Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Announcing A New Contemplative Religious Community of Men

New Liturgical Movement is pleased to share this important news with our readers. Please keep the hermits in your prayers and spread the word to men who might be called to the eremitical life.

In Cujus Conspectu: A New Contemplative Religious Community of Men
“Vivit Dominus Deus Israel, in cujus conspectu sto” (3 Kings 17:1). His Excellency, Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has warmly given his blessing to a new religious community of men, the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (, erecting the community as an Association of the Faithful on February 22nd, the 15th anniversary of His Excellency’s episcopal consecration.

This community observes the eremitical Carmelite charism according to the life of the original community of hermits on Mount Carmel and the primitive Carmelite Rule written for them by St. Albert of Jerusalem in the early 1200s. Strictly following the Rule in its original character of eremitical contemplative religious life, they are reviving the life of those ancient religious, who “in imitation of that holy anchorite the prophet Elijah, led solitary lives” (Jacques de Vitry, Bishop of Acre, History of Jerusalem). “Let each stay in his cell or nearby it, day and night meditating on the law of the Lord and keeping vigil in prayers unless occupied by other just occasions” (Primitive Carmelite Rule of St. Albert).

Divine Charity in the Heart of the Church

“Deus caritas est” (1 Jn. 4:16). Without charity the soul dies and the Church withers. St. Thomas Aquinas explains that charity is the life of the soul, even as the soul is the life of the body. The specific end of charity is to be united to God, and thus prayer, which is the raising of the mind and heart to God, is necessary for perfect charity. “Limitless loving devotion to God, and the gift God makes of Himself to you, are the highest elevation of which the heart is capable; it is the highest degree of prayer. The souls that have reached this point are truly the heart of the Church” (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).

To assist the life of the other members of the Mystical Body of Christ, God provides, as the heart of the Church, contemplative religious who are especially dedicated to striving for consummate union with the Redeemer, and to perpetuating the redemptive and sanctifying power of His crucified love through the offering of continual prayer and penance united to the holy Sacrifice of the Mass: “Salve, Salus mundi, Verbum Patris, Hostia sacra, viva Caro, Deitas integra, verus Homo” (Priest’s Prayer Before Communion in the Carmelite Rite). Therefore, clothed in the holy Habit of Our Lady, Mater Pulchrae Dilectionis, the Mother of Fair Love, and in union with Him Whose Heart is Fornax Ardens Caritatis, the Burning Furnace of Charity, the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel immolate themselves for the glory of the one true God, the honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the spiritual benefit of the Church, so that God may be known, adored, loved, and served in every soul.

To Enkindle Many Hearts for God

“Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum” (3 Kings 19:10). The Hermits came to the Diocese of Harrisburg to live an eremitical religious life of prayer and penance. Nicholas, the Prior General of the Carmelite Order (1266-1271) records that the first religious on Mount Carmel “tarried long in the solitude of the desert, conscious of their own imperfection. Sometimes, however, though rarely, they came down from their desert, anxious, so as not to fail in what they regarded as their duty, to be of service to their neighbors, and sowed broadcast of the grain, threshed out in preaching, that they had so sweetly reaped in solitude with the sickle of contemplation.”

Therefore, in an age when the charity of many has grown cold, the Hermits also labor to help souls to advance in the spiritual life and in perfect charity so as to produce enduring fruits in their proper vocations and states of life. Being located in Fairfield, Pennsylvania makes it possible for the Hermits to help to provide traditional priestly and sacramental services for the holy daughters of St. Teresa in the area, the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in the Carmel of Jesus, Mary & Joseph in Fairfield.

In addition, once the Hermits receive the necessary resources, they will establish a guest and retreat house available for a prayerful retreat for priests, seminarians, religious, and the lay faithful, or a religious setting for those visiting the area or the beautiful chapel of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in order to be refreshed and enkindled by the rich liturgical and spiritual life that resounds therein. Committed to a full religious observance, manual labor, and priestly service to souls, the community does not operate any regular business, but subsists on alms and the charity of the faithful.

The community’s location in Fairfield, is only minutes from Emmitsburg, MD, near Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, and the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and is also within driving range of Harrisburg, Washington DC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Richmond, and even New Jersey or New York.

For More Information

To contact or learn more about the ancient charism, religious observance, and community of the Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or for vocation inquiries, please visit: or write to:

Hermits of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
P.O. Box 485
Fairfield, PA 17320

“Confidito, Petre; religio enim Carmelitarum in finem usque saeculi est perseveratura; Elias namque ejus Institutor jam olim etiam a Filio meo id impetravit.” “Have confidence, Peter; for the Order of the Carmelites is to persevere until the end of the world; for indeed Elias, its Founder, has already obtained that from my Son.” -- Words of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Peter Thomas in the Carmelite Rite Breviary

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