Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Thérèse

News Archive



Some Questions for Young People


Some Questions for Young People is one of the homilies given by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD, during one of the nights of the novena of masses in honor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Little Rock, AR last July. Some people who attended asked Fr. Bonaventure for a copy of the questions. Two worked in youth ministry – one of them a youth ministry director for the diocese of Little Rock.

A copy of the homily in PDF format is now available from our Downloads page.

Save the Date - Basilica National Shrine of St. Therese

Save the Date


The feast of St. Therese, patron saint of our Province, is coming up on Oct.1st. The Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Therese in San Antonio, TX has a series of events leading up to her feast:

St. Therese Novena
Sept. 22 -29
Sung Mass - 6:00 pm

Transit of St. Therese
Sept. 30 - 5:00 pm
Vigil Mass - 5:30 pm

Feast of St. Therese
Oct. 1, 2017
Bilingual Mass - 12:00 Noon

For more details and other events at the Basilica, please visit their website.

Fr. Stephen Sanchez OCD Provincial

New Superior at Mount Carmel Center


Dear Friends,

In May of this year I was elected Provincial of the Oklahoma Province. This means that most of my time will be devoted to overseeing the health of the Province and its Friars for the next three years. This will often require me to travel to the various houses of the Province among other commitments. As a result, I will no longer be Superior at Mount Carmel Center. While I will still reside at Mount Carmel Center, I will not be a part of its active ministry due to these responsibilities.

Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to Rev. Raul Reyes, OCD, the new Superior of Mount Carmel Center. Fr. Raul comes to us from recently serving the people of San Antonio at our National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Therese. He now welcomes the opportunity to minister and serve in Dallas. Mount Carmel Center will be in good hands under his leadership and guidance. Please show him the kind of love and support you have so generously shown me over the last 15 years.

Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to learn and adjust to my new role. I have valued your friendship and support tremendously over the last 15 years that I have been Superior of Mount Carmel Center.

In Him,

Very Rev. Stephen Sanchez, OCD, Provincial

Fr. Raul Reyes OCD Mount Carmel Center Superior

Meet Rev. Raul Reyes, OCD, the New Superior at Mount Carmel Center


Fr. Raul was born and raised in Uvalde, TX, in 1942. After high school, Fr. Raul joined the Carmelites and made his novitiate in Marylake in Little Rock, AR. He studied at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio and after four years went to Washington, DC where he finished his studies. He was ordained a priest in 1969. For the last three years, Fr. Raul was in San Antonio at our National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Therese.

Upcoming Programs at Mount Carmel Center

Transformation in the Spiritual Life

Sept. 20th or 23rd with Rev. Raul Reyes, OCD

In the spiritual life any transformation or transition that an individual undergoes is first of all the work of God. God works through each individual, however, the individual must collaborate with God. For example, in the Old Testament God called Abraham and he responded.

The Davidic Kingdom and the Promise of the Messiah

October 11th or 14th with Rev. Raul Reyes, OCD

The promise of the Eternal Kingdom was given to King David in response to his generous offer to build a house of cedar for God. At an appropriate time God responded and sent the Messiah who comes as Savior to us all; the promise given and fulfilled.

The Prophet Elijah

November 8th or 11th with the Very Rev. Stephen Sanchez, OCD

We will be examining the importance of the figure of Elijah and his call to integrity in a time of political expediency and religious syncretism*. Model for today?
* mixture of ideas or beliefs

Our Lady; One Like Us

December 6th or 9th with Rev. Raul Reyes, OCD

As we prepare for the coming of the Lord, we turn to Our Lady. She shows us by her participation in the life of her Son how we can imitate her life. Just as she was united with her Son in the events of His life, so may we be as well.

For more information, please visit the Mount Carmel Center website.

Carmelite Institute Live Webinar 2017

Live Webinar - Rescheduled


The Carmelite Institute webinar entitled The Rule and the Unique Charism of Carmel has been rescheduled to take place on Oct. 14, 2017 – 2pm EST.

The presentor will be Br. Patrick Mullins, O.CARM. It will be an exploration of the charismatic identity of Carmelites as hermit-brother-friars in St. Albert’s Formula of Life and in the Carmelite Rule.

For more information and to register for this live event, please visit the Carmelite Institute's website.

Pope Francis at St. Peter

World Day of Prayer Joint Message


In 2015, Pope Francis declared September 1st as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. In August of this year, the Pope and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew issued a joint message on the World Day of Prayer for Creation. The joint message is available from our Downloads page.

