December 15, 2009

Visit to Carmel-by-the-Sea

Fr. Adam, Bro. Peter Mary, Postulant Brett, Postulant Dusty, and three of our candidates visited our Sisters at the Carmelite Monastery at Carmel-by-the-Sea. While there, they took the opportunity to visit the Carmel Mission and the 17 Mile Drive.

at Discalced Carmelite Nuns Monastery of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

at Mission San Carlos Borromeo, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

at the "Lone Cypress" on the 17 mile Drive

November 30, 2009

Postulant Brett's Parents Visit

On the First Sunday of Advent, the Mount Saint Joseph community was pleased to welcome Byron and Debbie Sharp for their first visit since their son, Postulant Brett, entered our community.

November 19, 2009

Working with the Nuns

Postulants Brett and Dusty, along with Bro. Peter Mary and Fr. Adam Gregory, spent the day recently canning "bumbleberry" jam with a community of our Carmelite Nuns.

...and "yes", the Brothers are wearing the aprons of the Nuns!

November 11, 2009

Provincial Workshop

From November 10 - 12, 2009 a group of our Friars gathered for the Provincial Workshop at our El Carmelo Retreat House in Redlands, California. This annual Workshop is designed to have some form of on-going formation and also to and enhance and support our vocations as Carmelite Friars. The Workshop began with a morning of relfection which included Adoration, Benediction, Morning Prayer, Mass and private prayer. Fr. Jack Stoeger of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was our presenter.

November 3, 2009


St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila)

Our good friend and OCDS sister Cherry made this St. Teresa costume for her goddaughter, Danielle.

It is a pleasant trend that many Catholic elementary schools have returned to the original idea of Halloween - All Hallow's Eve - November 1 is All Saints Day.

November 1, 2009

Our Sisters

Fr. Gerald and Fr. Adam Gregory with some of our Carmelite Nuns at the "West Coast Gathering".

October 10, 2009

Teresianum - Rome

The Discalced Carmelite Theology Students in Rome.

It's back to school for the Carmelite students. Our Bro. Juan Elias is beginning his third year of theological studies at the International Carmelite College (The Teresianum) in Rome. Can you find him in the picture? Click on the picture and make it larger and you will see him in a sea of brown.

In addition, here in the United States, we have seven students at Mount Angel Seminary and around the Province we have two deacons preparing for priesthood and one Brother on Pastoral Year. With Bro. Juan, in Rome, and our three Brothers in San Jose that is a total of fourteen men in formation in our Province. Thanks be to God!

October 6, 2009

Mission Update by Fr. Stephen

Uganda Update!

Into Uganda I arrived before dawn on Sunday, September 27, 2009.
It was clear sailing for the 25 mile taxi ride from Entebbe to Kampala. I asked to be taken to the Catholic Cathedral on Rubaga Hill where I could wait peacefully and safely for Fr. Edmond to come after sunup. He came at 9am with the recently professed Brother Emmanuel. The 10am Mass at St. Kizito in Kyengeza was late getting started so I was able to concelebrate with Fr. Charles. I was lucky because I got to hear the choir which recently won a diocesan choral competition and also witness the baptism of four children. The Mass was over two hours long. In the evening the Sisters of Mary of Mt. Carmel came to join the friars to welcome me.

The next day I called on the Bishop of Kiyinda-Mityana only to find that he was in the United States. He was visiting Los Angeles and Chicago where he has seminarians. On Tuesday I celebrated the school Mass for St. Ambrose seniors 1-4. Their Mass is in English so, it was nice to be able to help the pastor, Fr. Edmond. I visited the school afterwards and obligingly signed the guest book where my name was first entered ten years ago on October 19, 1999. It is a bit of a shock to realize how quickly time flies. I was 47 years old back then. There has been a lot of development at Kyengeza since I first laid eyes on it. Speaking of development there is a serious road improvement project of the Kampala to Mityana road. It may take awhile but the day will come when the trip to Kampala takes only 30 minutes and our parish in the bush will be a parish in the suburbs of Kampala.

