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The Discalced Carmelite Nuns - 1990 & 1991 Constitutions

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
I thought since the several of the topics have been on Carmel these days, and our dear [url="http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=58176"][i]Teresa de Jesus[/i][/url] series is on EWTN, that I would share some of my experience visiting the Discalced Carmelites and what I have heard of the two different Constitutions for the nuns.


[b]My Experience:[/b]

When I first was thinking of Carmel, I knew I wanted a traditional place. I searched online and saw a few with very beautiful old monasteries and in full habit, and visited, but felt I had to keep searching.

A friend gave me a list a very good priest had made up of convents he recommends - both active and contemplative. There was one OCD Carmel on there which I had never heard of, so I decided to write and eventually made a visit after corresponding with them. The Reverend Mother there was so warm and welcoming, and really emanated a spirit of prayer and courtesy.

Upon visiting this Carmel, I was very impressed with their spirit. The enclosure was much stricter than other places, and there were double grills in the parlor and between the choir and public chapel. The extern sisters would address the priest there, Reverend Father, and there seemed to be many other customs as well. There was certainly a spirit of calm and order about the place. I met the whole community in the parlor, and there were so many, and many young ones! They were incredibly joyful!

It was from visiting this Carmel that I first learned of the 2 different Constitutions of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns.


[b]Early History of Difficulties with the Constitutions:[/b]

Since the early years of the Discalced Carmelites after the death of St. Teresa, there have been some difficulties and disunity in the order. As can be seen in the life of [url="http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09318b.htm"]Ven. Ann of Jesus[/url], a nun with St. Teresa in the first Discalced Carmel of St. Joseph in Avila, who founded the first OCD Carmel in France - some of the nuns from the beginning were quite adamant about keeping the original Constitutions of 1581 written by St. Teresa herself, with her spiritual director Fr. Jerome Gratian.

A similar situation can also be found in the life of another contemporary of St. Teresa, [url="http://home.infionline.net/~ddisse/mariajos.html"]Sr. Maria de San Jose Salazar.[/url]

On her deathbed, St. Teresa exhorted her sisters thus (these were her last words to them):

"My daughters and my ladies,
for the love of God I beg that you will take great care
with the keeping of the Rule and Constitutions,
for if you keep them as faithfully as you ought to,
no other miracle will be needed for your canonization."


[b]Vatican II and the renewal of religious life:[/b]

The Second Vatican Counsel called for the renewal of religious life and an update in the Constitutions of the different orders. The renewal process for the Discalced Carmelite Nuns took almost 30 years, longer by far, than any other order.

The Discalced Carmelite Friars, generally speaking, were more taken up in the “spirit of Vatican II” (the liberal/false spirit of those times, not the actual documents and teachings of the Council) Several of the communities of the nuns were concerned about this, and about their influence on the nuns. The friars are the spiritual head of the Order.

A number of Carmels, particulary in Spain, sought help and counsel from various priests & bishops, including Jesuits and priests of Opus Dei. They were a minority of all the Carmels in the world, but they were strong. Madre Maravillas of Jesus, who as of May 4, 2003, is [url="http://www.lasvegasmariancenter.com/madre.htm"]St. Maravillas of Jesus[/url], was a chief figure in this and strove hard to see that her Order was not hurt by this renewal - that the renewed Constitutions would keep the strict enclosure and practices called for by St. Teresa.

"Let them beware, for the devil through very small things,
drills holes through which very large things enter.
May it not happen that those who are to come say:
'These things are not important; don't go to extremes.'
Oh, my daughters, everything that helps us advance is important!"

St. Teresa of Jesus
[i]Foundations[/i], ch.29, 32

Since the late 1970s many laxities had been introduced into the Order. While the Friars were working with the nuns on drafting the new Constitutions, this minority group was working with the support of priests and bishops, to preserve the original Constitutions of St. Teresa, updated according to the present Code of Canon Law and the directives of Vatican II.

A momentous event took place in 1985, when John Paul II, ordered a Vatican Office to rewrite the Constitutions of the OCD nuns. “The new constitution will scrap some post-Vatican II reforms under which the sisters have lived since the late 1970s.” ([url="http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-21230194.html"]Pope John Paul II: the first 20 years[/url]) This was to safeguard both fidelity to the rule of St. Teresa and unity in the Order.

