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  • Writer's pictureJaro Carmel

Part 1: The transfer to Jaro...

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

While the sisters continued to live simply in their temporary house in Molo, Bishop McCloskey personally took charge over the financial responsibility and construction of the monastery and Chapel using his very own inheritance to fund the building and the wages of the workers. It was only in the year 1926 that the construction of the complete Monastery with a vast garden enclosed with walls and a Gothic Chapel was finished, a construction that took three years. It was on March 25, 1926, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, that the Solemn Blessing took place.

On November 6, 1925 that the Community permanently transferred to their monastery in Jaro. It was a triumphant transfer. Families and friends of the sisters were present to accompany them from their temporary house in Molo to Jaro Cathedral, passing by the Assumption College and St. Paul Hospital. “The bells of the Cathedral sent their joyous notes to heaven. And quietly the cars brought us to the new building where much had to be done to organize the Community life. The first Mass [in the Chapel in Jaro] was celebrated on the 7th. We had in our hearts our personal ‘Te Deum’ and ‘Magnificat.’” [Some Sisters would say that Sr. Margaret of the Sacred Heart (nee Concepcion “Conchita” Lacson), the First Ilongga Carmelite, would tell them that during those times their Novice Mistress would stand at the Terrace to see that they do the task given to them, which is to get some soil from near the creek and carry them in pails to the Monastery for the filling needed.]

However, this joyous moment was cut short by the forthcoming foundation of Manila Carmel. The Most Rev. Michael Dougherty, Archbishop of Manila, had expressed his desire of having a Carmel in his archdiocese. Though it was a slow progress, eventually the realization of a Manila Carmel became a reality. Rev. Mother Theresa , Sr. Agnes of the Assumption, Sr. Mary Gabriel of the Child Jesus and three other sisters formed the new community for Manila Carmel. On the day of their departure, the entire community in Jaro was plunged in deep and heartfelt sorrow. There were last goodbyes, sobs and tears that were put to an end with the loud ringing of the bell in the turn signifying that their cars await them.

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