About the Sisters
The five Carmelite Sisters who are travelling to the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese to form the new Monastery come from a Carmelite order that can be traced back to a sixteenth century Spanish Carmelite Monastery founded by Saint Teresa of Jesus. Two daughter monasteries were established in Mexico. In 1927, the Community established a Carmel in California. Later, monasteries were founded in Nevada then Nebraska, Pennsylvania and, most recently, in Idaho.
Each monastery that is formed quickly fills with new postulants. The Carmelite Sisters devote their lives to prayer, strive to live a life hidden with Christ, and honour the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The primary mission of the Carmelite Order is to pray and offer oblation for the Church and the world. The use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Divine Office sets this monastery apart and their observance of the Rule and Constitutions is part of an unbroken tradition stretching back from Mexico to Spain to Mount Carmel itself in the Holy Land.
Just like St. Teresa of Avila and St. Thérèse the Little Flower, the nuns practice all the traditional and recognisable aspects of Carmelite and monastic life: the full habit, mental prayer, fasting, abstinence (the nuns observe a meatless diet), enclosure (walls, grills), austerity, personal and communal pursuit of virtue, and union with God.
Click here for some more information about another new foundation currently being established in Pennsylvania USA by the same Carmelites: http://fairfieldcarmelites.org/about/
Of the five Sisters coming to the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese, two are Australian: the first from Canberra (who joined the Nebraska convent around 15 years ago) and the second from the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney (who joined the Pennsylvania convent in 2011).
The Sisters are happy to begin their Monastery in an ordinary house, with a view to constructing a purpose-built monastery in a few years. Their principle requirement initially is a house on acreage so as to have space for privacy and solitude.
The new Monastery has already been formally invited into the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese by Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green and the appropriate ecclesiastical approval has been obtained from the Vatican. Additionally, the necessary legal entities have also been established under Australian jurisdiction.
About the Diocese of Wilcannia Forbes
This Diocese is one of the largest geographically in the world, taking in half of New South Wales. It incorporates most of western New South Wales, from the Victorian border in the south, to the Queensland border in the north, then west to the South Australian border. The Diocese has twenty-two parishes.
About Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green
In 2014 Bishop Columba was installed as the 7th Bishop of the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese. Bishop Columba was born in 1968 and grew up in the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese. After spending two years with Conventual Franciscans, he joined the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit (Pauline Fathers) in 1990, and studied for the Priesthood at Vianney College in Wagga Wagga. He made his Solemn Profession in the Order in 1996, and was ordained a priest the following year. In 2014, at the time of his appointment as Bishop of Wilcannia Forbes Diocese, he was the Provincial Vicar of the Pauline Fathers for Australia and Rector of the Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Marian Valley, Canungra, Queensland, where he served from 2006 to 2014. Read more about him here.
Bishop Columba desires to re-establish a Carmelite Monastery in the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese. The old Carmelite Monastery, which was in Parkes, closed down in the 1980s.
Bishop Columba is supported by a committee of faithful, hardworking laity both local to the Diocese and also from around Australia, who are the driving force behind establishing the new monastery in his Diocese.