Eye of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey


Hurricane Harvey landed as a category 4 hurricane and continued to move slowly, wreaking much havoc and devastation. By now, everyone knows that Texas, where it made landfall and where it continued to let fall unprecedented amounts of rain, was the hardest hit.

Click here for more content on Hurricane Harvey.

Our Lady of Prompt Succor

Prayers for Hurricane Season


Throughout the history of New Orleans, people have sought the intercession of Our Lady when the city faced dangers, in times of various calamities, and during periods of recovery after natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.

The archdiocese of New Orleans where the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor is located, has several prayers for the hurricane season. If you would like a copy of these prayers, please visit our Prayer page.

Photo on the left by SICDAMNOME (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
forest trees new growth

Symposium Talk


Witnessing to an Integral Ecology in Carmel was a talk presented by Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD at the Carmelite Symposium which was held from June 25 to 29 this year at Loyola University in Chicago. The text for this talk is now available in 2-part PDF files from our Downloads page.

Gentle Breezes - summer 2017

Gentle Breezes


The Summer 2017 issue of Gentle Breezes is now available.

grave with trees

Conjuring up the Eternal – Part 3


The latest post on Blog Central, Conjuring Up the Eternal – Part 3 of 7 on Poet and Contemplative blog, is now available for viewing.

seedling plant

Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Elijah


The latest post on Blog Central, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Elijah on OCDS Central blog, is now available for viewing.

Our Lady and Jesus

Marian Reflection


The latest post on Blog Central, Marian Reflection on RHAPSODEE blog, is now available for viewing.

Flos Carmeli 2017 Summer

Flos Carmeli – Summer Issue


The Summer issue of Flos Carmeli is now available from our Downloads page.

Little Rock Carmel Blog

New Carmelite Blog


The Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock, AR has added a blog to their website. You can view it by clicking here.

Raw Stillness of Heaven book cover

Book of Poems


The Raw Stillness of Heaven is a book of poems on prayer, conversion, and faith written by Tim Bete, OCDS.

Tim Bete is a Secular Disclaced Carmelite in Dayton, OH. He is one of the contributors to the OCDS Central Blog and he is also the author of his own blog, Gray Rising.

To learn more about the book, visit Gray Rising. The book is available from Amazon.com in print or in Kindle format.

Sister Miriam of the Mystical Body

In Memoriam – Sister Miriam of the Mystical Body


On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Sister Miriam of the Mystical Body (Mary Julia Seelaus) passed away.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, and the second of eight children, she is survived by her older sister, Sister Anne of the Immaculate Heart (Margaret Seelaus).

Sister Miriam spent most of her life serving God and the Church as a Discalced Carmelite Nun. She made her First Profession of Vows in 1950 and her Solemn Profession in 1953. Her Golden Jubilee was celebrated with an outdoor Mass in Covington Carmel in the year 2000.

People who were fortunate enough to have met Sister Miriam were always greeted by her smiling face. Those who knew her well will always remember her kindness and prayerful support. She will surely be missed by many.

The Mass of Christian Burial took place on June 30, 2017 at 9 a.m. in the Guardian Angel Chapel of the Carmelite Monastery in Covington, LA, followed by interment at St. Joseph Abbey Cemetery.

With deepest sympathy, our condolences go to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Covington. May the soul of Sister Miriam and all of our departed brothers and sisters, through God's mercy, rest in peace.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel


The Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is on July 16. Those of you who happen to live near a Carmelite community or parish may have plans to go to a preached novena of Masses in honor of Our Lady. For those of you who do not have such an opportunity, we have some novenas that you may choose from to help prepare for Our Lady's feast. Go to the Prayer page to download a novena of your choice.

Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Saint Therese - San Antonio TX

Schedule for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel


The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, TX has the following schedule for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel:

Novena - July 7-15 5:30pm Sung Mass

Vigil Mass - Saturday, July 15

5:00pm Solemn First Vespers

6:00pm Vigil Mass

Solemn Mass (Sung Masses)

Sunday, July 16

8:00am (English), 10:00am (Spanish),

12:00pm (English), & 6:30pm (Spanish)

There will be NO 1:00 pm Mass.

For more information, visit the Basilica's website.


Conjuring Up the Eternal


Read the latest blog post, Conjuring Up the Eternal – Part I on the Poet and Contemplative Blog.

