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Province of St Elias Carmelite History The left hand side of the shield reflect he Carmelite identity of the Province. The eagle in the upper right hand portions indicates this is an American province while the fiery wheel indicates it is named after Elias who was taken to heaven in a fiery chariot. The lower right hand portion indicates the Irish origin of the province. Brian Boru’s harp is the official symbol of the Republic of Ireland while the sunburst represents resurrected freedom in Irish heraldry.
Carmelites in Ireland Late 19 th Century
• Catholic Emancipation came in 1829 -Persecution ended. • Famines of Mid-19 th Century • In 1870, there were 41 members in the Irish Province.
• Yet in the mid-1850’s there were more Irish aspirants for the order than could be educated and usefully employed in Ireland. – So, Santa Maria Traspontina in Rome became a Novitiate for any nationals who desired to serve the Church in the Carmelite Order wherever there was a need.
Irish Provincial Andrew Daly to General in 1852: “For a long time, I have thought of the needs of the Catholic religion in the United States of America. Various Bishops of that region have spoke with me about this. The work is large but the workers fewest. The faith of our Irish people settled there is exposed to many dangers. I have often been invited by bishops and priests to join these missions – having thought about it for a while I would favor the diocese of Philadelphia or New York where a great part of the people are Irish or of Irish parents. But I would do this work under the auspices and authority of Your Paternity. This should be done after a short time we should be able to erect easily some convent and church in honor of Our Blessed Lady of Mt Carmel. To do this I now ask for the obedience needed to go from Ireland to America. After I am there I will write you and will try to do everything according to your advice. ”
Father Michael Moore (Ireland) -Visited New York City in 1887 -He received from Father James Mc. Mahon the promise of an endowed foundation at a specified location in New York city. Archbishop Michael Corrigan considered the area offered to have enough churches for its population. -When efforts to change the Archbishop's mind failed, the Irish Provincial, Father John Bartley, came to see Corrigan. -Refusing to change his position on the endowment, Archbishop Corrigan offered Bartley a new parish to be separated from St. Stephen's and to include the care of Bellevue Hospital.
John Bartley returned to New York City in March, 1889 with three other Carmelites to begin the parish of Our Lady of the Scapular on East 28 th Street. -Founding Carmelites: -Rev. John Bartley -Rev. Edward Southwell, First Prior -Rev. Michael Daly, First Pastor (OLS) -Rev. Paul Mc. Donnell
Rev. John Bartley Rev. Edward Southwell (First Prior) Rev. Michael Daly (1 st Pastor) Rev. Paul Mc. Donnell
Why did Corrigan give the Carmelites Our Lady of the Scapular on 28 th Street off 1 st Ave? Dr Edward Mc. Glynn was pastor of St Stephen’s on 29 th Street and Lexington Ave. -He supported the economic ideas of Henry George. -Corrigan excommunicated him for backing the ideas of Henry George.
Catholic Schools • Rev. Dr. Edward Mc. Glynn became famous because of his opposition to parochial schools. – He said public schools were good enough and that Catholic children were in no danger of sin and temptation if they went to public schools. – This put him in opposition with the Catholic hierarchy. Rev. Dr. Edward Mc. Glynn’s statue in Woodlawn Cemetery
Henry George wrote “Progress and Poverty” in 1879. -Proposed the “single tax” on land theory. -In it George made the argument that nearly all of the wealth created by social and technological advances in a free market economy is captured by land owners and monopolists via economic rents, and that this concentration of unearned wealth is the root cause of poverty.
It is into this situation that Archbishop Corrigan decided to offer the Carmelites the parish of Our Lady of the Scapular on 29 th Street off First Avenue. • This parish was cut of the boundaries of St Stephens which was Dr Edward Mc. Glynn’s parish. • Corrigan saw the Irish Carmelites as a solution. • The Irish parishioners of St Stephens who backed Dr Edward Mc. Glynn could be “pacified” by them.