John Paul II approved the work of the minority of Carmels which desired to keep the old Constitutions by renewing them according to the directives of Vatican II. On December 8, 1990, the updated 1581 Constitutions were approved and promulgated by John Paul II. The following year, the new Constitutions for the nuns written by the Discalced Carmelite Order were also approved promulgated by John Paul II. Thus two sets of Constitutions for the Discalced Carmelite Nuns were approved, and the individual Carmels were given a choice on which ones they would follow. (note: Carmels still have a choice, and can request to change over, as one of the Reverend Mothers told me)

Under the 1990 Constitutions, the nuns are directly under the jurisdiction of the Holy See. Under the 1991 Constitutions, the nuns are under the jurisdiction of the Discalced Carmelite Father General, and associated with the friars. St. Teresa had wanted the Order to be united. But she also wanted a strict rule and enclosure for her nuns set out in the Constitutions of 1581.

The majority of Carmels chose the 1991 Constitutions, and a few were given permission to follow the 1990's in all ways, except that they would be under the jurisdiction of the OCD Father General. I believe it's 18 out of the 60something OCD Carmels in the US that are under the 1990 Constitution currently. I know of one that switched over from the 1991s to the 1990s several years ago, but there may also be others that have done this over the years. Here is a page with the addresses of all the [url="http://www.ocd.pcn.net/ocd/n2_usa.htm"]Discalced Carmelite Nuns in the US.[/url]

There is an article on this on the [url="http://www.baltimorecarmel.org/"]Baltimore Carmel's[/url] website, [url="http://www.geocities.com/carmelite_2000/kuenstle.html"]The Fractured Face of Carmel[/url]. It is definitely on the side of the newer Constitutions. It seems to be arguing that this group of Carmels that were working to keep the original Constitutions were acting out of obedience. However, Madre Maravillas is now a saint, and the Holy Father approved of what they were doing, and approved their Constitutions. Therefore, although it seems to have the history correct, I would not trust everything argued in this article on the Baltimore Carmel's website. I particularly do not appreciate its questioning of the Holy See's intervention in the renewal process.


[b]Associations & Meetings:[/b]

The Church has recommended the forming of Federations/Associations among cloistered contemplative communities in order to provide mutual support in areas such as financial needs and formation. They can have meetings outside the enclosure, which would not be against the observance of Papal Enclosure, but this not required.

"The decision to belong or not to such bodies depends on each community, whose freedom must be respected." ([url="http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccscrlife/documents/rc_con_ccscrlife_doc_13051999_verbi-sponsa_en.html"][i]Verbi Sponsa[/i][/url], Part IV)

For the OCD nuns, many of the Carmels were opposed to the idea of having meetings outside the enclosure, as this is not according to the way of life handed down to them from St. Teresa. It was the express wish of St. Teresa that her nuns observe strict enclosure.
This was one of the major tensions that caused the struggle and split regarding the 2 different Constitutions. The 1990 Constitutions do not allow the nuns to go our for association meetings, while the 1991s do.

In [i]Verbi Sponsa[/i], it also speaks on the autonomy of individual monasteries, which must be respected. It's a couple paragraphs before Part IV on Associations.

"The Church recognizes every monastery “sui iuris” as possessing legitimate juridical autonomy of life and government in order that it may have its own discipline and be capable of preserving intact its own heritage.

Autonomy favours stability of life and the internal unity of every community, and guarantees the best conditions for the exercise of contemplation."

There are a couple associations of Carmels I know of that do not have meetings outside the enclosure, namely [url="http://www.carmelitenunsstjoseph.org/"]St. Joseph's Association[/url] (comprised of both 1990 & 1991 Carmels) & [url="http://carmelitemonastery.com/los/los.html"]Los Palomarcitos de la Virgen[/url], an international association (from which I took all my St. Teresa quotes, as they are very relevant). The latter include the ones given special permission to follow the 1990s in all ways, except to be under the OCD Father General.

Some Carmels under both the 1990 & 1991s opted out of joining an association altogether, which they are free to do - to name a few, Iron Mountain, Lake Elmo, Ada Parnell & Denmark (all Carmels with great reputations for being solid and traditional)

There are 3 other associations of OCD nuns in the US that do have meetings outside the enclosure (I believe the norm is usually, once every 3 years). The [url="http://www.ccacarmels.org/"]Carmelite Communities Associated[/url] are generally not at all traditional Carmels. The Association of [url="http://www.mary-queen-of-carmel-assoc.org/"]Mary, Queen of Carmel[/url] look good from viewing their website. Then the [url="http://www.carmelnuns.com/Association.html"]St. Teresa Association[/url] is similar to this one, but with less communities - these include St. Louis and Port Tobacco. All the Carmels in these 3 associations are under the 1991 Constitutions.


