Syro-Malabar Cloistered Carmel
After years of effort and relentless prayer, our dreams at the establishment of a Cloistered Carmel in the Syro-Malabar Rite was realised on the 16th of July 2008, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The first Syro-Malabar Cloistered Carmel was opened with a very modest celebration in rented building at Vennala in Ernakulam. This was on an experimental basis for a shorter period of time. On Saturday, the 21st of February 2009 His Beatitude Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil, the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church blessed the new building of the Cloistered Carmel at the foot of Mount of St. Thomas at Malayattoor. A large number of priests, religious and laity took part in the celebration, evincing an exceptional spirit of support and joy on the fact of a Cloistered Carmel in their vicinity. The pace with which all the documental works were completed, the shortest span of time taken to put up a building at the incomparable location at Malayattoor and all the more, getting the most suitable members in the first Syro-Malabar Carmel are evidences of divine Providence worked through the person of Very Rev. Fr. Luis Arestogui, the then Superior General and His Beatitude our Cardinal. Our Thanks go to Very Rev. Fr. Xavier Jaya Raj, the Definitor, entrusted with some key responsibilities of the establishment of Carmel. Let us pray that this first Carmel in the Syro-Malabar Church becomes a spiritual powerhouse of prayer for the entire Order and the Church. May many more candidates join them and may it flourish and spread to meet the needs of the Church and the Order.
Digha Ghat Patna
Carmel Tapovan is situated in the state of Bihar. The need was felt to give witness of the contemplative life in the capital of Bihar, where majority of the people are Hindus. The Monastery is dedicated to the infant Jesus.
When the Archbishop of Patna , RT. Rev. Benedict J. Osta S.J visited to Camel of Soso, he requested to have a foundation in his diocese. The community could not coply with this request due to lack of personal. He ws advised to approach the Carmel Kumbakona in South India, which was flourishing at that time. The Bishop made an official request to Mother of Lourdes Mary, the Prioress of St. Joseph’s Carmel Ashram in Kumbakonam and the community accepted the requite. In 1984 Mother Lourdes and two other sisters went to see the place in Patna.
In 1985 request was made to the Sacred Congregation through Father General for permission to make the foundation in Patna. While waiting for the permission negotiation continued and the Bishop bought a piece of land in Digha. The Jesuit Provincial generously gave a plot of Land adjoining their institute. On March 6th 1986 Permission was obtained from the municipality to build the Monastery. The same year in may the necessary permission arrived from Rome, Protocol No. 68177/86 dated November 14th 1986, with the condition that there were to be 8 sister to start the foundation. Since, the approached the Carmel of Soso for help. The latter graciously gave tow sisters to complete the required number.
On March 25th 1988 the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop and Dewasia, the Parish Priest of Kurji. The construction went very fast. In September 1991, a part of the building was habitable. During the course of three years, tow sister of Kumbakonam Carmel came several times to supervise the construction.
In September 1991 the foundresses consisting of seven Chapter sisters and one Extern sister arrived in Patna , they were Sr. Pauline, Sr. Denise, Sr. Ceceil, Sr. Elizabeth, Sr. Jeanne and Sr. Assumpta from Kumbakonam Carmel: Sr. Xavier and Sr. Gemma from Soso Carme., on 15th October 19991, the Feast of St. Teresa of Jesus, the Bishop Rt. Rev. Benedict J. Osta with a large number of priests , religious and laity blessed and inaugurated Carmel Tapovan.
The Carmel is in the city itself, close to the Parish Church, hospital and the Jesuit House. The people feel the presence of the PRAYINF COMMUNITY in their midst and there are many requests for prayer and petitions.
In 1993 the construction of the first floor was completed , where the community felt privileged to have the NORTH EAST ASSOCIATION meetings courses four times and twice formators courses. Two of our sisters expired. Presently there are 9 professed Nuns and one Candidate for come and see period. May St. Teresa, our Holy Mother watch over the community and help the sisters to live the Carmelite Contemplative life and to bear witness to Christ in the midst of non-Christian brothers and sisters.
