Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Well, today we bid farewell to Leo McCarthy, O.Carm. as he was laid to rest in St. Mary's cemetery in Salem, MA. A beautiful Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the Discalced Carmelite Nuns Monastery chapel in Danvers. Bishop Francis Irwin became sick at the last minute and I had to fill in as celebrant for the Liturgy. Concelebrants were, Frs. Felix, Mario, John Russell (homilist), Joe McGowan, Dick Foley, O.S.A., and Bill Wert. Corey Bassett-Tirrell and Eric Anderson provided the music for the liturgy. It was really quite beautiful. The simplicity of the Trappist style casket, together with the symbols of the Book of the Gospels, the cross and the chalice and stole which were placed on the casket after it was brought before the altar set a nice tone for the whole liturgy.
Fr. Leo's brothers, Stephen and Robert were present with his neices, nephews and various extended family members.
A former Carmelite, and class mate of Leo's from his Georgetown days, was also present, Jeremiah Malloney. Other former O.Carms. who were present were Mark Wenzel of Salem, John Leary, and Eugene Foley. They delighted in seeing Frs. John Russell and Joe McGowan.
For the burial itself, we couldn't have had better weather. It was a bright sunny day, with a slight breeze and not too cold at all. The Committal Service was presided over by Bill Wert.
A collation was served at the Priory after the Mass, catered by Mizioch-Witham of Peabody..

Friday, November 20, 2009

We're still waiting on word from the Mall as to a place where we can relocate during the Renovation. It's really frustrating. Time is getting short because we really hope to start the work right after the New Year.
We were saddened to hear of the death of Fr. Leo McCarthy, O.Carm. in Nokomis, Florida. He was a really good personal friend of mine and of all the community. Since he is originally from Danvers, he asked to be buried in our Carmelite plot in St. Mary's Cemetery in Peabody. His body won't arrive until just before Thanksgiving, so his brothers have requested that we wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to hold his wake and Funeral Mass. So the plan is that he will be waked in our Priory at 4 Wheatland street in Peabody on Monday, Nov. 30th from 3:00 to 8:00 P.M. His funeral Mass will be held the next day at the Chapel of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Danvers followed by his interment in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Our Provincial Fr. Jack Welch, O.Carm. will celebrate the funeral Mass and the eulogist will be Rev. John Russell, O.Carm.
May he rest in peace.