[b]End Notes:[/b]

After learning of the different Constitutions, and before realizing the [url="http://www.baltimorecarmel.org/carmelite%20family/1990%20Carmels.htm"]Baltimore Carmel's site[/url] has a list, I went to my local Carmel of Des Plaines, under the 1990s, to ask for a list of the US Carmels under these Constitutions. I'll post my list too, just in case there are any places missed on either. There is also a list on Baltimore Carmel's site of all the [url="http://www.baltimorecarmel.org/carmelite%20family/Unassociated%20Carmels.htm"]autonomous/non-associated Carmels.[/url]

One thing I have heard of the 1991 Constitutions, is that they allow more flexibly in the way of life, which can be both good or not so good. For example, the Port Tobacco Carmel has a different way of life than traditional Carmels, with hermitages for each professed nun instead of one hermitage for the whole community wherein each has a hermit day every month or so.

But I have also heard it said that since the 1991s do not have all the specifics of the 1990s, and the Reverend Mother does not have as much say, a few sisters with different ideas could change the course of a community over time. St. Teresa specifically wanted the Mother Prioress of her Carmels to have the main role in the decision making and spiritual direction of the community.

Another difference in Carmels under the different Constitutions is in the customs they observe. For example, among the many little customs that were practiced since the earliest days of the OCD nuns, one was that during recreation, a sister was in charge of sounding a little clapper so that everyone would pause and remember the presence of God. She would say something like, "Let us remember we are in the presence of God." Many Carmels do not practice this anymore, but I believe most, if not all, of the 1990s do.

I was once talking to a good OCD friar about all of this regarding the Constitutions, and he understood very well my position on preferring the 1990 Carmels. He recommended, however, a Carmel that was in the process of building a new monastery in Denmark, WI that is very traditional and does not go out for meetings. I have also heard the Carmel in Ada Parnell, MI is supposed to be very good too.

The [url="http://www.carmelitemonastery.com/"]Georgetown, CA Carmel[/url] is one that's in the association, [url="http://www.carmelitemonastery.com/los/los.html"]Los Palomarcitos de la Virgen[/url]. I recommend reading about it. They're also part of [url="http://flemingtoncarmel.org/StJoseph.htm"]St. Joseph's Association[/url]. They look wonderful!

However, although I prefer the 1990 Carmels because they follow the original Constitutions, I have also heard that many of the Carmels under the 1991 Constitutions can be great too! I do not mean to say negative things about any of them. With discerning Carmel and finding the right community, people always say each Carmel is different and has quite a unique spirit. And it is not necessarily that every 1990 Carmel is great. I haven't heard of any that are not, but as with any religious order, everything really depends on the particular community.

But I truly know of a few cases of young women who left Carmels, even that seem very traditional from the outside, and have found their home in a 1990 Carmel, one currently in the process. She was not aware of the differences in the 2 different Constitutions before. So I do really think it's important that those discerning Carmel be aware of the different Constitutions, which was my aim in starting this thread.

God bless all of you in your discernment!

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Gemma    45
Gemma
My website has the U.S. Carmels listed on their own page, under the headings of the respective constitutions. Go to "Other Religious Communities" on the navigation; then choose the US cloisters. On the "women's communities" page, choose the Discalced Carmelites. Everyone is listed under their respective constitutions.

[url="http://cloisters.tripod.com/"]http://cloisters.tripod.com/[/url]

In a nutshell, the 1991 Constitutions Carmels are affiliated with the friars. The 1990s are not, but answer directly to the Holy See. Georgetown answers directly to the Master General of the OCDs.

Blessings,
Gemma

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga

Thanks, Gemma! You have a wonderful and incredibly informative site!

A couple thoughts I wanted to add - I really did like the sisters at the St. Louis Carmel, and thought it was pretty neat that they could have so much adoration. Also for Port Tobacco, they look like a very good community from their website. I think it's great how they are able to have individual hermitages, as St. Teresa wanted her communities to be like the hermits who began the Carmelite order on Mount Carmel.

Other thoughts - for each Carmel, St. Teresa wanted 21 to be the limit (which I believe all of them keep), so they would stay small communities, like little families.

As it says on Gemma's site, Valparaiso, Nebraska, is a special "Ecclesia Dei" Carmel, which has the Tridentine Mass daily, and Divine Office. The last article I read on them I believe said there are 19 there now.

