by ROWENA OREJANA
AUCKLAND — Bishop Stuart O’Connell, SM, asked God to continue blessing the Carmelite nuns as they celebrated their feast day on July 13.

Carmelite nuns pray at the Carmelite Monastery in Auckland.

“This monastery is a powerhouse of prayer for this diocese, for the whole Church, for our country, our families and for each and everyone of us. All of us, at times, have turned to the sisters to ask them to pray for us, to pray for our needs, to intercede for us, especially when we have really difficult trials to face,” he said.
The feast day of Our Lady of Mt Carmel is on July 16, but was celebrated on the Sunday
closest to it. Afternoon tea followed the Mass.
The Carmelite nuns, explained Bishop O’Connell, dedicate their lives to prayer.
The holy Mass and Divine Office are the centre of the sisters’ day.
They gather several times to recite or chant the Divine Office of the Catholic Church,
he said.
“Aware of their closeness to God, his mother and to all the saints, we turn to them,
our sisters, to help us on our pilgim’s journey, to pray for our needs,” he said.
Bishop O’Connell added that this feast day also reminds the faithful that we often turn to Mary in times of need.
“When life’s events seem to go from bad to worse at times, don’t we instinctively turn to
Mary?
“We can turn to Mary under many of her titles. But when we come here, we are asking our
sisters to pray to Mary of Mt Carmel,” he said.
The original group of Carmelite Sisters came to Auckland on February 15, 1937, from their convent in Sydney.
They bought the property on Mt Albert Road within weeks of their arrival and still occupy the same property.

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