Through the donations of the Mount Carmel Elementary (Abbeville, LA) students, faculty and friends this past Christmas, the sisters in Timor-Leste prepared 800 packs of gifts for children ages 5 to 10 years old. Children from the four villages of Beilaco, Raemae, Haricain, and Oebaba received a gift with cookies, chocolates, lollipops and a bottle of orange juice. Along with their gifts of goodies each child was given a raffle ticket with equivalent prizes of either school supplies, like school bags, while others received shirts. The children were happy to receive Christmas cards as well. The sisters also prepared games for the children for their Christmas party.
Most of these children are from the mountainous area of Timor-Leste and live in poverty and do not experience receiving gifts nor have the opportunity to even taste chocolates. Through your financial support and generosity these poor children experienced the goodness and the generosity of God to them, despite the poverty around them. Your kind gesture of generosity might reach the wounds of these children who were victims of war, injustices, and poverty that only love and compassion can heal.
Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! May God continue to bless each one of you and your family.
The Sisters of Mount Carmel in the Philippines blessed the additional Sisters of Mount Carmel Catholic School (SMCCS) three story School building on December 28, 2015. Students, parents, teachers, and sisters gathered for the occasion.The additional facilities of SMCCS will help enhance the learning process of the students to provide them a good foundation in their education.
SMCCS is located in Fairview, Quezon City and offers K-12 Catholic Education.Its vision is to have students holistically formed and rooted in the Gospel. Its goal is to have learning approaches based on the principles of alternative and distinctly Carmelite education.
SMCCS symbolizes more than a school. The Carmelite way is a tradition of relating to God in prayer. It represents openness to all of life and form of education based on truth, justice and love.
On behalf of the Sisters of Mount Carmel, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our families, friends, and benefactors who continually support and believe in the Mission and the Charism of the Sisters of Mount Carmel.
Congratulations to all our sisters in the Philippines for all your hard work and dedication to fulfill the mission of Christ entrusted to us.
Let us welcome our seven live-in aspirants in Timor-Leste. Their live-in aspirancy program started on January 3, 2016.
The sisters also blessed the extension of the convent in Beilaco on New Years Day. They now have a bigger Chapel, a classroom/study for the aspirants and the postulants, classroom for the children, guest room, women’s formation room, and an office.
Let us express our gratitude to Sisters Mailyn and Remy through our prayers for their hard work and dedication as they continue to minister to the people in Timor-Leste. Thank you Sisters Mailyn and Remy for all your sacrifices and love for the good of the Congregation and for saying YES.
Wishing each one of you a Happy New Year!
From October 25 to November November 4, 2015 Sisters Gloria Ibalio, O. Carm. the Philippine Region Regional Coordinator accompanied by Sister Elma Calajatan, O. Carm., the Postulant Formator in the Philippines, visited our sisters in Timor-Léste. They spent ten days in Dili, the Capital City of Timor-Leste, and in the mountainous area of Beilaco, Zumalai, to visit the people in the mission areas of the Sisters of Mount Carmel and to visit the families of our postulants. The sisters were warmly welcomed by the people in the different villages where the sisters worked with the people. In every village the sisters visited, they were welcomed by the villagers by placing a “tais” cloth on their neck, a sign of the people’s warm welcome to visitors. Placing a “tais” cloth on the neck of the visitor, also means, the people are hoping and praying you will come back to their place to visit them again.
On November 10 – 11, 2015, three members of the Sisters of Mount Carmel, Sister Camille Anne Campbell, O. Carm.; Sister Denis Rodrigue, O. Carm.; and Sister Maria Sheila Undang, O. Carm.; shared their vocation stories to the Junior students at Mount Carmel Academy. Sister Camille Anne gave an introduction of the vocation to Married Life, Consecrated Life, and Single Blessedness, followed by each sister sharing their vocation story, how God called them in the different circumstances of their lives, and how each sister responded freely to the call of God to Religious Life particularly as Sister of Mount Carmel. The students were being challenged by the three sisters to nourish their prayer life and to ask for God’s guidance in their search for their own vocation, and as they continue to develop and nourish their God given gifts and talents, so that they may become responsible women in our society.
Photos by: Sister Maria Sheila Undang, O. Carm.
On November 14, 2015, Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church Parish in Paincourtville, LA, celebrated their 175th Years of Faithful Discipleship. Most Reverend Bishop Robert W. Muench presided over the Eucharistic celebration along with Reverend Andrew Merrick, the Pastor of the parish and the faithful parishioneers. Some members of the Sisters of Mount Carmel were present during the celebration.