Buffalo, NY, Alexandria, SD, & Brooklyn, NY have the Tridentine Latin Divine Office and the Novus Ordo Mass.


Next time I'm online, I will post the list of the Carmelites under the 1990's. In St. Joseph's Association, some are 1990's and some are 1991's. Then there are other 1990's & 91's not in any association.

Blessings to all on the Lord's day!


Chiquitunga

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brendan1104    1
brendan1104
I swear Buffalo has the Latin office according to the revised rite?!

But either way they sound beautiful. :)

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HisChild    82
HisChild
I'd written the Port Tobacco Carmel for many months, although I never visited. They seemed like such a wonderful community. And I LOVED the idea of the individual hermitages. It was something that drew me pretty strongly. I love the whole Carmelite spirituality. . .being alone with the Alone. . .so wonderful in its simplicity. But yes, there are so many differences within the communities. I'd written several of the communities during my discernment. I think if I could share any of my experiences with them, in a general way, I'd have to say, that if anyone is considering cloistered Carmelite life, be aware that each of the communities is unique, and if one is 'turned off', for lack of a better phrase, by any community, recognize that each are in fact different, even if, on the surface, there seems to be many similarities.

As for me? At this time, I'm returning to the life of a secular Carmelite, God willing.

God bless you.

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga

I swear Buffalo has the Latin office according to the revised rite?!

But either way they sound beautiful. smile.gif


Oh hey Brendan, actually I'm sure you probably know a lot more on the particulars of the Buffalo Carmel. I thought it was the Tridentine Office because the office books they use looked so old. But I did not know all the particulars at the time, and am not sure now. Maybe they do have the Latin Office according to the revised rite. If so, then so does Alexandria and Brooklyn, as they are Buffalo's foundations. Maybe you could ask the externs there.

Either way, it is sooo beautiful! Like angels singing :saint:

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Gemma    45
Gemma
If anyone wants Carmelite spirituality, perpetual adoration, and individual hermitages, please check out our Carmelite Nuns of Perpetual Adoration. Their monastery will be on the Charterhouse floorplan with individual hermitages.

[url="http://cloisters.tripod.com/carmelites/"]http://cloisters.tripod.com/carmelites/[/url]

Blessings,
Gemma

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
Praised be Jesus Christ! I'm sorry I didn't get the Carmels with the 1990's up here sooner. I have to run now, but I thought I would just list the places for now, in case anyone has been patiently waiting. Then next time, I will post the addresses, and any notes on them I might know.

Discalced Carmelite Monasteries under the 1990 Constitutions:

Alexandria, SD
Brooklyn, NY
Buffalo, NY
Dallas, TX
Erie, PA
Flemington, NJ
Iron Mountain, MI
Jefferson City, MO
Kensington, CA
Lake Elmo, MN
Louisville, KY
Mobile, AL
Pittsford, NY (Schenectady, NY recently joined them)
Traverse City, MI
Valparaiso, NE

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
I thought I would post now a few more thoughts I wanted to add to this thread and the addresses of these houses, even though they are all here - [url="http://www.ocd.pcn.net/ocd/n2_usa.htm"]OCD nuns in US[/url], to have them all in one place.

First, I think I wrote something in favor of the 1990's that if a few sisters had different ideas in the communities of the 1991's it could change the direction of the community over time but, the greater concern for the 1990's was definitely not so much the sisters within the communities, but the influence the some of the more liberal friars could have on the nuns if they were under them. I think I said this pretty well before though.

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
[quote name='HisChild' post='1087178' date='Oct 9 2006, 12:46 AM']
I'd written the Port Tobacco Carmel for many months, although I never visited. They seemed like such a wonderful community. And I LOVED the idea of the individual hermitages. It was something that drew me pretty strongly. I love the whole Carmelite spirituality. . .being alone with the Alone. . .so wonderful in its simplicity. But yes, there are so many differences within the communities. I'd written several of the communities during my discernment. I think if I could share any of my experiences with them, in a general way, I'd have to say, that if anyone is considering cloistered Carmelite life, be aware that each of the communities is unique, and if one is 'turned off', for lack of a better phrase, by any community, recognize that each are in fact different, even if, on the surface, there seems to be many similarities.

As for me? At this time, I'm returning to the life of a secular Carmelite, God willing.

God bless you.
[/quote]


This is great advice - yes, they (the OCD nuns) would always say each of the Carmels is totally unique.