Speaking of the bush, I had a rather amazing encounter with a woman in the Mwuende area of Kyengeza. I had a letter for her from California. You see, I met this Ugandan woman at the monastery of our nuns in Santa Clara. She said her sister lived in West Kyengeza village and asked me if I would deliver a letter to her. She is not Catholic but her clan name made it possible for Fr. Charles to find her for me. Boy, was she surprised that a white man was visiting her humble abode. She was in her field planting when we arrived. As she knelt before me in the traditional Ugandan greeting, I handed her the letter. She handed it back and asked me to open it. She could not read so Fr. Charles read the letter. Among other things it expressed condolences for a recent loss in the family. The pictures her sister sent elicited delight and joy in the recognition of a sister whom she probably has not seen in years and nieces and nephews whom she has never seen. Imagine that, two sisters living in two very different societies. We should not forget, though, that it is one world we all live in.

Brothers Emmanuel and Augustine are getting on well in Kyengeza under the supervision of Fr. Edmond. One morning we were eating omelets and Brother Emmanuel asked me if I could taste the paper. I said no and asked if it was edible. Yes, he said. Isn’t it hot? Indeed, I did feel the burning sensation and realized he said pepper. The diverse pronunciations of English present many humorous exchanges and sometimes complete incomprehension.

I stayed overnight at the nuns monastery in Mityana on the eve of St. Therese’s feast so I could celebrate Mass with our Carmelite nuns on October 1st. Later in the morning I went back to Kyengeza to attend the entertainment of the preschoolers at Little Flower School, which was started by the Carmelite Mission in Uganda and supported by our wonderful benefactors. Sr. Antonia is the director and Brother Augustine is the school bursar. He had the children listen to a little story about St. Therese when she was fishing with her father and a thunderstorm came. Then they had to answer questions about the story to win a prize. “To such as these belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Fr. Edmond drove me to Jinja on October 2nd. Thanks to the new beltway around Kampala which just opened the day before, the trip was well under three hours. (I say beltway because I am from the Baltimore-Washington area but there were plenty of pedestrians and bicyclists to contend with.) That evening I was welcomed with a nyama choma which, at least as explained by Fr. Larry, is a celebratory meal of roasted meat (our postulant Patrick roasted goat meat) and song and dance. We didn’t do any singing or dancing but we did sit around the charcoal fire and watch the full moon rise (no howling either). It is the rainy season so we were quite lucky to have such a fine evening. The breeze blowing off Lake Victoria was as delicious as the roasted goat.

On Saturday morning I held my first regional meeting with Fr. Larry and Fr. Edmond. Fr. Paul is still in California with his very sick mother, Terry. Our communities here are praying for her and the Koenig family. On Sunday I accompanied Fr. Godfrey to Our Lady of Fatima, a parish in town, for the 11am Mass in English. I was invited to preside and preach. I spotted four or five wazungu, that is, white persons, in the congregation.

This is my tenth morning in Uganda. One day is rolling into another at a surprising pace and I am once again struck by how time flies. So let us do all the good we can - while we can - as we journey together in faith.

Writing from Jinja, Uganda,
Fr. Stephen Watson, OCD

September 18, 2009

Franciscan University of Steubenville Vocations Fair

The Carmelites are well represented at the Franciscan University at Steubenville's Vocation Fair - all three of the Friars' Provinces, one of the Associations of Carmelite Nuns, three individual Carmels of Nuns and one community of active Carmelites Sisters.

All in all there are over 100 Religious Communities and Dioceses represented. And today, we had a special guest from Rome join us. Can you pick him out in the picture?

September 12, 2009

50th Anniversary

On September 12, 2009, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, our community at Mount Saint Joseph in San Jose, California celebrated the 50th anniversary of foundation. Bishop Patrick McGrath, Bishop of San Jose and Fr. Matthew Williams, Provincial Superior, were present with us.