Carmel Ashram of Mary Queen and Mother of the Poor Soso, Gumla, Jharkhand
Soso, Gumla is situated in the south-west of Jharkhand state (till 2000 Bihar state) in the Tribal Belt of Chotanagpur Plateau of India.
Late Archbishop of Ranchi, his grace Pius Kerketta S.J. felt the spiritual need of the contemplative order to sustain the priests, religious and the faithful and the dire need of witnessing the Christian Contemplative life amidst the Hindus, Muslims, Buddhist and Tribal Religions. In July 1967 he approached the Carmel of Shembaganur, Tamil Nadu to open one monastery in his archdiocese. Carmel of Shembaganur generously sent 4 sisters –Sr. Yvonn, Sr. Mary, Sr. Mary Celine and Sr. Loise (extern sister) under the leadership of mother Jeane for the foundation of Carmel Ashram Soso. They arrived at Ranchi on 15th July 1968. After one month stay in Ursuline convent Gumla, on 15th august 1968 they took residence in an old convent of St. Ann’s in Soso till the 1st wing was built. On Jan. 21st 1981 it was blessed. The sisters shifted to their own monastery after Easter 1971. 2nd wing was completed and chapel was blessed on 15th October 1972 and solemn promulgation of the enclosure took place. The novitiate wing was built after receiving more funds. Till then there was no cloistered Carmel in North India except Kolkata.
Carmel Ashram Soso was founded in utter poverty. Sisters live very simple, hard-challenging life – yet God blessed this Carmel with an overflow of vocations from the very beginning. During his visit on 30th April 1972 Rev. Fr. General Michael Angel O C D gave his parting blessing with these prophetic words – “I wish that this Carmel Ashram Soso be for the North India what St. Joseph of Avila has been for the whole of Spain. This prophecy was fulfilled and soon other foundations followed.
On 14th April 1975, 3 sisters left for the foundation of Carmel Ashram Sitagarha – Hazaribagh, later 5 more sisters went.
On 26th Nov. 1977 -4 sisters left for Carmel Ashram Jalpaiguri West Bengal – later 5 sisters went.
On 21st Sept. 1991 – 2 sisters joined the Carmel of Kumbakonam Tamil Nadu to found Tapovan Patna, Bihar. Later 3 more joined them from Soso.
On 16th Jan. 1994 two sisters joined the foundation of Ish Bhavana. New Delhi as
In 2011 one sister is transferred to Carmel Tapovan Patna and two sisters are transferred to Pune Carmel, Maharastra to help these needy Carmels.
6 sisters are gone for their eternal reward.
Name Born Died
1. Sr. Jesepha Maria of the Trinity 09 – 08 – 1954 23 –05 – 1084
2. Sr. Emerentia of the Child Jesus
and of the Holy Face 19 – 10 – 1947 30 – 06 – 1988
3. Sr. Marie Ange of the Eucharist 08 – 05 – 1927 22 – 07 – 1995
4. Sr. Mary John of the Cross 16 – 03 – 1910 27 – 12 – 1999
5. Sr. Marie Elizabeth of the Trinity 09 – 10 – 1924 31 – 03 – 2003
6. Sr. Yvonne Mary of the Incarnation 07 – 12 – 1927 13– 07 – 2009
At present we are 19 sisters including 2 extern sisters and 2 postulants. Our community is purely tribal, except one from Kerala and rest is from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Sr. Mary Salome is our present Prioress.
Between 1968 till 2011 many postulants joined among them 50 sisters persevered and are now in different Carmels.
Our life is simple; we live only with the work of our hands. The main work of our livelihood are host baking and candle (Altar and Easter) making. They are supplied to different Dioceses. As this Carmel was built in utter poverty, due to lack of funds, with cheap materials and poor technique several repairs also did not solve the problem. So with the advice of the experts we took courage – collected funds and with the help of the generous benefactors and trusting in the Divine Providence have started to rebuild our monastery part by part.
We accept this time of purification God is allowing us and trust Him who has given this trial will also provide the means by sending good and generous benefactors. Ours is to trust, to pray and to be faithful in whatever way He leads us.