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
I just wanted to add that the Ada Parnell, Mich. Carmel, which is under the 1991 Constitutions, is still supposed to be very very good. They are the first foundation from Mexico and many great Carmels came from there.

It was Mother Elias from Mexico who first came to the Grand Rapids Carmel (later moved to Ada Parnell). She was a great mystic and is said to have suffered much for all the foundations that would come from this Carmel. Some of their foundations that I know of, which all follow the 1990's, are Buffalo, NY, Schenectady, NY (the 12 from there joined with the 1990 Pittsford, NY Carmel), Traverse City & Iron Mountain, MI.

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga

Discalced Carmelite Monasteries under the 1990 Constitutions:

Alexandria, SD
Brooklyn, NY
Buffalo, NY
Dallas, TX
Erie, PA
Flemington, NJ
Iron Mountain, MI
Jefferson City, MO
Kensington, CA
Lake Elmo, MN
Louisville, KY
Mobile, AL
Pittsford, NY (Schenectady, NY recently joined them)
Traverse City, MI
Valparaiso, NE


I just realized that this list is missing Des Plaines, IL which I am 100% sure follow the 1990 Constitutions. That's because I got this list on a piece of paper from them of all the other monasteries of Discalced Carmelites that have the 1990's.

So Des Plaines, IL is added to this list. So that makes 16 out of the 60 something OCD Carmels in the US, that follow the 1990 Constitutions - a pretty great minority.

60 something, can you believe that? I just counted them on the OCD nuns site. I counted 66, but I could be off. That's a lot of monasteries. We have a pretty big country though. :j

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
Here's the list again with a few links: (the first 3 have the full Divine Office in Latin)

[url="http://religiouslife.com/vocsearch/search.phtml?view=d&my_id=166&criteria=d"]Alexandria, SD[/url]
Brooklyn, NY
Buffalo, NY
Dallas, TX
Des Plaines, IL
Erie, PA
[url="http://religiouslife.com/vocsearch/search.phtml?view=d&my_id=18&criteria=d"]Flemington, NJ[/url]
[url="http://religiouslife.com/vocsearch/search.phtml?view=d&my_id=165&criteria=d"]Iron Mountain, MI[/url]
Jefferson City, MO
Kensington, CA
Lake Elmo, MN
Louisville, KY
[url="http://religiouslife.com/vocsearch/search.phtml?view=d&my_id=38&criteria=d"]Mobile, AL[/url]
[url="http://religiouslife.com/vocsearch/search.phtml?view=d&my_id=25&criteria=d"]Pittsford, NY[/url] (Schenectady, NY recently joined them)
[url="http://religiouslife.com/vocsearch/search.phtml?view=d&my_id=82&criteria=d"]Traverse City, MI[/url]
[url="http://www.lasvegasmariancenter.com/carmel.htm"]Valparaiso, NE[/url] (Indult Latin Mass & Office)

I think [url="http://carmelitemonastery.com/"]Georgetown, CA[/url] follows the 1990's in all ways but that they are under the General Superior of the Carmelite Order (1991's) rather than directly to the Holy Father (1990's) - Gemma told me this.

I'm sure other 1991 Carmels, along with Ada Parnell, are good too, but I don't know of them. The only other one I heard that was very good was a new one in Denmark, WI

Also, I'm assuming all the 1990s are great, but you'd really have to visit each one and speak with the Mother to really know and find out the unique spirit of each Carmel. But generally, the 1990s are supposed to be the best for orthodoxy and faithfulness to the charism and the strict enclosure.

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HisChild    82
HisChild
There was one. ..I can't recall where, I think it was in Houston, Minnesota that a Carmelite sister told me was NOT good. . .it was the only one she didn't recommend in the entire country. (There are some discerners who feel called to strict enclosure and some that do not, so she didn't consider those things, but only if the community was 'solid'. ) If I remember for sure, I'll add it. She said they were relatively new and there were some 'weird happenings' going on there.

Pax.

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
I just wanted to be sure to give a link here to the other thread, The Order of Mt. Carmel, as it has some posts I didn't re-post in this one - in case anyone is searching for Carmelites on the web, and comes here.
 