Friday, November 13, 2009

We are asking for all the devotees of the Mall Chapel to pray this weekend. It is possible that we will know on Monday if there is a place within the Mall where we can relocate during the work that is to be done for the renovation of the Chapel. We have to know soon, because we hope to begin the work right after the New Year.
I have been getting good feedback from the e-mails that I try to send out each week to all those who have registered their e-mail address at the entrance to the Chapel. If you haven't yet done so, and would like to receive these e-mails, the registration sheets are still to be found at the entrance to the Chapel.
It's hard to believe, but the third Tuesday of the month is already upon us. This week will be the Men's Night of Prayer and Reflection on Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. We are calling upon all men to join us for this evening of prayer, adoration, repentance, and friendship.
I am reading a fascinating little book by a Carmelite Brother from the Netherlands. The title of the book is "Nothing Can stop God from Reaching Us --- A Dachau Diary by a Survivor" by Raphael Tijhuis, O.Carm. He tells a fascinating story of having experienced powerful moments of God's mercy in places of hatred, violence and death. He said that he attained a sense of God's presence that he never experienced before or after. The book is available in the Carmelite Gift Shop along with other recent arrivals of Carmelite History and Spirituality.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's hard to believe that we are already at the end of October, Halloween, and that tomorrow is the Feast of All Saints!
At the Masses this afternoon, we will make reference to Cardinal Sean's instructions for the precautions that we should all take to prevent as much as possible the spreading of the H1N1 Flu (Swine flu). The priests, the lectors, and ministers of the Eucharist have been using a hand sanitizer immediately before leaving the sacristy to begin Mass for the past few weeks. Naturally, we will continue that in the future. The Cardinal has instructed us to refrain, as much as possible, from all unnecessary physical contact during Mass. therefore, we will change the sign of peace from a handshake to a wave of the hand, a nod of the head a pleasant smile, a whispered God's peace be with you. There are many ways that we can express our desire to share God's peace without a handshake.
Also, the Cardinal has suspended Communion under both species, i.e., consuming the Blessed Blood of the Lord from the chalice, during Mass. Although that has not been our practice here in the Chapel, we will suspend, for now, Communion from the chalice even for our Eucharistic Ministers.
Also we are going to change the Holy Water in the small fonts at the entrance to the Chapel before each Mass. And soon we will empty them completely I have ordered some one ounce Holy Water containers which will be available at the entrance to the Chapel for all who want them. That will eliminate completely the need for so many hands to be dipping into the Holy Water font on entering and leaving the Chapel.
By the way, you can keep up-to-date with all the pronouncements of Cardinal Sean by signing up for his weekly e-mail at: weeklye-mail@thebostonpilot.com
Also, don't forget to turn your back your clocks one hour before retiring tonight as Daylight Saving time is brought to an end for this year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good morning to all. We had a really nice evening last night in the Chapel with the monthly Men's Night of Prayer and Reflection. (As you know the men get together every month on the third Tuesday of the month for adoration, instruction and reconciliation.) Frs. Herbert and Mario gave the talks. Attendance was down a bit last night with only about 30 men being present. However it was good to welcome a couple of new faces and to welcome back a couple who hadn't been with us for a few months. A special treat of the evening was a platter of freshly made brownies that Bro. Damien sent down for all to enjoy during the social hour that follows the prayer. They were delicious. Fr. Mario also brought down the remains of his birthday cake which was quickly devoured by all (it was a well saturated rum cake from d'Orsis Bakery in Peabody). Ssshhhhh, don't tell anyone, but Fr. Mario just turned 67.
Don't forget to keep Fr. Mario in your prayers today, because he will be undergoing surgery on his eyes at around noontime at the Lahey Clinic.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This has been a busy day but very nice. I started off by celebrating the 8:00 A.M. Spanish Mass at St. Joseph's Parish in Lynn. That's always a great way to begin the Sunday. It's a vibrant community over there.
Then at 1:00 P.M. I went over to St. Thomas the Apostle parish hall for the 60th anniversary luncheon of the Lay Carmelite Community from our chapel-in-the-Mall. It was a very nice luncheon with a rather good attendance considering that it was a very cold and rainy day. About eight people attended representing the Lay Carmelite community in Hudson, N.H. I believe it's the community of Bl. Titus.
Elizabeth (Betty) Foote, a member of the first profession class of our Chapter was present and added a rather detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the beginning of the Chapter.
Following this anniversary luncheon, I went to a family birthday party in Methuen, MA for my grand-neice, Tess Regan who was born four years ago today in China. Her full name is Tess Ai Bei Regan. My nephew and his wife retained her chinese name as her second name. They adopted her three years ago this month. It was a joyful family event.
Would you believe that it is only October 18th and I had to drive home with the windshield wipers going full blast wiping SNOW off the windshield!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oooooh. Bad news. I was just told that the renovations are going to cost much more than we had anticipated. The Sprinkler system and the fire alarm systems will have to be replaced and that could come to about $35,000!!! Woooow. That was not expected.
Mother Ann's funeral Mass and burial were beautiful this morning. Cardinal Sean celebrated the Mass, Bishop Irwin concelebrated and preached, and there were about twenty other concelebrants. The Chapel was jammed. The music was taken care of by the Paul Madore choir.
I thought I would get to the chapel early so as not to have to walk very far after parking and even though I was thirty five minutes early I had to park down on the street and walk up the hill.
It was really cold. The concelebrants were the first to arrive at the grave side and we had to wait about ten or fifteen minutes before the nuns and the family arrived. It was extremely cold and windy. The hot coffee after Mass really felt good.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fr. Felix, Fr. Mario, Bro. Damien, Bro. John, and I just got back from the wake of Mother Ann at the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Danvers. Her sudden death was a real shock to all of the Sisters. As I said to them, we are praying to Mother Ann for all of them.
The nuns have the custom of placing the original copy of the profession of first vows in the hands of the deceased in the casket. Mother Ann entered the convent in 1961 right here in Danvers. Her whole religious life was spent in this monastery.
The nuns have the custom of using a very simply casket. It is a simple wooden box and the body lies on a bed of straw. It is similar to the caskets made by the Trappist monks that have been used in the funerals of some of our priests in Florida.
I like the simplicity of it, and have left instructions that I would like that type of casket when the Lord calls me home.
We will all attend the funeral tomorrow with the exception of Fr. Felix who willbe offering the 12 noon Mass in the Mall Chapel.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I just came back from a meeting of the Hispanic Commission in Tucson, AZ last night and was very saddened to hear of the sudden death of the Prioress at the Carmelite Monastery in Danvers. I understand that her funeral will be celebrated by Cardinal Sean on Friday at 11:00 A.M. She was a wonderful woman, a great example of a deeply spiritual daughter of Carmel. She will be missed.

Friday, October 2, 2009

There was a good attendance at all of the Masses of the Triduum honoring St. Therese. After the 12:00 and 3:00 Masses it was nice to see people walking through the Mall with their long stem (articial) rose. Every one looked at them with some what of a puzzled look on their faces. "What's this all about", they seemed to say. Little did they realize that it was a reminder of St. Therese's promise to "spend her heaven doing good on earth and letting fall from heaven a shower of roses".

