs to the realities of today’s society with creative fidelity at a pace acceptable to all. Our present community numbers 21 sisters, including one extern sister and two novices in formation. We also have sisters from East Timor Carmel staying with us. This gives the sisters an opportunity to broaden their experience of Carmel in another culture and to improve their English skills, and offers them resources which would otherwise be denied them. It is also enriching for us to have this contact and forge deep friendships.
We have close links with our local Church, the local deanery priests visiting a few times a year to share pastoral concerns and initiatives. The acquisition of the former Cenacle Retreat Centre next door to us by Brisbane Archdiocese for the new ‘Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre’ named after our Carmelite Saint Therese, will serve to strengthen these bonds and keep alive our commitment to pray for the Church.
The Eucharist is celebrated daily at 7.00 a.m. and 9.00 a.m. on Sundays. All are welcome.
287 Wellington Street
Ormiston Qld 4160
Tel: +61 (07) 3286 1401
Email: Prioress, Ormiston
The Carmelite Nuns came to Australia in 1885 from the Carmel of Angouleme in France to Dulwich Hill, Sydney. From here Carmel reached out around Australia.The Carmel of Tourcoing from France was established at Parkes in NSW in 1949.
In 1987, these two Carmels, Parkes and Dulwich Hill, merged together to establish a new community at Varroville which is located about fifty kms south-west of Sydney.
The Carmel of Mary & Joseph, Varroville is situated on a hilltop in a rural setting commanding a magnificent view in almost every direction over the surrounding countryside of rolling hills and bushland with the city of Campbelltown spread out beneath us a few miles distant. We are gifted with a natural solitude, peace and beauty. We have endeavoured to maintain, renew and inculturate our Teresian-Carmelite heritage in a genuinely Australian setting.
This same spirit we endeavour to pass on to those candidates who join us at Varroville. The formation process takes place in the monastery, instruction in appropriate subjects being given – scripture, liturgy, prayer, history and spirituality of the Order etc.
There is the possibility of a preliminary three month live-in before deciding to enter
Postulancy may last between 6-18 months
Novitiate covers 2 years
Temporary vows are for a minimum of 3 years before making Solemn Vows
Living as Carmelites
The characteristics of Carmelite spirituality we try to express in our daily can be summarised as follows:
We understand prayer as friendship with Christ. This relationship is fostered by an hour of silent prayer morning and evening, the daily celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist;
We try to keep alive the prophetic tradition of Carmel taking inspiration from the prophet Elijah in his solitary life and his yearning to stand in the presence of the Living God
We look on Mary as both Mother and Sister, trying to follow her example by pondering the Word of God and responding to it in our lives
Our timetable is so arranged that we have times when we are together and times when we are alone, combining both the eremitical and community dimensions of Carmel
St Teresa wanted us to show our friendship with Christ by practising of the Evangelical Counsels, that is, the vows of chastity, poverty as perfectly as possible.
We understand our life of prayer as our apostolic service of the Church and our sharing in her saving mission.
Carmel of Mary and Joseph
345 St Andrews Road
Varroville NSW 2565
Tel: +61 (02) 9820 3048
Fax: +61 (02) 9820 3711
Email: Prioress, Varroville
Carmelite Monastery, Auckland, New ZealandSeven Nuns from the Carmelite Monastery in Sydney, arrived in Auckland, on February 15, 1937. They came at the request of the Bishop of Auckland, James M. Liston, as foundation members of a new Carmel in New Zealand. On arrival in Auckland they were the quests, for three months, of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Waikowhai. While there they looked for a suitable house and property. A sixty year old medium sized kauri villa on a small farm estate was purchased and the Carmelites moved there on April 20, 1937. The old villa at 636 Mt. Albert Road, Epsom, became and remains an integral part of the Auckland Carmelite Monastery. Plans for the erection of a small wooden Chapel with adjoining monastic Choir and Extern Convent were soon underway and these essential additions were completed within a year. The Blessing of the Chapel and establishment of Canonical Enclosure took place on February 13, 1938 and the Chapel was then given St. Thomas, Apostle as Titular Patron.
