CARMEL CONTINUES IN MOBILE----On March 16, 2010 the four remaining Carmelite's had to leave their monastery due to old age. Now they live with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in their retirement community at the Convent of Mercy in West Mobile, Alabama. We are happy to announce that all four of the retired nuns have now returned to the monastery.
On February 20, 2011 eight brave young nuns from the Carmelite Monastery in Nah Trang, Vietnam arrived in Mobile. They volunteered to come to Mobile to continue the life prayer and sacrifice that the Carmelites have given to the Archdiocese of Mobile since four nuns arrived in Mobile from Philadelphia in 1943.
The Sisters from Vietnam have now been in Mobile for one year and are settling in very well. A strong bond has developed between the retired Sisters and our new Sisters. NOTE: The sisters with the white veils have temporary vows. Carmelites do not get the black veil until their final profession,
In an effort to support themselves by the work of their hands the Sisters are making vestments for Priests, Rosaries, and beautiful greeting cards.
A book is now available at the Visitation Gift Shop, The Portier House Gift Shop, and at the Monastery telling the story of the Carmelite Monastery from the foundation in 1943 to the renewal in 2011. It is written by a well know Mobile author and very dear friend of Carmel, Mrs. Anna Bailey Crow. If you would like to order any of the things the nuns are making just fill in the contact us information and we will be in touch with you.
On February 20, 2012 we celebrated the first anniversary of our sisters arriving from Vietnam. Archbishop Rodi, Archbishop Liipscomb, Father Cu, Father Miley, several seminarians, and faithful joined us for Mass and then some refreshments afterwards.
On March 10, 2012 an election was held at The Convent of Mercy, where the retired sisters live. Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi presided at the election. Sister M. Josepha of the Sacred Heart was chosen as Prioress, Sister M. Agatha of Jesus as 1st councilor, Sister Elias as 2nd councilor, and Sister Genevieve as 3rd councilor.
The Nuns could not have an election until the two communities became one under the same Constitutions. On January 31, 2012 Rome gave the permission for the two communities to unite under the Discalced Carmelite Constitution 1991. The nuns now have enough Chapter nuns to have a canonical election
The Sisters of Mercy hosted a beautiful meal for the nuns after the elections. Please pray for the new community.
MIRACLE: God has given Sister Agatha and the Carmel of Mobile a Christmas miracle
CARMEL’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
By Sister Regina
When Sister Agatha showed me the large lump at the base of her throat I knew it could not be good. Next, Sister pointed toward the left side of her neck where the lymph nodes are located. My heart sank when I felt a huge mass. I tried not to show too much concern but told Sister we needed to go to the doctor. She did not want to go because she was afraid it would cost too much money, and she knew we had not yet purchased health insurance for our sisters from Vietnam.
Some very good, kind doctors agreed to see us at no cost. We saw an endocrinologist and she started running tests. We had blood tests, a thyroid uptake scan, and an ultrasound. Our fears increased when we received a call saying that the doctors found something “very concerning’. The doctor asked us to come in for a biopsy. Sister Agatha was very brave although you could see the worry on her face.
A few days later, we received a call telling us that the results came in, but the doctor wanted to give us the news in person. We asked Father Cu to come with us. Father is pastor of St. Monica’s parish, as well as our weekday chaplain and confessor to the nuns. We wanted him to come with us in his capacity as our chaplain but also to help us with an accurate translation from English to Vietnamese. We wanted Sister Agatha to understand the situation clearly and be able to ask any questions she may have. The doctor gave us the news as gently as she could. It was cancer. The cancer was present in the thyroid as well as several lymph nodes.
Sister’s reaction was very normal. She broke down in tears. We all tried to console her, but she only found true consolation on her knees, or prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament. The first day and night sister stayed in the Chapel taking her burden to her Lord. It would be two weeks before her surgery. During this time sister’s faith was so edifying. Father Miley, our weekend Chaplain came to anoint sister. He exposed the Blessed Sacrament and we all prayed together for an hour. Father kept telling us the doctors would find no cancer when they operated. We found our strength in prayer and in our unity as a community.
The day came for the surgery. Father Cu, Father Miley, Sr. Genevieve, Sr. Elias, Sr. Josepha, Sister Carolyn from the Convent of Mercy, Sr. Carolyn from Carmel, Tim Clarke, a Vietnamese friend named Kim, and I all gathered in the surgery waiting room. When the four hour surgery was over we all went to the conference room to wait for the surgeon. Our surgeon could not have been better. He explained that he removed Sister Agatha’s thyroid and five lymph nodes. He thought sister would have a high chance of a full recovery, but he hoped he got all the cancer. Sister Agatha would have to return to the surgeon’s office in two weeks to remove the drain he inserted and to start a course of radioactive iodine. The radioactive iodine would destroy any remaining cancerous thyroid tissue.
Sister was brought up to a room to stay overnight, or at least that was the plan. In the morning she had a fever and her electrolytes were very low. Sister was disappointed and so we were. We felt we could deal with a few more days in the hospital. What we were really waiting for was the pathology report.
On the second morning the doctor came in and said, “I have good news, there is NO CANCER”. As the doctor left the room she pointed heavenward and said, “You need to be thanking somebody.” The surgeon said he could not explain it. When we went for Sister Agatha’s follow up with the endocrinologist the nurse said, “We have never had this happen before”.
To Mobile Infirmary, Providence Hospital, Dr. Anita Kimmerly, Dr. Lee Thompson, all the nurses, the people all around the world who joined us in prayer, we thank you with all our hearts.
Most of all we give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4-5