Already, people are beginning their plans for November and December (including plans for the coming holidays). Although it is not yet Halloween, numerous news reports are speaking about the interruption of the supply of goods into the US, which is likely to have a huge impact on Christmas shopping. Perhaps this year, instead of hurrying to order gifts online, we might support local businesses and vendors in our own community. Just a thought…
Speaking of supporting local businesses, one of the things that sets American Catholics apart from others around the world is our overwhelming generosity and charitable contributions to various causes. Having spoken to many priests and religious who minister around the world (including a Benedictine monastery in Italy, and a society of priests who minister throughout western Europe), they often speak about how much American Catholics donate to various houses and charitable organizations. Many of these international orders of religious brothers and sisters will tell you that between 75 to 85% of contributions come from Catholics in the United States. Of course, there are plenty of causes and religious orders here in the US that are in serious need of support as well.
For more than 10 years now, Blessed Sacrament Church has purchased hosts from the Carmelite Sisters of the Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Joseph, located in Brooklyn, New York. For many years, these Carmelite nuns have supported themselves by baking and selling hosts for the celebration of the Eucharist. Now, however, these sisters find themselves in dire straits.
The current neighborhood where this monastery is located has taken a turn for the worse in recent years. The neighborhood is plagued by violence, gang activity, drug exchanges, and other circumstances that make monastic, contemplative life near impossible. The monastery property borders a local park which is now a major center of activity for gangs and late-night parties, including the very loud playing of inappropriate and explicit hip hop songs. After extensive discussions with the archdiocese, the sisters find themselves in the position of having to leave their Brooklyn neighborhood behind. Thankfully, a gift of land was made to them in the quieter farmlands of Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania, in the Diocese of Scranton. However, the cost of building a new monastery and moving the sisters to this new location will be substantial.
If you are interested in contributing to the good work of these Carmelite sisters, please consider making a gift to help them build their new monastery and relocate to said new monastery. All donations are tax-deductible and the sisters will certainly remember you and your intentions in their prayers. Donations can be sent to:
Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel & St. Joseph
361 Highland Blvd.
Brooklyn, NY 11207
Electronic Donations can also be made online at:
If anyone would like further information about the Carmelite sisters, please stop in the sacristy after Mass, or contact the parish office. Thank you very much!
~Fr. Martin Gallagher