New Carmelite foundation in the Diocese of Oakland

Still more good news for California: the traditional Carmelites of Valparaiso, Nebraska, are sending nuns for a new foundation in the Diocese of Oakland.

Mr. Lee Gilbert delivers the following in a comment at Rorate Caeli:

July 24, 2012 – Today, the feast of the Martyrs of Compeigne, the Valparaiso, Nebraska Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is making a new foundation at Canyon, CA in the Diocese of Oakland. Mother Agnes, together with Sisters Perpetua, Mary Rose, Miriam Therese and Lucia will be flying out of Lincoln, Nebraska at around 11AM and arriving at the Livermore airport a few hours later.. They will be in Canyon about a month preparing for the arrival of a second contingent of five nuns, mostly novices, on August 24th. Once this monastery is underway Mother Agnes, the novice mistress of Valparasio, will return to the mother house. Until they are enclosed once again, and elect a superior, they will continue to be under obedience to Mother Teresa, the prioress of Valparaiso. After that, they will be an independent monastery.

Evidently this project has been in the works for a few years, for the Valparaiso monastery owns property on Pinehurst Canyon on which they hope with the help of God to build a monastery. For the present they have a three bedroom home and a barn which has been converted into a lodge. For now the chapel, the refectory, library, etc will be in the lodge and the house will provide space for cells. Presumably the rural setting will permit them to raise a few cows and chickens as they do in Valparaiso.

With the entrance of a postulant this last July 13th the Valparaiso convent was at the bursting point with thirty-eight religious. A Carmelite convent is only supposed to have twenty-one nuns unless they are planning a foundation. Obviously, with the exodus of only ten religious, Valparaiso is planning yet another foundation in the not too distant future.

Valparaiso traces its own origins to the Carmel of Cristo Rey in San Franciso. Originally Cristo Rey had made a foundation in Las Vegas, but the sprawl of the city drove the nuns to seek another location in the late 1990’s. This turned out to be Valpraiso, Nebraska, where the local Catholic population welcomed them with open arms. One farmer gave them land on which to build a beautiful monastery. Their present convent in Nebraska was only finished and dedicated in December of 2001, yet they have already made two foundations within eleven years, the first being to Elysburg, PA in 2009.”

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