During the Eucharistic Liturgy special recognition was given to the many benefactors who have made our life possible over the last 50 years.

For more pictures go to our facebook page. Click on the icon to the left.

September 8, 2009

Bro. Peter Mary's Profession

On September 8, 2009, Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Bro. Peter Mary of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus professed the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Profession. In his homily, Fr. Matthew, Provincial Superior, noted that this is the seventh First Profession of our Province within the last year (4 in California and 3 in Uganda).

Bro. Peter joins eighteen of our Friars who look to September 8 as their anniversary of Profession.

Happy Anniversary to:
Fr. Reginald – 64 years
Fr. Ailbe – 62 years
Fr. David – 54 years
Fr. Colm – 53 years
Fr. John of the Cross – 52 years
Fr. Albert – 50 years
Fr. Gilbert – 34 years
Fr. Stephen – 31 years
Fr. Donald – 27 years
Fr. Thomas – 26 years
Fr. Matthew – 26years
Fr. Richard Classen – 24 years
Fr. Jan – 22 years
Fr. Christopher – 21 years
Fr. Adam Gregory – 11 years
Fr. Laurence – 11 years
Fr. Mario – 11 years
Fr. Jose Luis - 11 years
Bro. Peter Mary 1 day

Happy Birthday Blessed Mother!

September 1, 2009

New Postulants

On September 1, Feast of St. Teresa Margaret Redi (Discalced Carmelite Nun), Brett Sharp and Charles "Dusty" DeLacey joined our community in a simple ceremony during Vespers.

Brett Sharp, from Whittier, California, attended California State University, Long Beach and worked as Special Events Coordinator with our Carmelite Sisters at Sacred Heart Retreat House.

"Dusty" DeLacey, from Owensboro, Kentucky, joined us during his third year at Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio. Dusty is our fourth "Steubie" to enter within the last three years.

Please pray for these men and their final perseverance.

August 15, 2009

New Seminarians

On August 10, 2009, our three most recently professed Brothers from Mount Saint Joseph moved to our house in Mount Angel. They will being their seminary studies in preparation for the priesthood this fall. (left to right) Bro. Marinello will begin Theology I and Bro. Charles and Bro. Richard will begin the Pre-Theology Program. Their absence will soon be filled by our two candidates who are entering the Postulancy on September 1. We look forward to Mr. Brett Sharp and Mr. Dusty DeLacey joining the Order of Our Lady.

The Brothers are pictured with two of Mount Saint Joseph's oldest and dearest friends and benafactors, Charles and Betty Harris. They have served the Friars at Mount Saint Joseph for the last 50 years. The Province is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Mount Saint Joseph this year.

July 31, 2009

Fr. Robert

Fr. Robert's "Serving the Mass 101" instruction at our St. Therese Parish, Alhambra, Ca.

July 26, 2009

Solemn Profession

On July 25, 2009, feast of St. James, Sr. Emily Marie of the Cross, O.C.D. made Solemn Profession of the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience as a Discalced Carmelite Nun of the Carmel of Saint Teresa. Five of our Friars were present with Sr. Emily Marie and her community. Fr. Jan Lundberg, OCD, was the homilist.

Thank you to Reverend Mother Prioress for permission to post this photo.

July 23, 2009

Perpetual Profession

On Sunday, July 19, 2009, Fr. Adam Gregory had the great blessing and privilege of serving as the Main Celebrant for the Mass of Perpetual Profession of Sr. Lucia of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. Receiving her vows was Mother Regina Marie, O.C.D., Superior General of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles.

June 25, 2009

Summer Student Seminar

Each summer, our Friar-students gather for an intensive study of some aspect of Carmelite spirituality. This year, the students, guided by Fr. Christopher, studied OHF, St. John of the Cross' work, the Ascent of Mount Carmel. The students read, discussed, wrote a paper, drew a diagram which represented a modern day Ascent of Mount Carmel, and gave an oral presentation.

Bro. Raymond giving his presentation

Bro. Richard explaining his modern day Ascent to Mount Carmel.