HTML and CSS codes

Website Migration


Our website is being migrated to this domain. We are also applying technical updates to meet the requirements and demands of newer devices, and to prepare for emerging technology. As a result, there may be changes in the website's structure and some of its page layouts. The whole process will continue for several more weeks.

Please bear with us as we work toward finishing the process. Thank you very much for your patience and your continued viewership. Have a safe and pleasant summer season.

Communicationes 321 PDF

Communicationes No. 321

  • Presence in the Mission in Odisha Stretching Back Over 25 Years
  • A Marian Congress in Fatima, Portugal
  • Holy Week in Egypt Begins with the Blood of Martyrs
  • OCDS Provincial Chapter, Colombia
Photo of Pope Francis

Letter to Young People from Pope Francis


The 15th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in October 2018 with the topic “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” On January 18 of this year, the Preparatory Document was presented as a guideline for next year's assembly. The Pope also wrote a letter addressing young people.

To read the letter, please go to our Downloads page.

Carmelite nuns with Fr. General and Fr. Rafal

National Meeting of Carmelite Nuns


From April 25 to 27, 2017, a national meeting of Carmelite Nuns was held in St. Louis, Missouri.

Read the full article and see more photos on Terre Haute Carmel's website.

Pope Francis

Letter of Encouragement from Pope Francis


Pope Francis recently wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Chicago, encouraging all people, especially young people, to strive for non-violence.

The letter, in English and Spanish versions, is available from our Downloads page.
Photo by Jeffrey Bruno from New York City, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Instruments of Reconciliation

An Appeal to the Catholic Church


In April of last year, the Rome Conference issued “Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-Commit to the Centrality of Gospel Nonviolence.”

In the United States, May 2017 has been designated as U.S. Catholics’ month for active participation in nonviolence.

Key dates in May include: May 3 – anniversary of The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response (1983), the Bishop’s pastoral letter. May 8 – birthday for Daniel Berrigan (b. 1921) and Sophie Scholl (b. 1921). May 20 – Feast of Austrian conscientious objector and martyr Franz Jagerstatter who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.

Read the document Instruments of Reconciliation to find out ways you can participate in the National Campaign to Amplify Active Nonviolence in the U.S. Catholic Church.

Little Flower Church

New Website


The Little Flower Church in Oklahoma City, a parish under the ministry of our Friars, has a new website. Please visit their website here.

Fr. Stephen Sanchez, OCD

We Have a New Provincial


Congratulations to Fr. Stephen Sanchez – the newly elected Provincial of the Discalced Carmelite Province of St. Thérèse. Currently the superior at Mt. Carmel Center in Dallas, Fr. Stephen will begin his new role and take on his new responsibilities on the 22nd of May 2017 – the beginning of our Provincial Chapter.

To learn more about our new Provincial, you can read a brief biography of Fr. Stephen here.

OCDS Congress 2017

OCDS Regional Congress


In November of this year, the Secular Discalced Carmelites will have the 2017 OCDS Regional Congress in San Antonio, TX. To learn more about the event, visit their website here.

We also have a prayer for the event available on our Prayer page.

Flos Carmeli - Spring 2017 front page

Flos Carmeli


The Spring issue of Flos Carmeli is now available. Visit the Downloads page to get your copy.

Holy Thursday 2017 at the Basilica in San Antonio

Holy Thursday at the Basilica

Photos taken during Holy Thursday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thérèse are now available for viewing here.
Stacks Image 26762

International Marian Congress

This year marks the Centennial of Our Lady of the Rosary, of Fatima. In honor of our Blessed Mother, the Carmelite family will hold an International Marian Congress entitled Mary the Mother of Carmel. This event will take place from the 15th to the 17th of September 2017, in Fatima, Portugal.

To learn more about this event, download the official schedule and the official poster from our Downloads page.

OCDS Easter Greeting 2017

An Easter Greeting to the Secular Discalced Carmelites of the Oklahoma Province

The Provincial Council of the Secular Discalced Carmelites of our Province sends this greeting to all of their sisters and brothers.
Savannah Carmel

Our Lady of Confidence Carmelite Monastery


The Carmel of Savannah, Georgia was founded 55 years ago. The nuns are dedicated in their life of prayer and support themselves materially through manual work like Altar Bread making.

Currently, they are trying to raise much-needed funds for their building project. Their accommodations consist of uninsulated dormitories in cinder-block construction, limited in space appropriate for a monastery, and costly to maintain.

Please keep them in your prayers and, if you are able, consider making a donation. Their newsletter which includes forms for Prayer Intentions and Donations can be downloaded here. If you would like to learn more about the nuns, you can visit their website here.