The First “Church” A tobacco factory on 29 th St and First Ave served as the first Church. -Duke’s Tobacco Factory -A brewery was also located in the building! -500 people could be accommodated -July 16 th 1889 the feast of OLMC was celebrated. -It was a Tuesday! -Other floors of the warehouse were in operation and the machinery noise precluded a high or sung mass.
Our Lady of the Scapular Parish was dedicated on December 22, 1889. Located between 1 st and 2 nd Ave on 28 th Street, the Church was 40 feet by 60 feet. Later in 1891 a Hall was constructed on the left side which was desperately needed for parish functions and Sunday School. This building would serve as the “mother house” of the province until 1989 when the ADNY decided to combine Our Lady of the Scapular parish with St Stephens parish on 29 th Street. In 1991, l the church and the Priory at Our Lady of the Scapular were sold to a developer and the buildings were demolished.
Early Challenges faced • The Irish Carmelites had difficulties realizing the difference between the conventual parish of Ireland the parish in the United States owned by the Archdiocese. • Bellevue Hospital • Right from the beginning, the chaplaincy of Bellevue hospital was part of the Carmelite ministry. • Busy city hospital • TB wards • Finances • Building buildings (Priory & Church) • Raising funds for the Order (St Alberts in Rome, Irish Debt)
Edward Southwell May 12, 1893 letter to General (Aloysius Galli) -Talked of the difficulties of finding good religious to do the work in the United States. -Not satisfied with the Carmelites in the US. -Blamed the poor formation at Terenure College and in the Irish Novitiate for not implementing good discipline. -Said the Novice master was not fit for office. -Stated that his own hope for the Order in the US is based on a “religious” college in Ireland or Rome (San Alberto). -1894 First students were sent from the US to Rome. -Eugene Scully & Denis (Finbar) O’Connor
John Elias Whitley died on July 15, 1894 -Plot purchased in Calvary Cemetery. -Southwell felt this was a solution to some of his problems. 1896 - Tarrytown Parish began. -First Mass was offered in the new parish using a room in the Cleveland mansion for a chapel. -Romaeus Stone and Michael Daly first Carmelites there.
Southwell made a move to have OLS and Tarrytown put directly under the General -This would take control away form the Irish Province and give Southwell more say in who comes to New York. -He demanded in a letter: . Have O’Grady & O’Byrne removed immediately. . Have Carr and Mc. Guinness sent to NY. Let any of the Irish fathers in NY who wants to return to Ireland go home. . Put NY directly under the General Southwell’s ambition was to be the first Major Superior.
1906 - Important Year -Stanislaus O’Reilly elected provincial. -Edward Southwell removed as prior and pastor of 28 th Street. -Louis Mc. Cabe named his successor. -He was a thorn in Southwell’s side. -Mc. Cabe’s tenure as pastor was occupied to a great extent in raising funds through the annual fair and building up the parish societies. -Mc. Cabe remained pastor until the Chapter of 1909 when Southwell was elected provincial. -He immediately removed Mc. Cabe!
During O’Reilly’s time as Provincial, Southwell called for an independent American commissariat. -This was supported by Cardinal Farley of NY who did not like the constant change in personnel at every chapter. -Southwell also disliked the “laxity” that developed in Ireland wanted to create a commissariat that was “living the life”. -Southwell wrote to the General, Mayer, with his idea. 1909 – Southwell elected provincial of the Irish Province - appointed Paul O’Dwyer pastor and prior of 28 th Street. -He also made sweeping changes in Ireland that were not well received by all. -He set out to get Whitefriars Street (Ireland) into shape.
Otisville and Middletown 1910 Archbishop Farley gave the Carmelites a new Parish – Otisville, NY. -Southwell admitted to the General that it was not much of a gift. -Farley gave it because he felt the Carmelites could do much good work among the farmers.
Before the parish was given to the Carmelites, the priest in Wurtsboro covered Otisville, the sanitarium, Bloomingburg, Bullville and Pine Bush. Connected to the parish was the care of a sanitarium. -Owned and operated by NYC for TB patients. Chapel at the Otisville Sanitarium (opened in 1906) that was built by the Carmelites. In 1955 the Sanitarium became and Training (Reformatory) School for juvenile delinquent boys where the Carmelites served as chaplains until 1972 when the property became the present day Otisville Correctional Facility.
When Carmelties took over (1910), they were given, Otisville, Bloomingburg and Bullville and the care of the Sanitarium. OLMC in Middletown also became a Carmelite parish in 1912. • Richard Colfer was the first pastor. Otisville, Bloomingburg and Bullville were then made missions of that parish. • OLMC, Middletown, Dividing line was the Erie railroad. • St Joseph’s was the wealthy parish. • OLMC the business/industrial area.
Old St Pauls, Bullville New St Pauls, Bullville. Built in 1964 for $140, 000 Our Lady of the Assumption Bloomingburg (Built 1913)
Gradually, the Carmelites moved their principal residence from Otisville to Middletown. -In 1912 the Carmelites purchased the home of Dr Samuel Shorter at 26 Monhagen Ave. -Grandfather of Frank Shorter – Olympic Marathon runner. 1916 – Holy Cross Church in South Centerville was begun. 1917 – St Alberts property purchased and St Alberts opened as a preparatory seminary.
St Alberts, Middletown, NY The Carmelites purchased the property across the street from the Thistles (1921) from Romer Gray, the brother of author Zane Gray who wrote western novels. There was a house on the property to which the Carmelites added a building that would serve at the Novitiate. O’Connor Hall 1956 Built in 1929
St Alberts, Middletown, NY The college building served as the novitiate, college building, recreation rooms and counseling center until it was built onto an existing house in 1923 and demolished in 1986.
O’Connor Hall was the main dormitory building for the high school and college students living at St Alberts. After St Alberts Jr. Seminary closed in 1977 the building was used to house a retreat center until it no longer was up to code. The building had three floors with a gym in the basement. The building was demolished around 1986.
The Thistles, Middletown, NY The original “Thistles” was built sometime in the 1880’s. A fire on February 9, 1889 destroyed some of the building. The main part of the present building was constructed in 1902. James Wallick, who was a theatrical producer owned it. The Carmelites purchased the Thistles and the red barn in 1917. Fr Albert Metcalf was the first Carmelite assigned to live in the Thistles which was to be used as a college preparatory seminary for the Novitiate. It was Metcalf who suggested the name “St Albert” thereby honoring his own patron – Albert of Sicily. The first two students to live in the building were John Hickey and John Maher who had connections with the Carmelite parish on 28 th street.
The Thistles, Middletown, NY In 1920 the Thistles housed around 25 postulants. The top floor was one large dormitory where all the students slept. The classrooms were where the present day 1 st floor guest rooms are located. In the 1920’s much of the land around present day St Alberts was gradually purchased.
St Alberts In 1939 the Carmelites purchased the land around the large lake from the Middletown Milk and Cream company. The company harvested ice from the lake. The land was immediately leased back to the company which continued to harvest the ice form the lake and sell it to customers in the Middletown area. The Rhinohorn Tavern (present day American Legion Lodge) wanted to purchase the land use it as a beach for its customers. The Carmelites objected to this since it would interfere with the prayerful atmosphere that they wanted to create for the seminarians.
National Shrine, OLMC St. Alberts Chapel Building Built 1958 Provincial Offices Dedicated November, 2006
Irish Movement (1919) • -Finbar O’Connor and Elias Mc. Ginnis were strong supporters of an Independent Ireland from England. • -Dionysius Flanagan was good friends with Eamon de Valera. • De Valera served as President of Ireland from 1959 -1973. Eamon de Valera
Irish Movement (1919) Liam Mellows, a part of the Irish Freedom Movement was housed at Our Lady of the Scapular. He later was shot in Ireland for killing a British soldier. Had participated in the Easter Rising. • -Carmelite Priory was open to Irish Republicans! Liam Mellows
Friends of Irish Freedom (FOIF) -Founded in 1916 -“To encourage and assist any movement that will tend to bring about the National Independence of Ireland. ” -Many meetings were held at Our Lady of the Scapular. -The Secret Service used to be present for some since the “anti-English” atmosphere was a threat to the US policy of total British support during WW 1. -Woodrow Wilson Policy.
Friends of Irish Freedom held a rally at Madison Square Garden -Peter Elias Magennis presided at the gathering and spoke critically of England. -This caused some to protest to Cardinal Farley that the Carmelites were getting too involved in politics. -Farley did order that Magennis could not preside at any more meetings. -Yet, he allowed Magennis to accept the presidency of the Friends for Irish Freedom. -Magennis held this position until he was elected Prior General.
Establishment of St Simon Stock (1920) -Grand Concourse had been completed in 1909 -Gerard O’Farrell the first Pastor. -Cardinal Farley had promised the Carmelites a parish in a developing part of New York City.
St Simon Stock St. Simon Stock Parish started in a large two story house on the corner of 182 & Valentine. • -1926 School and Priory built. – O’Farrell died shortly thereafter at a young age. • O’Farrell was Commissary Provincial when he died in 1926.
St Simon Stock Today St Simon Stock School St Simon Stock Church
1922 - The Commissary Established. -Denis O’Connor was the first Commissary Provincial -This came about because of pressure from Archbishop Hayes on the Carmelite Curia to give the “NY Carmelites” more autonomy so that he had someone in the US that he could communicate with. -Hayes felt the major superior was too far away. 1925 – The new OLMC Church was begun.
The Flanagan Years Lawrence Dionysius Flanagan was commissary provincial and then Provincial from 1926 – 43 -Theology students went to Washington DC and resided at St Therese House of Studies. (PCM Province house) (1933 – 35) -A house of studies was later rented on Randolph St. -Whitefriars Hall was completed in 1940 – 41 -All St Elias Students then went to Whitefriars Hall.
California Houses started in 1934 -Bp John Cantwell wanted the Carmelites to build and staff a high school - 1935 – The Carmelites were given St Raphael’s parish. Pictured above are the old St Raphael Parish and Mt Carmel High School. Both have been taken down. At the PCM Chapter of 1957, the General of the Order Kilian Lynch announced that these two houses would be given to the PCM Province. Native born Californians had to return to California and those stationed at Mt Carmel and St Raphaels were given a choice of which province they would belong to.
-Titus Brandsma visited in 1935 1941 – The Scapular Militia began. -Provided a scapular for every American serviceman. 1941 – The Scapular magazine began.
Sean Reid – Pastor of Our Lady of the Scapular 1943 – 64 -He revived the Irish connections in the parish. -A friend of William O’Dwyer, mayor of NY. -Chancery did not like Reid’s support of O’Dwyer because O’Dwyer called for equal rights for all including Afro Americans in the City of NY. 1934 – Mel Daly became pastor of St Simon Stock -Pastor for 27 years. 1933 – John Maher became Prior of St Alberts followed by Albert Daly in 1940 -O’Connor Hall completed in 1928 -Corpus Christi sisters worked in the kitchen and dining room beginning in 1943.
1945 – Our Lady of the Scapular in Unionville began. Killian Lynch elected Provincial in 1943. -Served until he was elected General in 1947. 47 – 55 - Patrick Russell - Provincial -Williamstown and Tamaqua purchased. -High School in Pottsville. The “Thorvale Farm” was purchased from Sinclair Lews in 1952. It was to house the Novitiate. Renamed Mt Carmel and an addition built on in 1955. In 1968, the property was used as a retreat center. A renewal program for Sisters and family weekends were to two popular programs at the Center. The property was sold in 2001.
55 – 61 Donald O’Callahan -Missions in Africa began -St Albert’s Cemetery built -Land in Rhode Island purchased for a future theology level seminary.
1961 – 65 – Richard Nagle elected Provincial -Turmoil and Changes after Vatican II -St Joseph Priory on Harewood Rd. , Washington DC built. -Gregory Smith St Joseph Priory on Harewood Rd, Washington DC opened on February 13, 1965. Located directly across the street from Catholic University, it was hoped that a college program and a theology house could be established in the house. Containing about 100 rooms, the building was soon too large for the needs of the Carmelites since vocations were no longer plentiful. The building was sold to the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1979.
1965 – 73 - Lawrence Mooney Provincial -Had to also deal with the changes in Vatican II. -Many left the Order and Priesthood -Closing of Auburn Priory Mt Carmel School, Auburn, NY 1970 - St Joseph, Troy administered by the Carmelites. Charles Haggerty Provincial from 1973 - 79 -Personnel Challenges -Closing of St Alberts, Pottsville,
St. Joseph Church Troy, NY Carmelites took over the responsibility for St Joseph parish in Troy, NY in 1970. The Carmelites were looking for a parish that could house not only a parish staff but some men who were interested in teaching in nearby schools.
Thomas Mc. Ginnis - Provincial - 1979 - 85 -Opening of PJPII High School in 1980 -In 1980, the Boca Raton area was part of the Archdiocese of Miami. Archbishop Edward Mc. Carthy of Miami invited the Carmelite community to staff the high school. -Transitioned out of the High School in 2007.
High School Main Entrance St. Elias Priory
Scarborough In 1979 the Carmelites purchased a house in Scarborough, New York to house Carmelites who were teaching at Marymount College, Maria Regina High School and hospital chaplains at the VA Hospital in Montrose, NY. The house, no longer being needed, was sold in 2008.
Transitions • Harewood Road sold & students eventually went to Whitefriars Hall in 1981 • 1979 Establishment of Pre-Novitiate in Brandsma Hall, Purchase, NY.
Matthias Des. Lauriers Era Matthias Des Lauriers Elected Provincial 1985 - 91 • St Alberts converted to Shrine and retirement facilities • Titus Brandsma celebration • Amalgamation of Our Lady of the Scapular & St Stephens. • Provincial Offices moved to Middletown, NY.
Gary O’Brien elected Provincial in 1991 - 94 -Pre-Novitiate established in Tappan, NY -Personnel Challenges 1994 - 2000 Mario Esposito elected Provincial • 1997 Chapter established missions in Vietnam (1996) and Trinidad (1998)
Vietnam Joseph Chalmers, the General of the Order asked the St Elias Province to take on the responsibility for the mission in Vietnam (1997). – A number of students were already living in community under the direction of a Donum Dei sister (Marie Lys). – In May of 1998, the first student from Vietnam (Joseph Thien) came to the pre-novitiate formation house in Tappan, NY.
Vietnam Our Lady of Mount Carmel Priory in Saigon, Vietnam was dedicated on April 22, 2006. This building serves as the ”Motherhouse” in Vietnam and the formation house for the professed Carmelites studying theology. Besides this house, the Carmelites rent two other houses. One houses the professed and ordained Carmelites who are ministering in the area of Saigon. The other house is for the postulants who are preparing to come to the US for language studies and the pre-novitiate.
Trinidad • At the Provincial Chapter in April, 2007, the St Elias Province decided to begin a mission in Trinidad. • August, 1995, Gerard Tang Choon, 1 st Student to begin formation for the Carmelites at St Eliseus Priory. • Carmelties and the Archdiocese of Port of Spain built an addition onto the presbytery to house students in formation.
Trinidad Carmelites are located at St Michael’s Parish in Maracas Valley. Pictured to the left is the old Church which still stands on the property. It is structurally unsound and in need of repair. Parish liturgies presently take place in the Parish all that has been converted into a church. The old Church is of historical value to the area and likely would be too small for the size of the present congregation.
St John Martyr • On May 1, 2007, that the Archdiocese of New York decided to appoint an Archdiocesan priest as Pastor of Our Lady of the Scapular- St. Stephen’s Parish. – Carmelites no longer at OLS/SS and Bellevue. – Had served both since 1889. • The Carmelites were offered St. John the Martyr Parish, on East 72 nd Street, a few blocks from Central Park. The transition took place in July 2007.