Here's the list again with a few links: (the first 3 have the full Divine Office in Latin)

Alexandria, SD
Brooklyn, NY
Buffalo, NY
Dallas, TX
Des Plaines, IL
Erie, PA
Flemington, NJ
Iron Mountain, MI
Jefferson City, MO
Kensington, CA
Lake Elmo, MN
Louisville, KY
Mobile, AL
Pittsford, NY (Schenectady, NY recently joined them)
Traverse City, MI
Valparaiso, NE (Indult Latin Mass & Office)


Reposting this from Order of Mt. Carmel thread:

I visited/corresponded with 5 of the Carmels on this list. First, Des Plaines, which is right near me, which is great - highly recommended. They do not come from the list of all the foundations from Mexico, but from foundations from Europe - so they have different customs and are a little more simple than the Spanish custom Carmels.
(I like both traditions)

The next was Iron Mountain, MI - foundation from Grand Rapids in 1951 - Spanish traditions - wonderful community!!! just about full now.

The next, Buffalo, NY - incredible, Latin chant, very traditional. Then Schenectady, NY - came also from Grand Rapids Mexican Carmel later than Buffalo, wonderful community (now has merged with another Carmel in Pittsford, NY)

Finally Lake Elmo, MN, which I didn't visit, but spoke a few times with Mother Rose there. They are supposed to be an exceptionally great community also. I believe it was Mother Miriam who also recommended this place. They have a lot of land and are in a very very quiet area. They also have an amesome Carmelite order right near them, the Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who come for the Sacraments and give them spiritual direction and retreats.

They have a very very plain monastery, which Mother Rose particulary thought it was important that I know, as some may find it depressing there, she said, after a time. They are from the European foundations with the simple customs like Des Plaines. She sent me pictures in the mail. Their chapel has cement walls, and truly is incredibly plain. But this for them is a sign of their poverty, and also their simplicity in all things including the material.

Mother Rose asked me if I really liked the monastic feel of Buffalo, which greatly contrasts their monastery - and I definitely did. It is beautiful. So she recommended I go there then. But something really great about Lake Elmo is that they are definitely in a silent area and have a good amount of land which they own around them - which helps protect the silence.

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
I thought I would post St. Maravillas' picture here. Formerly known as Madre Maravillas, she is the Spanish Discalced Carmelite who worked hard to see the old Constitutions of the OCD nuns kept, approved in 1990. Here is a portrait of her as a young Carmelite.

image003.jpg

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
Another way to find great Carmels, besides looking only at ones with the 1990 Constituations, would be the ones in [url="http://www.flemingtoncarmel.org/StJoseph.htm"]St. Joseph's Association[/url] (1990 & 1991's, living out a traditional interpretation of the Rule)

also the Carmel in Des Plaines IL (1990) told me Terre Haute (1991) is very good

I visited the Carmel in St. Louis, MO. It is a beautiful old monastery. They are part of St. Teresa's Association (1991's) which does have meetings outside the monastery every 3 years or so. I believe only a couple of the nuns from each monastery goes each time. But still they were a great community - different than the 1990 Carmels in certain things though.

The adoration is really a unique thing about their Carmel. I'm pretty sure it was the bishop of St. Louis who asked them if they would slightly change their way of life to fit in adoration thoroughout the day, where the public could also come and adore on the other side of the cloister. It is an incredibly beautiful old chapel.

Other differences ... They are allowed to watch some religious programs or tapes on TV, while the 1990s definitely are not. In Buffalo, the only time they could ever watch a tiny bit of TV would be for something like the installation of a new Holy Father. But for anything else, it is strictly prohibited.
I really like the strict fidelity to a traditional interpretation of the Rule of the 1990 Carmels (and some of the 1991s), but some of the others can be great too.

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Chiquitunga    817
Chiquitunga
But again, guys, please forgive me, I don't mean to say anything negative about these sisters. I visited the Carmel in St. Louis that is under the 1991's in St. Teresa's Association who occasionally go out for meetings (2 or 3 at a time though, I believe) and those sisters were really nice and in the full habit. But again, I just think it's important for those discerning Carmel to be aware of this, as I had no idea until one of the Reverend Mothers explained it to me. But again, she did say that many of the 1991's are still great.

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Marieteresa    0
Marieteresa
Interesting topic, I could be wrong about this but I have talked to a couple of Mother Superiors at various Carmelite monasteries who where actually against associations. One of the main objections was that they don't get alot accomplished at the association meetings and also the time, energy and money to travel to the various monasteries for a meeting. Don't get me wrong associations can be helpful at times but one must look at the other side as well.

Also I know a few people mentioned a couple of monasteries which are actually good but there were 2 mentioned that if one where looking for a more traditional place not to look there. One is considered a "rich monastery" and the second one is doing something that isn't the "norm". I have heard this from several Mother Superiors so my sources are credible. Just my ten cents

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