Holy Week Schedule for Dallas and Oklahoma

Holy Week Schedule for Dallas and Oklahoma City

The Holy Week Schedule for St. Mary of Carmel in Dallas, TX and for Little Flower Church in Oklahoma City, OK can be downloaded here.
Basilica Holy Week 2017

Holy Week at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thérèse

Starting with the Parish Lenten Retreat on Saturday, April 8, the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Thérèse has a full schedule of Masses, Adoration of the Cross and Communion Service, and Morning Prayer throughout Holy Week until Easter Sunday.
Download their full schedule here. For more information on the Basilica, visit their website here.
Encounter and Share - a Lenten Invitation

A Lenten Invitation

FOCUS, a Catholic collegiate outreach geared towards college and university students, invites young people to Encounter & Share: A Lenten Invitation. It is a weekly Facebook Live event featuring Catholic speakers, and takes place every Sunday of this Lenten season.
For more information, visit the
FOCUS website.
Communicationes 320 PDF

Communicationes No. 320

In this issue of Communicationes:
  • Floods in Peru
  • St Joseph’s Sanctuary of the Carmelite Friars in Poznan Made a Minor Basilica
  • The Discalced Carmelites in Tangiers (Morocco)
Download the latest issue here.
Teresianum Periodicals Online

Teresianum Periodical Online

The periodical of the Teresianum Pontifical Theological Faculty is now available online via a search engine - a research tool for finding periodical articles since 1947. Full texts are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Latin.

For further information on how the search engine works, read
Communicationes No. 319, page 2.

The search engine can be accessed on this page.
Communicationes 319

Communicationes No. 319

The latest issue of Communicationes is now available.
DVD order form

Video Recording and Book

A 10-DVD video recording of the Carmelite Directors of Formation Program (May 27 to June 2, 2012) is now available for purchase.

Also available for purchase is a new publication:
St Teresa of Avila: A Transformational Leader by Fr. Mathew Azhakath, OCD. Fr. Matthew received his Ph.D. in Leadership and Administration from Fordham University, USA.

Please click here to download the order form.

In Memoriam

Fr John Michael Payne OCD small image

Fr. John Michael Payne, OCD

Fr. John Michael Payne, OCD, a friar of our Province, died in the afternoon of the feast of the Epiphany, January 8, 2017. He was at Marylake, the house he most loved, where he was serving as superior. It was a sudden heart attack that took him. None of us expected it. Thus, it descends on us like a bird of prey. Read more…
OCD Definitory Letter 2016 December

Letter from the General Definitory

A letter from the Order of the Discalced Carmelites General Definitory summarizing its meeting earlier last month is available from the Downloads page.
He Who Dwells - Day of Recollection
He Who Dwells - Day of Recollection

Day of Recollection
Presented by
Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD
Saturday, February 18, 2017

St. Theresa Catholic Church
6622 Haskell Street
Houston, TX 77007

8:30 - 9:30 Registration
9:45 - 10:40 Conference
11:00 Eucharist
12:00 Lunch 2:00 - 3:00 Conference

To register or for more information, please contact the
Carmelite Institute of North America:
PH (202) 526-1221

Carmelite Symposium 2017

Carmelite Symposium Update

The program for the 2017 Carmelite Symposium – Pope Francis Points the Way for Carmel – has changed. An additional speaker, Fr. Matt Malone, SJ (President and Editor of America Magazine), will speak on “Pope Francis, The Jesuit”.

Archbisoph Blase Cupic, who has been elevated to the College of Cardinals, will preside over the symposium’s opening Mass.

Register online by clicking on this link.

You may also
download the updated symposium program from our Downloads page.

Communicationes No. 317

The latest issue of Communicationes (the Order’s Newsletter) is now available for viewing and download.
Christmas greeting OCDS General Secretary

Christmas Greetings from the OCDS General Secretary

Fr. Alzinir Debastiani, OCD, sends Christmas Greetings to the OCDS of the Central U.S. Province.
To read the letter, please visit the Downloads page.
Bishop Gregory Homeming OCD

Pope Francis Appoints a Carmelite Friar as Bishop of Lismore

On Dec. 20, 2016, Pope Francis appointed Fr. Gregory Homeming O.C.D, (Regional Vicar of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Sydney, Australia) as the sixth Bishop of Lismore after accepting the resignation of Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett who served the Diocese of Lismore for the past 15 years.