Newsletter - Summer 2011
Dear Friends of Carmel,
One day, in the year of 1888, the Sister in charge of the Baltimore Carmel made an interesting comment to her Sisters during a community evening recreation. She went on to say, “Perhaps one day there will be a Carmel in Dubuque, Iowa.”
Behold, it happened! These simple words began a new direction. Eventually, the group’s foundation in Iowa, which ended up being located in a cottage on the corner of 15th and Brady Streets in Davenport, became known as “Carmel in the Heartland”.
On November 24, 1911, Fr. Garrett Nagle offered the first Mass there, officially inaugurating the new Monastery. Then for a full three days, the Sisters sponsored an Open House, inviting the public, their friends-to-be. The event was deeply moving. However, there was a concern that the floors of their new home would give way, due to the size of the eager crowds. This fall we hope to have a public Mass to celebrate our centenary.
Gradually, the new Monastery came to be known as Carmel on the Mississippi. If our setting in Eldridge were named these days, it probably would be called something like Carmel of the Sunsets or of Fields of Beauty. Here amidst fields and sunsets, what was begun overlooking the Mississippi River is now carried forth into the future.
Recently, after Mass, we had the Blessing of the Fields. We were thankful that Fr. Miclot prayed outside with us and blessed the land in all four directions to the North, South, East and West. This has been an annual custom for our Carmel, and seems especially
We prayed, knowing that the blessing would extend to all our neighbors near and far, as well as to our own garden and orchard. We ask that God, the source of every good, bless us all, giving success to our work and fruitfulness to our fields. May we all receive the joy of God's gifts!
We have come to know that there is a joy related to our Carmel of the Sunsets and Beautiful Fields. This one is in the sky. If it is not raining or totally overcast, there is a beautiful picture of this art in our heavens each evening. We find ourselves praying and giving thanks for such a work of beauty in the sky. Occasionally we take a photo of this gift. We find that it is good for the soul to watch a Sunset at least once a week. Was such a gift here 100 years ago, when we had not yet come?
Just as the sun is able to shine from the heavens upon us all, we pray that God will shine upon all those friends and families so dear to us. We are certain that our beloved Sister Catherine Luth, and all our Sisters who have gone before, join us in this.
Know, Dear Friends, that we pray for you everyday, and that you are always held in our hearts and in the heart of God.
Your Carmelite Sisters in Eldridge, Iowa
O Quiet Companion
along the way,
you are the Sunlight
of our Summer.
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