Home / Our History / Looking Ahead – A Concise History of the Province of St. Elias – Part Three of a Three-Part Series

Looking Ahead – A Concise History of the Province of St. Elias – Part Three of a Three-Part Series

The first 50 years of the Carmelites of the St. Elias Province in New York were marked with periods of great growth. The next seventy-five years built upon the growth…with more growth:

1934 –  Mount Carmel High School and Saint Raphael’s Church (Los Angeles);

1938 – various houses of studies near Catholic University in Washington, D.C.;

1946 –  Whitefriars Novitiate/College at Auburn (NY);

1948 – Our Lady of the Scapular, Unionville NY;

1952 – Mount Carmel Novitiate, Williamstown;

1954 – Saint Michael’s Retreat House, Tamaqua (PA);

1955 – Mount Carmel High School, Auburn (NY) and Nativity High School, Pottsville (PA);

1959 – African Missions were begun in the then Rhodesia;

1963 – Bancroft Street, College and Theology Residence (Washington, DC) ;

1965 – Saint Joseph’s, Harewood Road, College and Theology Residence (Washington, DC);

1970 – Saint Joseph’s Church (Troy, NY) and Mt. Carmel Hermitage (New Florence, PA);

1971 – Chaplaincy in Ferncliff Residence (Rhinebeck, NY), Maspeth Provincial House (Maspeth, NY) and Rochester (NY) Residence;

1972 – Trumbull (CT) Chaplaincy at St. Joseph’s Manor;

1979 – Brandsma Hall in Purchase (NY) residence for Iona College;

1979 – Joint Novitiate at Brandsma Priory at St. Albert’s (Middletown, NY);

1980 – Pope John Paul II High School (Boca Raton, FL);

1982 – Saint Thomas Aquinas Church (Brooklyn, NY);

1993 Saint Eliseus Pre-Novitiate Formation House (Tappan, NY) moved to Harrison (NJ) in 2005;

1994 – Saint Jude Church (Boca Raton, FL);

1996 – Saint Therese House (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam);

1998 – Saint Michael’s Church in Maracas Valley (Trinidad);

2001 – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Priory (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam);

2003 – Carmelite Residence (Bloomingburg, NY);

2007 – St. John the Martyr Church in New York City;

2008 – St. Joseph Priory (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam);

2009 – Campus Ministry at Iona College;

2010 – Campus Ministry at Mount Saint Mary College (Newburgh, NY);

2012 – Annunciation Hermitage in Austin, MN;

2014 – Campus Ministry at Fordham University, Bronx, New York.

The first 50 years of the Carmelites of the St. Elias Province in New York were marked with periods of great growth. The next seventy-five years built upon the growth…with more growth:

1934 –  Mount Carmel High School and Saint Raphael’s Church (Los Angeles);

1938 – various houses of studies near Catholic University in Washington, D.C.;

1946 –  Whitefriars Novitiate/College at Auburn (NY);

1948 – Our Lady of the Scapular, Unionville NY;

1952 – Mount Carmel Novitiate, Williamstown;

1954 – Saint Michael’s Retreat House, Tamaqua (PA);

1955 – Mount Carmel High School, Auburn (NY) and Nativity High School, Pottsville (PA);

1959 – African Missions were begun in the then Rhodesia;

1963 – Bancroft Street, College and Theology Residence (Washington, DC) ;

1965 – Saint Joseph’s, Harewood Road, College and Theology Residence (Washington, DC);

1970 – Saint Joseph’s Church (Troy, NY) and Mt. Carmel Hermitage (New Florence, PA);

1971 – Chaplaincy in Ferncliff Residence (Rhinebeck, NY), Maspeth Provincial House (Maspeth, NY) and Rochester (NY) Residence;

1972 – Trumbull (CT) Chaplaincy at St. Joseph’s Manor;

1979 – Brandsma Hall in Purchase (NY) residence for Iona College;

1979 – Joint Novitiate at Brandsma Priory at St. Albert’s (Middletown, NY);

1980 – Pope John Paul II High School (Boca Raton, FL);

1982 – Saint Thomas Aquinas Church (Brooklyn, NY);

1993 Saint Eliseus Pre-Novitiate Formation House (Tappan, NY) moved to Harrison (NJ) in 2005;

1994 – Saint Jude Church (Boca Raton, FL);

1996 – Saint Therese House (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam);

1998 – Saint Michael’s Church in Maracas Valley (Trinidad);

2001 – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Priory (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam);

2003 – Carmelite Residence (Bloomingburg, NY);

2007 – St. John the Martyr Church in New York City;

2008 – St. Joseph Priory (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam);

2009 – Campus Ministry at Iona College;

2010 – Campus Ministry at Mount Saint Mary College (Newburgh, NY);

2012 – Annunciation Hermitage in Austin, MN;

2014 – Campus Ministry at Fordham University, Bronx, New York.

Though the Carmelites no longer serve in each of these houses and ministries, they continue in sixteen houses in the United States, Vietnam and Trinidad and have several friars also studying or working in the Eternal City.

The Mind and Heart of the Irish Carmelites in New York

A 125th Anniversary history of the Irish Carmelites in New York would be incomplete without a brief mention of how the Irish freedom movement in Ireland affected the Irish in New York. It is no secret that the Irish Carmelites were vocal in their call for the liberation of Ireland from British rule. Carmelite historian, the late Rev. Alfred Isacsson, O.Carm., wrote: “When Ireland was under the British Crown, the Carmelites were anti-royalists; at the time of the treaty, they were anti-treaty; in the Commonwealth era, they were for independence; once the republic was established, they were then for the union of all Ireland, north and south.”

Following the Easter Rising in 1916, the Irish Carmelites in New York galvanized the Irish-American population. Rather than keep quiet on the issue, the New York Carmelites became vocal proponents for their Irish brothers and sisters across the Atlantic. The Carmelite Priory on 28th Street, Manhattan, was open to Irish Republicans. The priory welcomed Liam Mellows, a major player in the Easter Rising, after he escaped and fled to the United States. When Eamon De Valera, the future president of Ireland, escaped from prison in England in 1919, he came secretly to the United States and stayed with the New York Carmelites at Our Lady of the Scapular. Years later, President De Valera called Our Lady of the Scapular “the cradle in America of Irish Independence.” Father Donald M. O’Callaghan, O.Carm. and Father Sean S. Reid, O.Carm. both served as Grand Marshalls of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Parade itself was dedicated to the Carmelite Friars in the 100th Anniversary of our Foundation, 1889. Support for Ireland’s independence never waned.

The Province is no longer so Irish in part because of the growth of vocations from Vietnam and Trinidad, but we remain ever grateful for our roots and continue to support the work and growth of the Irish Province in their own newest mission in Zimbabwe.

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