A Celtic Journey with St. John of the Cross

We would like to share with you two beautiful musical reflections in honour of Our Lady and St John of the Cross recorded by Kerrie O’Connor and friends in our Chapel. We vacated the Chapel one afternoon while they did all the hard work!!  The first one is available on youtube and the second will be available for the feast of St John of the Cross on 14th December. We hope you will enjoy. https://youtu.be/R2YGDeZ0haE

 

A Celtic journey 

 

 

 Prayer & Reflection
for Women

From time to time we host days of prayer and reflection for women interested in exploring a vocation to Religious life. For further information please contact us at: carmel@roebuckcarmel.com

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Sunday Reflections  

  

2nd Sunday of Lent

  

Transfiguration 

 

Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18

Romans 8:31-34

Mark 9: 2-10

 

Someone once said that “Great things happen when men and mountains meet”.  Our scripture readings today certainly point to the important place mountains have in the history of our Salvation.  The experience of being on top of a mountain gives us a broader perspective of the surrounding countryside and, indeed, of life in general.  Not surprisingly in the Bible, mountains are usually associated with divine encounters. But when we reach the top of a mountain we are only half-way on the full journey!  There is always the decent from that height and that can also be the challenging part of the journey.  Climbing the mountain is symbolic of the effort and learning that goes into achieving the goal.  If the goal has been to build for something in the future then the decent is filled with the blessings and benefits of effort and learning.

Abraham and Sarah were given the gift of their son, Isaac, by God. The name Isaac means ‘the expression of the smile of God.’  Abraham’s journey to the top of the mountain in Moriah required all the effort of a faithful servant of God.  And his willingness to sacrifice his most important gift was blessed by God’s smile. And so, his descent of the mountain, the second half of the journey of his life was to be lived out as the father of a great nation and people. 

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Saint Brigid (454-524)

Patroness of Ireland 

St Brigid

St Brigid, who is known as ‘Mary of the Gael’, is renowned for her hospitality, almsgiving and care of the sick. When she was young her father wished to make a very suitable marriage for her but she insisted in consecrating her virginity to God. She received the veil and spiritual formation probably from St Mel and stayed for a period under his direction in Ardagh. Others followed her example and this led her to found a monastery in Kildare with the assistance of Bishop Conleth. She was the first abbess of a religious community in Ireland and had a very special place in the Irish Church of her time. She died in 524 and her cult is widespread not only throughout Ireland but in several European lands.

  

Saint Brigids cross

 St Brigid’s Cross

May the blessing of God 

The blessings of Our Lady 

The blessing of St Brigid 

Be upon everyone 

Who looks upon this Cross. 

 

More information about St Brigid

 


Sr. Breda McInerney (1935-2024)

 Sr Brida

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Sr Breda McInerney.

Born on 1st February 1935 at Cooraclare, Co Clare. Breda joined the Nazareth Sisters after her secondary school years and taught in their schools in Australia until she decided to be a Carmelite. In 1985 Sr. Breda came to Ireland and joined Firhouse Carmel.

Sr Breda was always interested in people and their concerns and was very zealous in her prayer for all. We are confident that she will continue to bring our concerns to the Lord on our behalf and that she will intercede for us all.

In 2017 she transferred to Roebuck after the sad closure of Firhouse.
Always interested in sport she was an avid follower of the GAA and was keenly interested in rugby.

After suffering for years with heart problems it finally gave up on her and she died peacefully and serenely in the Monastery aided by the wonderful care of our doctors and the hospice nurses.

May she rest in eternal peace.

 


A Christmas Prayer

 


Merry Christmas to all our Friends 

 

Dear Friends

The Angels announced peace on earth at the birth of Jesus. As we write we are painfully reminded that tragically we still haven’t learned what Jesus asked of us – love one another as I have loved you. The Holy Land is again being wracked by war, as all the other wars continue across the globe. There have been so many natural disasters around the world this year, earthquakes, floods, droughts, fires etc. So many are left suffering. We could ask “where is God in all this”. Our faith tells us that God is in all this, He is with us at all times still loving us and we are sure hoping that someday we will learn.

At Epiphany tide this year we reflected on the three Kings / Magi / Wise men. They followed the star to find the Lord Jesus. Well, you can’t see the stars during the day so these three must have travelled by night. A dangerous journey surely. They might have gone off course, a camel might have fallen down a hole, or they might have met a nasty creature – four legged or two or no legs at all…….  Lots of mights.

