Saturday, July 15, 2006


Ora pro Carmelo

Several of our Carmelite houses are caught in the middle in the current Israel /Lebanon conflict. One of the missles launched by Hizballah landed some few yards away from the Stella Maris Monastery near Haifa. The illustration is near to Stella Maris and shows the "actual entrance to the grotto, El Khader, called by the Discalced Carmelites "The School of the Prophets." A former novice of the nun's monastery on Mount Carmel explains that The entire area north and south of a major Israeli defense forces (IDF) base on the northern ridge of Mt Carmel is OCD property: the friars to the north and our nuns to the south. The entire area from our nuns’ monastery to the lighthouse is known as “Stella Maris”… [Thanks, Deborah.] The nuns also have a monastery not too far away in Nazareth. The other monasteries are further to the south in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

There are also several houses of our Order in the Lebanon. The one shown in the illustration opposite is in Kubayat. There are others in Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh, Becharri, and Mijdlaya. All except Mijdlaya seem to be north of Beirut; I cannot find Mijdlaya on the map. There is a monastery of nuns in Harissa, near Junieh and just up the coast from Beirut. Since neither Israel nor Hizballah seem not to care whom they are bombing, all are in danger. Prayer for Carmel, and all of Christian Lebanon, the birthplace of the Maronite Rite, would not go amiss.