As the Community gradually grew new additions were made to the old villa. It is situated on a two-and-a-half acre property in a residential area of central Auckland. The making of Altar Breads has always been and continues to be the main work of the Community and its means of earning a livelihood.
636 Mt Albert Road
Royal Oak, Auckland 1023
Tel.: +64 (09) 625 9680
Email: Prioress, Auckland
Christchurch Carmel, New ZealandChristchurch Carmel was founded in February 1933, when seven sisters from Sydney Carmel sailed across the sea to begin the first contemplative monastery in New Zealand. They purchased an old homestead near Halswell on the outskirts of Christchurch and began to build a monastery and establish the normal prayerful rhythm of Carmelite life. The following year the first New Zealand postulant entered. Growth was slow to begin with, but steady, with many young women entering in the 1940s and 1950s. By the end of the 1950s there were enough sisters to make a foundation, and in 1959 seven sisters left to fly to Samoa and begin a Carmel in Apia.
Since then, life has changed in our Carmel, with vocations not being so numerous, but generous women are still responding to God’s call and our life of prayer continues. In the past few decades the entrance of women from different cultural backgrounds has greatly enhanced our community and enriched us with the experience of the diversity in the Church and in society.
At the heart of community life is the abiding Eucharistic presence of Christ, which fosters union with him and sustains our prayer for the Church. Our day revolves around times of prayer, both silent and liturgical, and work; times together in community and in solitude. The sisters’ talents are employed in many different ways. Our Carmel has a small farm and orchard, a large vegetable garden and beautiful flower gardens, which many of the sisters tend. Our main remunerative work is the production of Altar Breads for many parishes in our diocese. Other major works include the restoration of statues and various other forms of artwork – making cards and banners, and painting candles for Baptisms and Weddings.
If you think that God may be calling you to share in our life of prayer, please contact us.
52 Halswell Road,
Tel. +64 (03) 338 9370
Email: Prioress, Christchurch
Carmel of the Precious Blood Bomana, Papua New GuineaIn November, 1934, five nuns from the Carmel of Autun, France, arrived at Yule Island to begin living the Carmelite life in this country. This was in answer to the request of Archbishop Alain de Boismenu m.s.c., and in accord with the desire of Pope Pius XI, that the contemplative life should be planted in the young Churches also.
The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel dates from the 12th – 13th centuries, when a group of former crusaders decided to live as hermits on Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land, in one community, and with a common Rule of life. Their life was one of prayer and contemplation after the example of Mary, their model and Patroness, to whom their Chapel was dedicated. Mary “pondered in her heart" the words and deeds of Jesus, her Son, and was always open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Their other source of inspiration was Elijah, the prophet of Mount Carmel, raised up by God to be His witness, to hear and proclaim His word to His people. “With zeal am I zealous for the Lord God of Hosts" (1 Kings 19:10) became the Carmelite motto. Elijah was not only prophet, but also contemplative in his deep awareness of standing before the Face of the Living God.
From Mount Carmel the Order spread to Europe. Carmelite monasteries for women were first established in the 15th century. With time and the change of place, some of the original characteristics of the first Brothers had been lost. Saint Teresa of Jesus refounded Carmel in 1562, restoring the first fervour and simplicity of the Order, and its hermit spirit, by a return to the first Rule. The nuns were to live the Gospel counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience in small communities, dedicating themselves to God in continual prayer and self-sacrifice, observing silence and solitude, earning their living by the work of their hands. She re-created the “desert" for this by enclosure, which kept in balance any outside influences which might distract the nuns from their life of prayer. As her own prayer life developed, she understood that the life of her nuns must be at the service of the Church, the Body of Christ, Himself the meaning and reason for this life. This was their apostolate, this was the work her nuns were to do. Thus she gave her reformed Carmel an ecclesial and apostolic dimension: to live and pray in the Church, with and for the Church, united with Christ in His work of redemption. With the collaboration of St. John of the Cross, a friar of the Order who also wished for a deeper life of solitude and prayer, the male branch of the Order was also renewed. Together they laid the foundations of the Order of Discalced Carmelites as we know it today.