June 20, 2009

Ordination to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ

What a blessed and joyous way to begin the Year for Priests! Today, Fr. James Zakowiz, OCD, and Fr. Ramiro Casale, OCD, were ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests. Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, was the ordaining prelate. The rite of ordination within the liturgy took place at our St. Therese Parish in Alhambra, California.

A slide show of the liturgy and celebration will be available, next week, at

June 17, 2009

Fr. Stephen's 25th Jubilee of Priesthood

On June 16, 2009 Fr. Stephen Watson of the Cross, O.C.D. celebrated the 25th Jubilee of his ordination to Priesthood of Jesus Christ. It was a blessing for the Mount Saint Joseph Community to host this Jubilee since it was in the same chapel that Fr. Stephen was ordained on June 16, 1984.

June 15, 2009

May Crowning

On May 30, the vigil of Pentecost, the Friars at Mt. St. Joseph hosted a "crowning of an image" of the Blessed Virgin Mary. With procession, rosary, crowning, flower offering and benediction, about one hundred people joined the community in this traditional ritual which became popular in the 18th century.

June 13, 2009

Seminary Graduation

On May 13, 2009, three of our Brothers received academic degrees from Mount Angel Seminary.

Rev. Bro. David Guzman, O.C.D. received a Master of Divinity Degree. Deacon Bro. David will be assigned to one of our ministries in preparation for his priestly ordination.

Rev. Bro. Ramiro Casale, O.C.D. received a Master of Arts and a Master of Divinity Degrees. Bro. Ramiro had previously received an STB degree from the Teresianum in Rome. Deacon Bro. Ramiro will be ordained in June and receive an assignment to a ministry in our Province.

Bro. Leonel Varela, O.C.D. received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and will return to Mount Angel Seminary next fall to begin his Theological Studies.

May 31, 2009

Diaconate Ordination

Bro. Mark Kissner was ordained to the transitional diaconate on May 23, 2009 by Archbishop John Vlazny (Archbishop of Portland) at St. Mary Cathedral.

Bro. Mark and his parents.

Thanks to Mr. Matthew Townsend for the pictures used on this post.

May 30, 2009

Carmelite Directors of Formation Program

Fifty-two Discalced Carmelite Friars and Nuns from all over the U.S. (and Canada and Guam) gathered in Seattle, Washington for the Carmelite Directors of Formation Program from May 17 through May 26. Fr. Gerald, Fr. Adam Gregory and Fr. Christopher represented our Province.

May 9, 2009

Address to the Order

Our new Superior General, Fr. Saverio Cannistra of the Sacred Heart, addresses the Order at the conclusion of the General Chapter.

Transition Retreat

Seven of our Friars met recently at the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests, Los Angeles, for a "Transition Support Retreat". For five years following ordination, our Province offers particular support to our men transitioning out of Formation and into the life and ministry of the Province.

The Retreat was composed of Conferences, dialogue, Sacred Liturgies, confession, individual spiritual direction, fraternal sharing and recreation.

May 1, 2009

Rome visit

I was greatly blessed recently with a fifteen day pilgrimage through Italy and France. The pilgrimage began in Rome where I was able to visit with the three members of our Province who are presently stationed in Rome.
Fr. Jose Luis, Fr. Stephen, Fr. Adam Gregory and Bro. Juan Elias.

We also had a great visit with our two Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart who are stationed in Rome: Sr. Judith and Sr. Pauline Therese. It was also a special blessing to have our good friend, Norbertine Frater Elias, who is doing his theological studies in Rome, join us. Frater Elias is the son of two of our San Jose OCDS members: Steve and Marlene Rauwold.

April 29, 2009

Our new Superior General

On April 20, 2009, during the General Chapter held in Fatima, Portugal Fr. Saverio Cannistra of the Sacred Heart was elected as our new Superior General. Fr. Saverio is from the Tuscany (Italy) Province.

For more information, please visit our Generalate website: