Byzantine Discalced Carmelites

Byzantine Discalced Carmelites

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The Byzantine Discalced Carmelites are a community of cloister
A cloister is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries, with open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth...

ed nuns of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church
Ruthenian Catholic Church
The Ruthenian Catholic Church is a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church , which uses the Divine Liturgy of the Constantinopolitan Byzantine Eastern Rite. Its roots are among the Rusyns who lived in the region called Carpathian Ruthenia, in and around the Carpathian Mountains...

 living committed to a life of prayer, according to the eremitic tradition
A hermit is a person who lives, to some degree, in seclusion from society.In Christianity, the term was originally applied to a Christian who lives the eremitic life out of a religious conviction, namely the Desert Theology of the Old Testament .In the...

 and lifestyle of the Discalced Carmelites
Discalced Carmelites
The Discalced Carmelites, or Barefoot Carmelites, is a Catholic mendicant order with roots in the eremitic tradition of the Desert Fathers and Mothers...


It was out of a desire for Christian reconciliation and inspired by Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
-Papal election:Following the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Roncalli was elected Pope, to his great surprise. He had even arrived in the Vatican with a return train ticket to Venice. Many had considered Giovanni Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan, a possible candidate, but, although archbishop...

 and the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

 that the Byzantine Carmel was brought to life. Holy Annunciation
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her...

 Carmel's founding sisters, Mother Marija of the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of the Hebrew Bible, but understood differently in the main Abrahamic religions.While the general concept of a "Spirit" that permeates the cosmos has been used in various religions Holy Spirit is a term introduced in English translations of...

, Sister Marie Helen of the Cross
Helena of Constantinople
Saint Helena also known as Saint Helen, Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople was the consort of Emperor Constantius, and the mother of Emperor Constantine I...

 and Sister Ann of the Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

 (d. 2001) offered their lives for the healing of the Body of Christ
Body of Christ
In Christian theology, the term Body of Christ has two separate connotations: it may refer to Jesus's statement about the Eucharist at the Last Supper that "This is my body" in , or the explicit usage of the term by the Apostle Paul in to refer to the Christian Church.Although in general usage the...

 with the inauguration of the monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 at Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania
Sugarloaf Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
Sugarloaf Township is a township in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 3,652 at the 2000 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 21.9 square miles , of which, 21.9 square miles of it is land and...

, on 23 February 1977.
The Most Reverend Michael Dudick
Michael Dudick
Michael Joseph Dudick was an American priest and bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh, the U.S. branch of the Ruthenian Catholic Church....

 (1916–2007), the bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of the Ruthenia
Ruthenia is the Latin word used onwards from the 13th century, describing lands of the Ancient Rus in European manuscripts. Its geographic and culturo-ethnic name at that time was applied to the parts of Eastern Europe. Essentially, the word is a false Latin rendering of the ancient place name Rus...

ns of Passaic, New Jersey
Passaic, New Jersey
Passaic is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 69,781, maintaining its status as the 15th largest municipality in New Jersey with an increase of 1,920 residents from the 2000 Census population of 67,861...

, assumed the total burden of financial responsibility and assisted the community for years.

Father Walter Ciszek
Walter Ciszek
Rev. Walter Ciszek, S.J. was a Polish-American Jesuit priest known for his clandestine missionary work in the Soviet Union between 1939 and 1963....

, S.J., both guided the sisters in the establishment of this new foundation and introduced the community to Bishop Michael.

"Divine providence
Divine providence
In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God's activity in the world. " Providence" is also used as a title of God exercising His providence, and then the word are usually capitalized...

 directed us to the Ruthenian people and their diocese of Passaic NJ, which stems from the Uzhgorod-Mukachevo eparchy in Transcarpathia
Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

 (now Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

). At the time of founding Holy Annunciation, Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 was in full force and daily we prayed for "our suffering brethren" (behind the iron curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

). As Communism weakened and then collapsed (1989-1990) we received requests, even applications, from young women in Byzantine Slovakia and Carpathia who felt they had a Carmelite vocation. Several Byzantine rite
Byzantine Rite
The Byzantine Rite, sometimes called the Rite of Constantinople or Constantinopolitan Rite is the liturgical rite used currently by all the Eastern Orthodox Churches, by the Greek Catholic Churches , and by the Protestant Ukrainian Lutheran Church...

 girls came to us from Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and Carpathia
Carpathia can refer to various things:*RMS Carpathia was a steamship, notable for its role in the rescue of survivors from the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912*Carpathian Mountains, part of a mountain range in Europe...

. We in turn promised, when feasible, that a foundation would be made in their homeland. This has been our endeavor since 1995, and in 2002 we sent Sisters there to begin the Monastery of St. Therese in Koritnyani, Transcarpathia." - Mother Marija

In 1999, the community, through an unusual chain of events, accepted five young women of the South Indian Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in India is an East Syrian Rite, Major Archiepiscopal Church in full communion with the Catholic Church. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest of the Saint Thomas Christian denominations with more than 3.6...

 as members. These sister comprise one third of the community. Bishop Dudick encouraged the assistance of sister Eastern Catholic Churches.

See also

  • Carmelites
    The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Catholic religious order perhaps founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel, hence its name. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain...

  • Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
    Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
    The eremitic Rule of St. Albert is the shortest of the rules of consecrated life in existence of the Roman Catholic spiritual tradition. St. Albert Avogadro, a priest of the Canons Regular and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, wrote the Rule in the early 13th century. The Rule is directed to Brother...

  • Book of the First Monks
    Book of the First Monks
    The Book of the First Monks is a medieval Christian work in the contemplative and eremetic tradition of the Carmelites. It is one of the most important documents of the Order, because it shaped many of the Saints from the Carmelite Order in the basic spirituality of the first Hermits...

  • Constitutions of the Carmelite Order
    Constitutions of the Carmelite Order
    The stand as an expression of the ideals and spirit of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.Foundational sources for the Constitutions include the desert hermit vocation as exemplified in the life of the Prophet Elijah. For the Carmelite the contemplative vocation is exemplified par excellence...

  • Jan Tyranowski
    Jan Tyranowski
    Jan Tyranowski - Catholic layman, student of Discalced Carmelite spirituality, and central figure in the spiritual formation of the young Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope John Paul II. He was the youth leader and student mentor of Karol Wojtyla's university parish, St...

  • Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic
    Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic
    The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic is the Catholic eparchy governing most Byzantine Catholics in the eastern United States. Its headquarters are at 445 Lackawanna Avenue, Woodland Park . The current bishop is the Most Reverend William C. Skurla.The Eparchy was erected July 6, 1963 and its...

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