Isn’t that just what life is about. There is an element of risk in all our lives and we too travel in the dark not knowing what the future will bring. God sent His Son Jesus into the world that He be our light, our guide, our salvation. All through the bible He tells us “do not be afraid, I am with you”. This is what we celebrate at Christmas. It is Jesus happy birthday.

Continue reading the Christmas Newsletter


 Advent 2023

                                 ADVENT

We have tested and tasted too much, lover –
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child’s soul, we’ll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.


And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.


O after Christmas we’ll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning -
We’ll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we’ll hear it among decent men too
Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
Won’t we be rich, my love and I, and please
God we shall not ask for reason’s payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God’s breath in common statement.
We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
Of pleasure, knowledge and conscious hour -
And Christ comes with a January flower.

Patrick Kavanagh  


St Teresa of Avila

1515 - 1582

St Teresa of AvilaThe Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation, Avila, was home to some 150 nuns when it opened its door to receive the twenty year-old Teresa. Happiness became her lot despite sickness and an inner struggle lasting twenty years. Loving and lovable by nature, Teresa’s capacity for friendship received a new impetus when she realisd twenty years later that Christ himself was her true friend. This relationship was the foundation of her prayer. Friendship demands intimacy – a small group of praying women, devoted to Christ and his mother Mary, living simply as sisters and in friendship; a modest secluded property but hearts open to the concerns of Christ – this was the vision of Teresa and her friends. St Joseph’s, Avila is that reality still today and in over 800 other locations worldwide.

Teresa died in Alba de Tormes in 1582. Canonized in 1622, she became in 1970, together with Catherine of Siena, one of the first two women Doctors of the Church in recognition of the wisdom of her life and her teachings. Her autobiography and letters are widely available. The Way of Perfection and the Interior Castle contain much on prayer.

 


St Thérése International Day at Knock 2024

Sunday, July 14th & Monday, July 15th 2024.

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Feast Day 16th July 

Our Lady of Mount CarmelWhen Jesus wanted to teach his disciples he often took up the position of many religious teachers of Israel, that is, He went up to a high place.  Jesus sat down when he wanted to teach like all the wise people of his time, a practice that is part of the ceremony of doctrinal teaching even to this day.  One of the real milestones of the ministry of Jesus was when “He went up the mountain …. sat down …. And began to teach them ….”  He taught them the Beatitudes, the charter of living for disciples; “Blessed are the poor … Blessed are the pure in heart … Blessed are you when you suffer for my sake ….” (Matt 5:1-12)

Mountains are pivotal in the ministry of Jesus - from the mountain on which the devil offers him power over the entire world to the mountain where he hands over power to his disciples, the power he has received from the Father.  Jesus was drawn to mountains; places where our faith was founded; where our law was received; where prophets had lived and sacrifices were offered.  There are about 500 mentions of mountains in the Sacred Scriptures and there are 7 significant mountains.

Today we turn to Mount Carmel, the Holy Mountain in Egypt regarded as a ‘high place’ where idols were worshipped: the scene of Elijah’s confrontation with the 400 false prophets of Baal.  This is the mountain to which Berthold (mid 13thcentury) led his followers to live in caves in imitation of Elijah: where mysteriously they dedicated their chapel to Mary, the Mother of God.  This is where the Holy Order of Carmelites found its origin and its name.

Throughout the Gospels, mountains play a big part in the life and ministry of Jesus.  Mountains represent lofty events, the highest ideals and the Presence of the Transcendent God.  The Lord chose to reveal himself as God to the three closest disciples on Mount Tabor; the Lord went in distress to the Mount of Gethsemane; the Lord died on Mount Calvary; the Lord ascended to the Father from the Mount of Olives.

Mountains are places of Solitude and Prayer, of Contemplation and encounters with God.  By climbing them, we are reminded of our struggle; by their remoteness they provide us with solitude and, yes, by their sheer height they seem to bring us closer to God!  Whatever happens on a mountain stands out!  A chapel on a mountain dedicated to Mary speaks to hearts freed from the distractions of the world.

Though Mount Calvary can conjure up less happy sentiments, it was on this mountain that Mary was given to us, as our mother.  She had climbed many mountains in her life’s journey and courageously and generously travelled into the Hill Country as carer and proclaimer of the Good News.

