The Carmelite Nuns
Praying for You by Day and by Night
The Carmelite Nuns have existed in this Archdiocese of Jaro for the past 94 years. Established in November 9,1923 as the first Carmelite Monastery in the Philippines founded by four French sisters from Hue, Vietnam. Carmelite Monasteries of Nuns belong to the contemplative branch of consecrated religious women devoted to a life of prayer and solitude for the Church and to pray most especially for priests.
The present community
The Sisters with Father Definitor, Rev. Fr. Mariano Agruda III, on their recent Canonical Visitation (August 5-10, 2018).
Left to right, standing: Sr. Judith Mary of the Trinity, Father Definitor, Sr. Mary Cecile of the Trinity, Mother Maria Belen of the Immaculate Conception, Extern Sisters, Sr. Azucena Marie of Christ and Sr. Rose of the Queen, Beauty of Carmel. Seated: Sr. Mary Clare of the Eucharist, Sr. Maris Stella of the Cross, Sr. Mary Pauline of the Holy Spirit, Sr. Teresa Josephine of Jesus & Mary, Sr. Marie Therese of Jesus, Sr. Noemi Magdalene of the Mother of God, Sr. Paula Marie of the Holy Face; Postulants Josefa Tacadao and Paulita Lobrin.
Not included in the photo is Sr. Miriam of the Assumption and Sr. Mary Helen of the Paraclete.
A Brief History of the Carmelites
The Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns and Friars trace their spiritual roots to the biblical figures of Our Blessed Mother Mary and the holy prophet St. Elijah; believed to have frequented the beautiful mountains of Mount Carmel in the Holy Land to praise and worship God. After the Crusades in the 12th Century, some of the noble, gallant soldiers who fought in the Crusades remained in the Holy Land to live as Hermits in the caves of Mount Carmel. Thus, they came to be known as the Brothers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Our Blessed Mother being an inspiration, a true mother and a sister. The invasion of the Turks of the Holy Land pushed them to abandon their caves and found monasteries. In the next centuries, communities of women were also established. St. Teresa of Avila had entered into one of these monasteries and was later on inspired to make reforms and founded the Order of Discalced Carmelites of both Friars and Nuns faithful to their eremitical, cenobitical and contemplative roots.
Our Lady, St. Therese and Bishop James McCloskey
( Sr. Mary Cecile Pabilona, OCD)
Jaro Carmel, the first Discalced Carmelite Monastery in the Philippines was founded from the Carmel of Hue, Vietnam because of the earnest request of Bishop James McCloskey, then Bishop of Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines.
The Carmel of Lisieux where St. Therese of the Child Jesus entered, founded the Carmel of Saigon, Vietnam in 1861. Saigon Carmel founded the Carmel of Hanoi in 1895, Hanoi Carmel founded the Carmel of Hue in 1909 and Hue Carmel founded the Carmel of Jaro in 1923. St. Therese wrote to her spiritual brother, Fr. Roulland about six months before her death (March 19,1897); "...I can assure you that if Jesus does not soon come looking for me from the Carmel of Heaven, I shall one day leave for that of Hanoi; for now there is a Carmel in that city, the Saigon Carmel recently founded it."" Her desire to go to Hanoi Carmel was not realized because of her illness. She said: "After my death I will go very quickly to the Carmel of Hanoi."
Most Reverend James P. McCloskey had a great love for and devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Because of this he desired to have a Carmelite Monastery in his diocese. He dreamt that there would be someone who, by day and by night, would be praying for the needs of his diocese; its bishop and priests in particular, and for the Philippines, in general.
The dream became a reality on November 9, 1923. This day marked the foundation of Carmel in the Philippines. The first Mass was celebrated in Molo, Iloilo City, where the four foundresses were temporarily housed.
In the book entitled, St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, written by Fr. Thomas Taylor, he wrote of an incident that Cardinal Dougherty, then Archbishop of Manila shared with him; ""Replying to a further question His Eminence told the story of what had occurred to Bishop McCloskey of the Philippines. The narrative is from the Bishop's own lips. Visiting the Carmel of Lisieux he passed through the sacristy where, behind a beautiful wrought-iron screen, are kept the most precious souvenirs of the Saint, such as the long tresses of her hair, her habit and First Communion dress, her instruments of penance, the miraculous palm which was buried with her and which was found to be still fresh and green, thirteen years after her death; as well as other articles of interest. A Carmelite nun standing before the grille explained to him the various objects. It was pleasant to listen to her account, but he went away puzzled at the presence of a Carmelite outside of her enclosure. Later in the day he referred to the matter when speaking to the Prioress, Mother Agnes of Jesus (Pauline; the blood sister of St. Therese). The Prioress assured him that not one of her community left the enclosure that day. The Bishop firmly insisted that he had seen a Carmelite nun in the sacristy.
""Would Your Lordship kindly describe the person you saw?" said Mother Agnes. The Bishop gave a full description of the nun, "My Lord," she replied, "the one who did you the honour of explaining the souvenirs in the sacristy was none other than Saint Therese of the Child Jesus herself."
Bishop McCloskey was the first member of the Discalced Carmelite Third Order in the Philippines. He donated all his inheritance from the estate of his parents in Philadelphia for the building of Jaro Carmel. He died a saintly death on April 9, 1945. Fourteen years after his death, his brown scapular and his wooden rosary beads were found intact, while his priestly vestments were reduced to dust. These souvenirs are kept in Jaro Carmel.
what we do in loving service for the Church
For Vocation Inquiries and Prayer Requests
Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines
VISITING HOURS DAILY MASS - 6:30 A.M.
8:00 A.M - 10:30 A.M.
3:30 P.M. - 5:15 P.M.
NO VISITORS ON FRIDAYS AND LENT
Closed at 12:00 noon
Opens at 2:00 P.M.
We would like you to meet two of our Sisters who were not around when the photo was taken. Sr. Miriam was sick in hospital and her nurse was Sr. Mary Helen. We thank God for Sr. Miriam's recovery and they are both back into our community.