Brother Damien has designed a cube upstairs in the Mall in front of Dellaria's Salon with products from the Carmelite Gift Shop. He made a really good presentation (perhaps he should have been a Show Window Designer). Be sure to congratulate him on his work.

Of special note is a large and very beautiful Nativity Scene that will be given away to some lucky visitor to the Carmelite Gift Shop between now and Christmas. With just a visit to the Gift Shop (no purchase necessary) one's name can be entered into a drawing to see who will have this beautiful Nativity scene in their home this Christmas.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today we begin our Triduum of Prayer for the Feast of our Patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux. The Triduum will be based on the theme of three convictions of St. Therese. First, Fr. Felix will begin with a homily on the importance of Sacred Scripture in Christian, and especially Carmelite, Spirituality. Then on the second day Fr. Mario was speak on St. Therese's conviction that communty life is the setting for loving and serving God. And on Thursday, the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, Fr. Herbert will speak on her conviction that to be Church we must be in mission. On the Feast Day artificial roses will be distributed to everyone as a reminder of her promise to "spend her heaven doing good upon earth and to let fall a shower of roses". I hope that you will be able to join us for the Triduum

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hi, Please say a special prayer. We are looking for a place where we can offer Mass during the renovations (which should take about nine weeks) because it is just going to be financially impossible to keep the Chapel open during the renovations. It would take six weeks longer and cost $48,000 more to do the work in two phases!! So we are despeately looking for some place to go during the renovation. Please pray and ask our patroness, St. Therese, to help us find a place before her Feast Day on October lst.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hi folks,
Last night I went over the proposed prices for the renovations in the chapel with a nephew who has his own small contracting company in Methuen. He said that they all seem to be more or less what is to be expected. We'll know better when everything is put out for bids. Please keep this project in your prayers. Riught now it looks as though we will be starting in January. I wouldn't want to be disturbing the Chapel during Advent and Christmas. The job is estimated to take 9 weeks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ooooh, I'm getting a little nervous. We had a meeting with the architect for the renovation of the Chapel and the Director of the Mall on Friday, and there are a few hidden costs that we hadn't planned on. Since we are doing a major renovation, we have to bring some of the items up to code (e.g., the fire sprinkler and the smoke alarm systems). We have to speak witht the Fire Department and see just what is required here in Peabody. Say a prayer that this won't throw us too much over budget.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Greetings to all.
We recently published the photos of the architect's drawings for the 50th anniversary renovation of the Chapel. So far, all comments have been very positive.
I had been overly optimistic, hoping that we would be able to start the work in October. However, in order to avoid disrupting the Chapel during the Advent season, we will not begin the construction til January. It is estimated that the work will take between 60 and 90 days. The Chapel will remain open during the renovation, but the Blessed Sacrament will not be exposed.
The actual 50th anniversary of the first Mass and the dedication of the Chapel to St. Therese of Lisieux is January 28th.
I hope every one will remember to write down their e-mail address at the entrance of the Chapel so that we can keep everyone up-to-date with anything happening in the Chapel. So far we have an e-mail list of about 70 names.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fr. Felix and I attended the "Priests Appreciation Night" at the Convention Center in Boston last night. It was really a great night. Over 1600 people enjoyed a great meal with some very thoughtful presentations, among them former Ambassador to the Vatican, Ambassador Flynn, William Bulger, Fr. John MacInnis of St. John's in Peabody, and Cardinal Sean. Fr. Felix and I were the guests of James Shea and his wife from St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Peabody.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chapel-in-the-Mall e-mail list.

By the way, I am happy to report that we now have over 70 names on our e-mail list for the Chapel-in-the-Mall. It gives me a way of communicating with those who come to worship at the Chapel to keep them up-to-date on what is happening and also to send them some inspirational items that float around the net from time to time. And we are receiving additional addresses almost every day as people see the sign-up sheet at the entrance to the Chapel.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

By the way, today I celebrated the 55th anniversary of my profession of vows which took place at the Carmelite Novitiate in New Baltimore, PA I might add that they have been 55 wonderful years.
Hi, I was just reading the new English translation of some of the prayers used at Mass. They can be found at: usccb.org/romanmissal/example.shtml I'm not to happy with some of them. They seem rather stilted and I don't think they will be so meaningful for the people. I hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The August Men's Night of Prayer and Reflection was held last night. Attendance was slightly off. I'm sure that this was due to it being the height of the vacationseason and the extreme heat. Fr. Felix spoke last night on Baptism and what it means for us as adults.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fr. Herb

Last Tuesday evening, Cardinal Sean O'Malley visited the Chapel and participated in the Men's Night of Prayer and Reflection that is held every third Tuesday of the Month. He gave an inspiratonal talk tothe men, and his visit was greatly appreciated.

Fr. Herb

Hi, this is my first attempt to establish a blog for the Carmelite Chapel-in-the-Mall. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. This is a whole new world for me.