Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Election of Prioress at Holy Cross Carmel, Iron Mountain

Entrance to the Monastery

Today Father Ronald Browne, Moderator of the Curia, and I accompanied His Excellency Bishop Alexander K. Sample as he presided over the election of a Prioress at the Monastery of the Holy Cross, a monastery of discalced Carmelite nuns at Iron Mountain, MI. Father Browne and I acted as "scrutators". Basically our job was to ensure that all was carried out in accordance with the Code of Canon Law and with the constitutions of the monastery.
The chapel (with Bishop Sample just visible at the sacristy entrance.)
Bishop Sample presided at the Mass of Ss Joachim and Anne and gave the required pre-election exhortation. Following the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus, prayers were said in the "grate room" and the election took place. Mother Maria of Jesus was re-elected for a second term as Prioress. After the burning of the ballots, and the acceptance by Mother Maria of her election, a prayer of thanksgiving was said and all the nuns processed back to the chapel all the while singing the Te Deum. The bishop then led final prayers in the chapel, following which we were given a very fine lunch.
Closer view of the sanctuary.

The bishop stressed a number of times how much of a jewel the Carmel is in the crown of the diocese, a real powerhouse of prayer. The nuns intercede espcially for priests. It's good to know we have such holy intercessors pleading on our behalf here on earth.
View of the grate behind which the nuns attend Mass and sing in choir.


  1. This is a lovely post, Father. How wonderful to have the dedication and sacrifice of freedom of the Carmelites Sisters to back up the work of the Diocese. It is good to see that they have retained their chapel grille, thus emphasising that their monastery is truly a`garden enclosed`.

    I notice that you refer to Bishop Sample as `His Excellency`. Could you explain when this term, rather than `His Lordship`, should be used? Thank you!

  2. Thanks Jane. The titles "Lord" and "Grace" I think apply to Britain insofar as they are really civil titles accorded to Barons and Dukes respectively and, civilly, bishops and archbishops are equivalent to these, for all sorts of historical reasons.

    I think that in most other places where there is not that peculiarly British historical background, bishops are called "Excellency".

    Cardinals everywhere are called "Eminence."

    But others may know more about this than I do.

    Yes, the "garden enclosed" is a wonderful sign.


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