Happy Feast Day to Our Franciscan Friends!

The Franciscans and us? We go way back!

St. Teresa of Avila’s spiritual director at one point was a Franciscan. St. Therese’s middle name was Frances. The first novice directress for our community in Mexico was a Franciscan sister. And our chaplain at our Motherhouse is a Franciscan.

So you might say that we are a bit Franciscan at heart. Oh, definitely Carmelite, but there is just a touch of St. Francis in us.

Today is the feast of St. Francis. But it is also a Monday, which means we were back to our usual weekly routine. Some of us spent the morning in the kitchen making peach pies for an upcoming fundraiser. (Eight down, two hundred forty-two to go!) We use cookie cutters on the crust to make them decorative and wonder of wonders, our cookie cutters had a mind of their own this morning! (more…)

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm  Comments (3)  

No, not that Elijah

As Carmelites, we base our spirituality on that of Elijah. That is, the prophet from the Old Testament who called down fire from heaven, killed the false prophets of Baal, and experienced God’s presence in a still, small voice. Quite the character. How exactly we trace our roots back to him is a bit of a long story, one which I will save for a separate post. Today’s is not so much a history lesson, as just an amusing incident in the lives of two simple Carmelites.

We have friends who have a recording studio, and in preparation for a fundraiser next week at Santa Teresita, we went over to borrow a drum set and key board. A unique errand in itself. (more…)

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 8:17 am  Comments (1)  

Everyone Wants to be a Carmelite

If this title sounds like a broad and perhaps exaggerated statement, allow me to present my case. While there are many supporting statistics, such as the number of St. Therese devotees, the popularity of the brown scapular, and the perennial interest in St. John of the Cross, I would like to relate two very unbiased and objective examples.

They are Feathers and Chunker, respectfully. (Now please, a more respectful response than that!)

Feathers and Her Young

Feathers is a mourning dove that made her nest outside Sister Julianna’s window. So enraptured was she by our life, that she (the bird of course, not Sister) just had to raise her young within the walls of Carmel. Not only does she reside here “with” us, but she and her brood have even taken up chanting the Divine Office. (more…)

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  

What is it with the gloves?

Through the ages Carmel has held many attractions not only for those called to dwell within this enclosed garden, but also for those touched by this particular way of life. For some it is the solitude, for others the silence. For still others the emphasis on the soul’s espousal to God has captured their hearts. But we have recently discovered that there is yet another aspect that has touched hearts.

Drying gloves.

I certainly do not propose that this is the primary influence on anyone when they visit our convent, but based on the number of amazed comments we receive I believe it is worth mentioning.

You see, we have discovered that the best way for us to dry the large amount of dishes that we wash at each meal is to use white, terry cloth gloves. Slip them on and your entire hand becomes a drying towel. It saves time and even eliminates broken dishes. (Well, at least it decreases the casualties of glasses.) (more…)

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 8:32 am  Comments (3)  

Our Lady of… the Cake Pan?!?!

Please note the Bundt cake pan-stand

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I am hoping this one will make up for a bit of a lag in the blog the past couple of days, including no entry for the feast of the Sacred Heart. (Yikes, another week in purgatory for me!)

Mary seems to have a running theme in my life these days, actually a twofold theme: busy days and humor. She seems to turn up just when it gets chaotic and she brings a little laughter when things might be getting a bit tense.

One of the novices asked me Friday evening if I knew where there was an image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to use to decorate for her feast. Indeed I did. That was part of what added to the “fullness” of my day. We are re-doing a garden and (more…)

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 8:04 am  Leave a Comment  

You found what in the drain?!?!

Just as soon as you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t. Our chaplain likes to use that phrase, and today I found myself saying it as well.

One of the sinks in our kitchen had been plugged for the past couple of days. We had a gentleman come in today to work on it. Being a rather large campus, we have lots of sinks and they just get plugged from time to time. It’s no big deal. But today it was a little different.

When we’ve had to fix such problems, we have found all kinds of things to be the source of the, shall we say, obstruction. Tree roots and coffee grounds are two of the most common culprits. But neither one is to blame for this incident. (more…)

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 10:52 am  Comments (1)