For Carmelites the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has a special significance because Our Lady of Mount Carmel is patron of the Carmelites and the Church at Middle Park is the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – a gathering place for all members of the Carmelite Family in Australia.
In the Carmelite tradition Mary is seen as a sister who helps us to follow her Son. Mary lived her life with deep faith and a contemplative spirit. She confronted many situations which affect contemporary women: pregnant and unmarried at an early age; facing uncertainty about Joseph’s acceptance of her; giving birth far away from home and family; fleeing with Joseph into Egypt to protect her child; a run-away child who disappeared for three days; wondering if Jesus was mad as he began his public ministry; seeing him rejected; watching him suffer and die like a criminal.
There were great moments, too: rejoicing with her cousin Elizabeth over the approaching birth of their sons; watching Jesus help the newly-married couple at the wedding feast in Cana; seeing the power of God move in him during his ministry; watching him rise; gathering with the disciples in prayer awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit. Through her inspiration may we develop the skill to reflect on our lives under the power and influence of God’s Spirit so that, whatever life may bring us, we will be able to live our lives with courage, faith and love, giving Christ form and shape in who we are, how we live, what we say and do.
At a special Mothers’ Mass on this feast day we are joined by other members of the Carmelite Family in Australia, especially the East Timorese and Indonesian Catholic communities in Melbourne. Together we pray that we may continue to be inspired by Mary, the woman of faith.
For more details on how Mary can inspire us to live a better life or to attend workshops about Mary contact the Carmelite Centre on 03 9690 5430 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org
The August Edition of the monthly newsletter begins: “The release of ‘Laudato Si’ has had a huge impact on many of our World Leaders and their organisations, governments and individuals throughout the world. We have asked several members of the Carmelite Family to respond to the Laudato Si Letter and now share with you in this month’s edition two of those responses.” Click the link below to read in full.
In the prelude to the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement Melbourne bishop, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, a man who came to Australia as a boat person, fleeing as a teenager from Vietnam writes that ‘we can be part of the problem or part of the solution’. This blunt reminder brings to mind Jesus words ‘he who is not with me is against me’ (Mt. 12:30) There is so much richness in this year’s Bishop’s social justice statement, ‘For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas’ highlighting the witness value of Pope Francis who has repeatedly displayed his compassion and begged the world to follow. ‘Has any of us wept for these persons who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies’. (Pope Francis at Lampedusa)
In his New York Times bestselling book, ‘Jesus’ Jesuit writer James Martin has written that when Jesus saw a sick person he was ‘moved with compassion’. Martin makes the point that in the original Greek translation the word, ‘splagchnizomai’ evokes a strong response as it literally means that Jesus was moved in his inner-most parts, Jesus felt compassion ‘in his guts’. The bishop’s statement is yearning for that potency in our response. We all like the idea of compassion but putting it into action is the test.
The statement points to institutionalized cruelty of prolonged onshore and offshore detention giving prominence to respected sources, e.g. the 2010 Australian of the Year, psychiatrist Patrick McGorry who has described detention facilities as ‘factories for producing mental illness and mental disorder’ and former chief psychiatrist to Australia’s detention centres, Peter Young who described them as ‘inherently toxic’. At a recent Carmelite Centre gathering in Melbourne, human rights and refugee advocate and barrister, Julian Burnside chilled the audience with story after story of detention centre abuse including rape, self-immolation and child molestation.
The statement reminds us that the vitriolic political debate in Australia has led to misinformation and fear. In both Europe and the United States there has been some condemnation of Australia’s brutal treatment of refugees although with the recent tsunami of people from Syria seeking refuge in Europe there is a degree of sympathy for a hardline approach coming from minority groups throughout the EU. The New York Times (Sept 7/15) has condemned those European officials tempted to adopt the hard-line Australian approach, labeling it unconscionable. The Times describes Australia’s policies as inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war. The statement says ‘Today, the panic and mistrust that is stirred up by this debate are out of all proportion to the true scale of the issue in Australia.’ ‘For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas’ is a fine piece of writing, superbly crafted and comprehensible to all. This is high praise indeed because many church documents, both local and international lack creativity and therefore are read only by the most resilient of readers. This is a welcome exception for which the bishops rightly deserve our thanks.
Facts, practical suggestions on roles we can play to assist refugees and help people understand the issues better, underpinned by theology that soars from the gospels gives this statement an energetic credibility. The final words belong to Pope Francis in the closing pages of the statement headed ‘Responding to the Call of Jesus’……’we need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference’.
… Peter Thomas
Easter Sunday is not the end of the Easter Season. It continues for seven weeks concluding on Pentecost Sunday which is 24th May this year.
During this time we are encouraged to put aside some time each day for personal prayer – to allow the message of Easter to impact on our lives.
One way is to participate in Lectio Divina in your own time as part of each day. Regular practice will bring greater inner peace and calm; and a feeling of being more at home with yourself, with loved ones and with God.