History of Sisters of Mount Carmel Foundation in Paincourtville:
The Sisters of Mount Carmel final foundation along Bayou Lafourche was in Paincourtville, only a few miles from the spot where Sisters Therese and Augustine had spent their first 4 years in Louisiana. Priests from Plattenville originally took care of the area. A church was erected in 1840 and the first resident pastor, Father A. Andrieu, C.M., was appointed four years later. Father Jean Baptiste Lesaichere who became pastor in 1867 invited the Carmelite Sisters to St. Elisabeth Parish in Paincourtville.
Application for sisters to take charge of a boarding and day school was made by Rev. Father Lesaichere. Rev. Mother Therese, finding the offer favorable to the community, accepted. Consequently, a house was purchased by the community and soon transformed into a convent, ready to receive the sisters who left from Thibodaux on May 10, 1876, for the new field of labor. They were Mother Alix [Lacroix], assisted by Sisters Antonia [Colombo], Denis [Bourg], Mary of the Crucifix [Lainé], and Francis Xavier [Olier].
The house was soon too small to accommodate the number of pupils, daily increasing. It was found necessary to build a large convent. Labor was at once begun with preparations for a fair which was given in the new house as soon as it was up. $2,000 were [sic] realized. Later on, a second fair was given with the same success.
The Paincourtville school usually counted about 50 pupils who attended classes during the school’s early years. Sister Alix remained at Paincourtville until 1880, one year before her death. Sister Mary of the Cross Vinel was superior in 1881 and succeeded Sister Alix.
Sister Valerie was sent to Paincourtville in 1878. When yellow fever forced the school to close on October 1 of the same year, young Sister Valerie wrote to her beloved Mother General Mother Therese, asking permission to go out into the stricken homes of the country folks and nurse yellow fever victims.
From October 1 to December 17, 1878, Sister Valerie…went forth from house to house, nursing whole families…. Very little help could be found. Many a night was she alone, save for a man or two who would call under cover of night to find out if there were any corpses to be removed.
In small towns such as Paincourtville, the sisters’ work and influence was interwoven into the town’s fabric. But the historian also suspects that there was an immeasurable quality to the sisters’ work. He wonders how many Louisianians could echo the thought of Mr. John Benoit who recalled his days at the sisters’ school in Carencro around the turn of the century and, from the vantage point of old age, mused, “They not only teach you school knowledge, but also they teach you the religion, the thing you need for life. They point you in the right direction.”
The Sisters of Mount Carmel are grateful to all the parishioneers for their dedication and continued support to the mission of the sisters even if they are no longer physically present in the area.
We saw, as God did, a community worth restoring
Article published in Clarion Herald on Monday, August 31, 2015
At Mount Carmel Academy’s Aug. 28 Mass marking the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, homilist Father Patrick Williams, the high school’s former chaplain, said the answer to the frequently asked question “Why would you rebuild New Orleans?” is simple.
“We came back, we rebuilt, because we saw something,” said Father Williams, concelebrant of the Mass with Mount Carmel’s current chaplain, Dominican Father Michael O’Rourke.
“In the midst of all of the devastation we saw something good – we saw something that was worth saving; we saw something that was worth redeeming, and in seeing that goodness, we were sustained in our efforts,” Father Williams said. When we identify something worthy of rebuilding, we actually are seeing ourselves in the very same light in which God sees us, the priest noted. READ MORE
The sisters in the Philippines rejoiced as they blessed their new convent in San Luis, Aurora on July 11, 2015. The municipality of San Luis is a second class municipality and is located in the central part of the province of Aurora, Philippines. The sisters started in our Aurora province mission particularly in the municipality of Dinalungan back in the 1980’s. The sisters back then worked and lived in the midst of the poor people around this province. To these days the sisters continue to work and live with and among the people in San Luis, Aurora as catechists, pastoral worker and parish worker. They are working with different groups of women, family life apostolate, youth and children.
The blessing of the new convent was attended by the parishioner from San Luis Rey Parish and some of the members of the Sisters of Mount Carmel from Fairview, Quezon City. Sister Gloria Ibalio, O. Carm. the Regional Coordinator of the Philippines also attended the convent blessing.
One of our junior professed sisters in the Philippines, renewed her vows on July 16, 2015 on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Sister Schielden Torreda, O. Carm. serves as the school principal at the Sisters of Mount Carmel Catholic School, Inc. in Fairview, Quezon City, Philippines. She is also taking her masters degree in Education Management at St. Joseph’s College, Quezon City, Philippines.
Congratulations Sister Schielden Torreda, O. Carm.