- Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel
also known as: "Carmelite Monks of Wyoming"
The Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is a religious community of diocesan right, founded in 2003 by Fr. Daniel Mary of Jesus Crucified, M. Carm. under the authority of Bishop David L. Ricken, D.D., J.C.L. in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne in Wyoming.
The Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel do not belong to either the Discalced or Ancient Observance branches of the Carmelite Order, who originated as hermit monks and have been mendicant friars since the 13th century. The male Carmelites of the two main branches of the Order are not considered monastics, as the cloistered Carmelite nuns are. The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming are a new and separate community of men living an enclosed life, inspired by the ancient Carmelite monastic life, under the authority of the local diocesan Bishop, yet maintain their Carmelite identity through Fr. Daniel Mary, who was clothed as a Carmelite by members of the order. They use the suffix M.Carm. to designate membership in their order.
These Carmelites call themselves monks although Carmelites today in general are not called monks, but friars. The original hermits who lived on Mount Carmel in the 12th - 13th century however also called themselves monks. In one of the first works of the Carmelite Order, "The Institutions of the First Monks," also known as the Book of the First Monks written sometime during this period, the charism of the Carmelites was laid out as a hidden life of prayer performed by a monk. The Carmelite monks are attempting to follow this same hidden monastic Carmelite life.
A young Carmelite Monk, Br. Simon Mary, described his community's charism in this way in a 2008 interview:
Carmelite monks are consecrated to God through the vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty. Our time is spent in prayer and penance for the salvation of souls, interceding for the Church and the world, as well as in the study of Scripture and the fathers and doctors of the Church. Our Carmelite community has four pillars: The first is filial devotion to the Blessed Mother. Second is the Holy Rule of St. Albert, also known as the Carmelite Rule, in its original observance. Third is the Carmelite Rite of the Mass, the liturgy in use until the Second Vatican Council. And fourth, the discalced Carmelite charism: the spirituality, customs, and way of life as lived by St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Ávila, which entails a strict constitutional enclosure -- our monks don't leave the monastery at all, except for doctor appointments when no doctor is available to come to the monastery, or other emergencies, with permission from the Bishop.
The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming use the traditional Latin liturgy of the Carmelite Rite, which is similar to the Tridentine Mass. The Carmelite Rite, based on the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre, was a heritage of the Ancient Observance branch of the Carmelite Order from the time of the first lay hermits on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land in the late 12th century, until Vatican II at which time the Carmelites began to celebrate the ordinary form of the Roman Rite Mass. The first Rule of Carmel was given to the Carmelites by Saint Albert of Jerusalem, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, who in that time was exiled in the city of Acre, Israel, from which place Mount Carmel was visible to the south.
Fr. Daniel, the founder of Monks of the Blessed Virgin Mary, had previously been sub-prior and novice master for the Hermits of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, a monastery in Minnesota of the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance (O.Carm), where the hermits have been studying the Carmelite Rite liturgy since the mid-1990s with a keen interest in reviving its use.
The Carmelite Monks support themselves by selling gourmet coffee which they roast themselves under the name Mystic Monk Coffee. They have also produced a CD of chant music called Mystical Chants of Carmel.
New Mount Carmel
The Carmelite Monks are founding the New Mount Carmel, where the original Carmelite charism will be lived in the mountains of Wyoming.This reflects the continual effort of Carmelites throughout the century to return to the eremitical life of a hermit in the mountains in imitation of St. Elias from the book of Kings in the Old Testament.
References and notes
- ^ Fr. Daniel Mary Schneider
- ^ Gregory Cleary, Friar in Catholic Encyclopedia
- ^ http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03354a.htm
- ^ http://www.carmelitemonks.org/Aboutmonks.html
- ^ Dale Vree. An Interview With A Carmelite August 29, 2008. Blog Post. -- Interview with Brother Simon Mary, 24 years old, about his life story and vocation, his thoughts about the monastic life, the nature and goals of the Carmelite Monks, etc.
- ^ It is not clear whether the Carmelite Monks use the full Carmelite Rite liturgy, or the 1962 Tridentine form of the Roman Rite liturgy together with elements taken from the Carmelite Rite, similar to the Carmelite Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who state that they have not been given permission from the competent authorities to use the full Carmelite Rite, though they want to pursue that.
- ^ Anthony Flott. "Wyoming's Catholic Boom". National Catholic Register, January 28- February 3, 2007 Issue. -- Situates the Carmelite Monks as a valued element within a larger trend of Catholic growth in Wyoming.
- ^ Carmelite Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lake Elmo, MN
- ^ 
- Carmelite Rule of St. Albert
- Book of the First Monks
- Constitutions of the Carmelite Order
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