The Carmelite charism is found in varying forms. Many active life Congregations have been founded, taking their inspiration from the Rule of Carmel, and being affiliated with the Order. In some countries lay people bring Carmelite spirituality to the secular world, in the Carmelite Secular Order. All form the one Carmelite family, together with the Friars and cloistered Nuns.
There is only one Carmelite monastery in Papua New Guinea, at Bomana in the National Capital District.
P.O. Box 3462
Boroko N.C.D. 111
Papua New Guinea
Tel: +675 328 1127 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +675 328 1127 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Email: Prioress, Bomana
Apia Carmel, Western Samoa
Welcome to the Carmel of St Joseph, Apia, SamoaOur Carmelite Monastery is located in Apia, Samoa which is in the heart of the South Pacific Islands. Samoa is close to the Dateline Grind and its closest neighbor is Tonga. The population is about 250,000. The climate is mainly tropical. The people speak in their mother tongue, Samoan as well as English. The people live a simple life with Religion, Family and Cultural Traditions holding a very important part in Samoa.
The history of Our Carmel goes back to 1959 when on 15th April, seven Carmelite Sisters from the Carmel of Christ the King, Christchurch, arrived in Samoa to establish the Carmel in the vicariate of Samoa and Tokelau in response to the request of Bishop George H. Pearce S.M. These great Foundresses were: Mother Anne of Jesus (Rae, from Australia, Prioress), Sr Marguerite (McClintock from N.Z., Sub-prioress), Sr Agnes of Jesus (Rae, from Australia), Sr Mary Madeleine of Jesus (Creighton – from N.Z.), Sr Mary of the Holy Spirit (Mulcare, from N.Z.), Sr Mary of St John of the Cross (McEntyre, from N.Z.), Sr Mary Joseph of the Child Jesus (Perkins, from N.Z.). Our dear foundresses worked hard in planting the seed of Our Holy Mother’s spirit in our Carmel in the Pacific giving witness to a life of solitude and prayer and the supremacy of God before all things.
We work hard to support ourselves by baking and cutting Altar Bread, sewing and painting Vestments, Altar Linen & Albs as well as mending and painting statues and other works like painting banners and painting Paschal Candles. Our Samoan people are generous by nature and they always give us monetary donations and other goods.
We follow a very tight horarium waking up at 4.30 a.m. and retiring at 10.30 p.m. filling a whole day between prayer and work. Our mission and apostolate in the Church as you know is a life of contemplative prayer and sacrifice for the needs of the Church and for the salvation of souls. We ring the bell seven times a day to gather the Sisters to recite the Prayer of the Church, the Divine Office and two hours of mental prayer – one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. We treasure an hour of Spiritual Reading every day. We also enjoy two hours of recreation each day – one hour after lunch and one hour after dinner.
Our Sisters in formation have six years and three months in the process. When a young person hears the call, she comes to visit or writes to the Prioress and we learn a lot about the young person from her frequent visits or how often she writes her letters and showing eagerness to follow her call. When all the requirements of the Constitutions are met then we set a date for her entrance to come and see the life as an observer. After two or three months she will go back home to make up her mind and reapply. If we agree with her suitability and if the candidate wishes to continue her vocation we accept her request but if we see that she is not suitable for our life then we do not accept the request. If she is accepted then we set a date for her re-entrance allowing enough time to be with her family and collect all the required documents like Birth Cert., Baptism Cert.and Confirmation Cert., her references from work, the last school she attended and from the Parish Priest. Any other School Certificates we are happy to include in her documents not forgetting her medical certificate. We need strong subjects to endure the solitary life.
