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  • Writer's pictureJaro Carmel

Part 2: Life in the Monastery

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

With the departure of some sisters for the Manila Carmel foundation, life in Jaro continued for the nuns who remained there. Additional constructions were eventually added, along with some repairs and improvements. Once in a while there were some novelties like their first experience of hearing the Pope's blessing through the radio.

This peace was shattered when "On the 8th of December, two days after our retreat, Japan declared war in our country. The following day Rev. Fr. O’Connor came to visit us in the parlor & gave further news of the events that happened the previous day. He also expressed in a very touching way his fatherly sympathy for the excited and alarmed people. As fresh news came to us everyday about the increasing danger of invasion and air-raids, Rev. Mother bid us to make little preparations such as a small bundle of out-fit for each Sister to carry in case of need. We also pasted pictures and hung medals of the Sacred Heart in the Choir, Offices, Cells, doors & every part of the Monastery to ensure the protection of Our Lord. The ringing of the bells was suppressed. Matins was recited in the afternoon on account of the black-out which was strictly observed at night.

On the 12th of December in spite of the growing disorder outside our lay-postulant received the holy habit taking the name of Sr. Anne of St. Bartholomew. Rev. Fr. A. O’Connor presided over the ceremony. Rev. Fr. G. Fuller delivered a beautiful sermon while another priest played the organ. The day was a happy one especially for our new Sister whose family assisted though not expected due to the scarcity of transportation of the present war. Great was our surprise and sorrow when news was brought to us in the afternoon that the good Fr. Fuller who preached in the morning was detained by the gov’t. in the Office being a Tyrolese* whose nation was somewhat involved in the present war.

On the 17th of Dec. another sad news reached us. The well known Corregidor was sunk on its way to Iloilo from Manila. This disaster caused no little anxiety in the Community as some of our families, friends and benefactors were expected to take that fatal boat. People came in number to us to pour out their sorrow-laden hearts. Our Mother was repeatedly asked for in the parlor who generously gave herself to console, pacify and encourage everyone.

*Native of Tirol (province of West Austria)

To be continued tomorrow

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