Cebu Carmelites mark 75th anniversary of foundation

May 14, 2024 - 4:02 PM
Archbishop Jose Palma celebrates Mass for Cebu Carmel’s Diamond Jubilee at the Carmelite Monastery in Mabolo, Cebu City on May 13, 2024. (Sammy Navaja via CBCP News)

The presence of the Carmelite community in the Archdiocese of Cebu has greatly contributed to the faith of Catholics for 75 years, Archbishop Jose Palma said.

Palma on Monday officiated the Mass to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Carmelite Sisters of Cebu at the Carmelite Monastery in the city’s Mabolo district.

It was a time of prayer, reflection, and thanksgiving for the founding nuns who arrived in Cebu on May 13, 1949, and those who followed since then.

“I know what this community means for us here in Cebu… this celebration is a testimony of how much Carmel means to us,” Palma said in his homily.

“I am fully convinced that Carmel is living in the presence of God, and witnessing to the world that living in the presence of God brings peace and joy and fulfillment to one’s heart,” he said.

Through the years, the archbishop has stressed that the monastery is a testimony that “here is the abode of God and here we find peace, contentment, and joy”.

The presence of the Discalced Carmelite sisters, he said, is also a reminder that “we should find peace and joy where God is”.

“They accompany us to God, they bring us closer to God,” Palma added.

The archbishop declared a “Special Year of Grace” for the Carmelite Monastery from May 13 until the same day of next year.

During this period, the faithful can obtain a plenary indulgence by making a pilgrimage to the monastery and by fulfilling the usual conditions of sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Last year, the Order of the Discalced Carmelites celebrated its 100 years of presence in the Philippines, which began with the arrival of French Carmelite nuns in Jaro, Iloilo on November 9, 1923.