When the candidate re-enters she now starts her postulancy which lasts twelve months at the end of which she will receive the Habit of the Order and begins her Novitiate. The Novititate lasts two years, the first year being the canonical year. During the Novitiate the young Sisters learns to follow Christ in the Scriptures, Carmelite Spirituality, Church & Carmelite History, Catechism, Liturgy, Human & Spiritual Development etc. At the end of the two years Novitiate if she still perseveres in her desire to follow her Carmelite Vocation and the Community agrees with her suitability then she will make her Profession of Temporary Vows during which period she will interiorize what she had learned in the Novitiate. Our Sisters make their Temporary Vows for one year and be renewed annually if all goes well. The last renewal being her Final Profession offering her life completely to God in our Carmelite Life for the rest of her life.
Our Community is a multi-cultural community. We have one Sister from New Zealand, one of the pioneers, Sr Mary of St John of the Cross, one Sister from Australia, one Sister from New Caledonia, one Sister from Wallis, three Sisters from Tonga, fourteen Samoan Sisters – including our Sisters who are helping overseas who will all be returning next year please God. We still try to preserve the spirit and the Carmelite charism that our dear Mother Anne and dear foundresses had implanted in our Carmel. The other founding Sister Sr Mary of the Holy Spirit is transferred permanently to Varroville Carmel.
In 2003 one of our foundresses Mother Mary Joseph of the Child Jesus led a band of six Sisters to establish a new Foundation in Wallis & Futuna, another island of the Pacific. In July 2006 they had the joy of the Blessing of their Monastery of St Therese and are now canonically erected. Mother Mary Joseph was their first elected Prioress and they are doing very well. Their number now is going up to eleven. In the near future we are going for another foundation in Tonga in response to the request of Bishop Soane Foliaki S.M. now retired but his responsibilities have been taken up by his successor, the Most Rev. Bishop Soane Patita Mafi who is most supportive of the new Foundation. We thank God for the many graces and blessings of this foundation starting of course from our grandmother Carmel in Sydney, Australia, now Varroville Carmel. We are looking forward to celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Samoan Carmel on 15th April, 2009; although the Jubilee starts this year.
Tel: +685 21 731
Email: Prioress, Apia
Carmel De Ste Therese Wallis – Futuna Islands
IntroductionfutunaA self-governing overseas territory of France, the Wallis and Futuna Islands are two groups of islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean, between Fiji and the Samoas with a total land area of 321 sq. km. Although very small compared to their neighbours in the Pacific, they have the honour of being the place where the Church began in Oceania with the arrival of Bishop Pompallier and the first group of Marist Missionaries in 1837. Both Wallis and Futuna witnessed the labours of St Peter Chanel until his martyrdom in Futuna on 28th April, 1841.
The Foundation of the Carmel
The Carmel of St Thérèse was founded on 1st October, 2003 at the invitation of Bishop Lolesio Fuahea. Six nuns left the Carmel of St Joseph, Apia, Samoa in a small inter-island ‘plane on 30th September and, crossing the International Date Line, arrived in Wallis Island on the Feast of Saint Thérèse. For two years they lived in a small house near the sea on the Mission compound at Malaetoli, not far from the place where Bishop Pompallier and his valiant band of missionaries anchored in 1837.
On 7th October, 2005, they moved to their new Carmel, which was blessed on 16th July the following year and papal enclosure was established soon after. The monastery is situated on Mt Holo, on the summit of Wallis Island and commands a magnificent view of the sea on all sides.
The community now numbers eleven – from four nations: Wallis, Samoa, Tonga, and New Zealand. Seven are finally professed. There are two novices and two postulants in the Novitiate at present. As French is the language of the schools, few people are fluent in English. Formation lessons are given in French and Wallisien, with one lesson weekly in English. The young Sisters are also taught sewing, painting and handicrafts in an effort to help each one to develop her talents.
The nuns support themselves by baking altar bread, making vestments, albs, altar linen, mending and painting statues and by handicrafts. Work in the gardens is shared by all.
The people of Wallis and Futuna appreciate the hidden life of prayer and sacrifice of the Carmelites and often go to them with their requests for prayer for their needs.
Carmel de Ste Thérèse
B. P. 112 Mata-Utu,
Email: Prioress, Wallis-Futuna