On the Mountain of Calvary she stretches out her arms to embrace us, her new children.  But it is to Mount Carmel that we turn today to honour her.  Let us dwell a while on this Holy Mountain to be with her.  Let us consider her sufferings and join our much lesser sufferings to hers.  Let us be open to the affection and protection that she gives to us.  Let us marvel once more that the Lord has told us truly “This is your Mother”.  With her we praise the Lord from the height of Mount Carmel saying indeed “Holy is His name”.

 


Saint Teresa of the Andes

Feast day 13th July

St Teresa of Jesus of the AndesSpeaking of the virtue of humility, the great Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, said that the practice of humility entailed not being ignorant of your own Greatness.  Mary the Mother of God, in her song of praise, praises God for how great God had made her; “My soul magnifies the Lord … all generations will call me blessed … He who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name.”

I think that these words of the Magnificat must have been engrained in the soul of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes.  From her earliest years she had a wonderful sense of how God had created her, called her and made her holy.

Juanita Fernandez was born on 13th July 1900 in Santiago, Chile into a family of three boys and two girls.  She grew up surrounded by her extended family and attended the local College which was run by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.  She later went to boarding school where she excelled although she was not particularly fond of school. 

Her family was like any other family with their differences and failures.  But Juanita lived a full and active life.  She loved horse-riding and was a champion swimmer.  Her family was a truly Christian family, practising their Faith and caring for those around them.  Juanita even helped with teaching younger children catechism. A very ordinary life for a young girl!  And that is precisely true. 

From a very early age Juanita was conscious of a special connection with the Lord.  At the time of her First Holy Communion she was able to discern the Lord speaking to her.  From this time on she ‘fell in love with Jesus’ and at fourteen years of age she gave herself completely to Him.  Soon after, she felt the desire to enter the Carmel in Los Andes as soon as she would be accepted there.  The Mother Prioress wrote to her telling her that she had been born a Carmelite.

Juanita’s knowledge and understanding of Carmelite life came solely from her reading of the lives of Saint Teresa of Jesus of Avila, Saint Therese  and Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity.  She could see in the lives of these Saints that Carmel was a place where she would be in the presence of God, ‘a little bit of heaven’

But this life would entail suffering and separation.  Juanita believed that whatever suffering there would be would be borne by the Lord on the altar waiting for her love.  She began to seek silence and solitude so the Lord would be able to speak to her heart.  She was receptive to every sign of the Lord’s presence and every sound of the Word of God.  This is what drew her to sanctity – being conscious of the Lord’s presence and alert to the Lord’s word.

Her understanding of the Carmelite vocation was that it was one of suffering, of loving and of praying.  She found that this was her whole ideal and she embraced it with Joy.  Joy pervaded every part of her life from then on. 

She became Sister Teresa of Jesus when she entered the noviciate of the Carmel of the Andes.  Her Carmelite life was to be short.  She died three months short of her twentieth birthday.  The reaction to her death among the Carmelites, the media and the public was extraordinary.  What caused such amazement?  The ordinariness perhaps!  This ordinary young woman was what God wanted her to be.  This ordinary young woman was alert to the promptings of God in her life.  This ordinary young woman was generous, was loving and was joy-filled.  This ordinary young woman understood how great she was in the eyes of God and she sang of the Lord’s greatness with her very life.

Saint Teresa of the Andes has been declared a patron of youth.  Other patrons of youth come to mind; Saint Maria Goretti, put before youth for her purity of heart: Saint Dominic Savio for his outstanding example to peers:  Blessed Carlo Acutis (1991-2006) for his promotion of and devotion to the Blessed Eucharist.

Saint Teresa of the Andes is put before youth today for her joyful love of God and the illustration by her life of how wonderful is God’s creation of His children and how even the lowly are Great in God’s eyes.

 


 

A Novena Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

 

 

Welcome to the Carmelite Monastery of the Immaculate Conception
Roebuck, Dublin 14    D14 T1H9

We are a community of Carmelite Sisters called by God, to live a life of prayer for the Church and for the world.

Our Rule tells us to ‘meditate day and night on the law of the Lord’.  In other words to ponder the scriptures as we go about our daily tasks.

The heart of our day is the celebration of the Eucharist and we say the full Divine Office.  We also spend two hours in personal prayer each day, one in the morning and one in the evening. 

We hope that you enjoy your visit to our website and that you find reason to return soon.

 

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