You can download and save the scripture texts, reflections and prayers for Lectio Divina for each day of this month. May 2015 Lectio Divina
Or come and join Fr David Hofman O Carm and a small group on Friday mornings after Mass in a quiet oasis of prayer away from the hustle of your normal activities.
An email newsletter is sent out each month throughout the year with the events for the coming month. If you are not already on the subscriber list you may add your name on the bottom left corner of the home page.
If you have any feedback and suggestions about this newsletter and what we do in general at The Carmelite Centre Melbourne, please contact us on (03) 9690 5430 email: email@example.com or visit our website.
Click here to view the 2015 A3 Program in full.
Bethlehem Community (a member of Shekinah) has been a supporter of the Carmelite Centre for several years providing a bus for the annual pilgrimage. Here is your opportunity to support them through Shekinah Services.
Five of the member organisations of Shekinah Homeless Services Inc have developed a joint Pop-Up Op Shop as a social enterprise – currently located at 110 Chapel St Windsor. The Shop is a project born of the need to provide a sustainable funding source to assist the people we support into the future.
The Shekinah service user group is one with complex needs. Many people using the services are, have been or are at risk of being homeless and many have mental health issues. Social Isolation is another contributing factor making interaction with the wider community difficult. Therefore, a key objective of the Op Shops initiative is to endeavour to ameliorate this situation. Recent newsletter Spirit of Shekinah V5.4
for information on how you can help click Pop up Shop Can you Help
Health in the Lord and Blessing of the Holy Spirit [Rule of St Albert] At the heart of all that is Carmelite is a commitment to prayer and to living in the midst of the people! Contemplation for Carmelites is like glasses to the partially sighted. With it, you can see the world through the eyes of God. Carmelites everywhere are committed to building a world of peace, justice and to maintaining the integrity of God’s Creation. Carmelites live in solidarity not just with people, but with the planet – God’s Creation.
The first Carmelites chose an environment that spoke of the beauty of Creation – Mt. Carmel, earning their respect. Their lifestyle, inspired by the Prophet Elijah, was one of harmony with each other, with their surroundings. In doing so, their lifestyle challenged the extravagance and neglect and corruption of the age. Read more… JPIC JULY 2014
Need some ‘Time-Out’ or a quiet break? Bass Hill Hermitage is on the Bass Coast near Phillip Island, an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne.
Bass Hill Hermitage has its roots in the tradition of Christian spirituality. It is an ideal place to reflect, pray and deepen your relationship with God, and perhaps discern a new way forward.
For more details go to basshillhermitage.com.au
“What cannot be done all at once can be done little by little“ wrote Saint Teresa of Avila. The Spiritual Enrichment Program will encourage you to actively reflect on your spiritual growth. It will support you in your ongoing spiritual journey and provide an opportunity to be part of a group of fellow travellers along the way. An individual program is designed to ensure key elements of your spiritual journey are experienced through a twelve month period with the Carmelite Centre.
Together we explore which Carmelite Centre practices and programs which will best suit your spiritual journey. This will enable you to:
- Identify what you wish to gain from your Spiritual Enrichment journey
- Provide you with ongoing spiritual mentoring throughout the program
- Provide you with an opportunity to meet with others on the program
To find out more about designing your unique Spiritual Enrichment Program contact us to discuss: firstname.lastname@example.org OR tel: 03 9690 5430. SEPFLYER 2014
Sadness and grief are part of life:
- Loss of something
- Loss of someone
However sadness becomes problematic when it is:
- Disruptive to life
- Goes on for too long
- Response is out of proportion to situation
- When you increase coping strategies but is still not effective
- Increased alcohol & drug use
- Significant others notice you’re not yourself
‘Depression’ has a number of meanings
An everyday feeling of sadness vs a clinical disorder
Most people feel sad or down from time to time, however clinical depression is a distinct quality that is different from normal sadness or grief eg
Increased duration, Quality of lowered mood, severity, symptoms
|Risk Factors||Protective Factors|
|Environment & SocialSocial disadvantageFamily discordParental mental illness
Exposure to adverse life events
Caring for chronically disabled person
Being in residential care (older adult)
Biological & Psychological
Parental mental disorder & family history of depression
Being a female adolescent
High trait anxiety & pre-existing anxiety disorders, substance misuse, conduct disorder
Temperament – reacting negatively to stressors & personality trait of neuroticism
Negative thought patterns
Avoidant coping style
|Good interpersonal relationshipsFamily cohesionSocial connectednessAcademic/sporting achievements
Optimistic thought patterns
Effective coping skills repertoire
Many of the sessions at the Carmelite Centre support the health and wellness of individuals as this is central to being aware of God’s gift within us. Keep an eye out for these programs.
Please contact us e: email@example.com if this is a topic of interest for you.
In the meantime if you suffer from depression there is useful information at http://www.beyondblue.org.au