Update from the Carmelite Hermits of Ireland

Update from the Carmelite Hermits of Ireland

[NB: This post will remain a “sticky” for approximately a week, after which time I will remove the sticky, and the post will fall to its natural chronological order (i.e., posted on August 15); 2 pics of the newly constructed cells have been added to the end of this post on 8/23]


As I notice the Sodalitium Pianum articles regarding the Irish Carmelite Hermits (Victim Adorers of the Holy Face of Jesus) continue to receive sustained interest from our readers, I reached out to Rev. Mother Irene (Prioress of the Hermitage) to see if she could give us a few updates on how things have been going the last few months, and received some news:

  • The groundwork for the building of four additional cells has begun.  The Victim Adorers are drawing interest from devout ladies all over the world, and currently, two more are hoping to join shortly (i.e., hence the cells).  One aspiring lady is from France, and the other is from the Philippines.  Add the current Postulant from New Zealand, and the hermits have quite an international flavor.  Who can help but notice what seems to be a great sign of God’s providential support, or the analogy to the international seminary in Econe, which was also began with vocations from all over the world?

Reverend Mother Irene adds:

“Elias took twelve stones …. “And he built with the stones an altar to the name of the Lord: and he made a trench for water, …… “And he laid the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid it upon the wood. And he said: Fill four buckets with water, and pour it upon the burnt offering, and upon the wood…… “And the water run round about the altar, and the trench was filled with water.
“Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the holocaust, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”       (3 Kings 18:32-38)
Refection from Our little Carmelite here in Co. Cork
 “As our little Carmel (Garden of God) is being prepared for more Cells,  12 blocks  are set in place for each wooden Cell.  We share with our friends and benefactors this little meditation from our Carmel:
Elias built an Altar on Mt Carmel using 12 stones upon which the wood was laid; and upon the wood was then placed the victim.

It is surely symbolic that our cells are built of wood, placed upon 12 stones and that we likewise are called to be victims on Mt Carmel! Water was poured upon the holocaust so abundantly as to run down all around it…here in West Cork we have an abundance of rain. Fire came down from Heaven and completely consumed the holocaust..

On/Inside of each Cell, there is a Victim Adorer of the Holy Face. By her prayers and sacrifices, the waters of Grace shall descend upon her and the she shall be consumed by the fire of God’s love for the conversion of the nations.”

Photos show the stones set in place to receive more Cells tomorrow:

  • This young community is the poorest of the poor.  Unfortunately, providing and preparing for the vocations which may be forthcoming requires funding.  The new insulated cells can only be erected at a cost of  €2,300 (i.e., about $2,700) each.  It is quite remarkable how much has been accomplished in such a short time, much of it with your help.  The hermits need your financial support to keep building in their modest style.  According to Rev. Mother Irene:

“We would greatly appreciate sponsors for each Cell or even shared sponsorship for a Cell. The name/names of benefactors will be placed inside the Cell door which  guarantee that the Sister occupying that Cell will pray for the benefactors.”

If purgatory is in your future (and let’s face it, unfortunately, it is probably in MOST of our futures), how much would you have wished that you had a Carmelite hermit (and a whole community of them) praying for you?  I would call that a very wise investment!

Note that the hermits pray for their benefactors daily.

For those of you who are able to make a donation to support this hermitage, please visit the Carmelite’s website here: http://vahfj.com/donations

For those of you who are unable to make a financial contribution, could you please offer some prayers for this intention, and for the general support of the hermitage?

The words of Archbishop Lefebvre cannot be quoted too often about the importance of these initiatives:

“The Church will never recover from this present crisis without monasteries, without the contemplative life, and without the example of monks and nuns who consecrate their lives entirely to prayer and intercession.”


Because we have greatly offended him, and only prayer and penance can atone -however imperfectly- for our sins.

The Victim Adorers have devoted their lives to doing precisely that.

Their vocations are a critical and essential ingredient in the recipe for the recovery of the Church.  So says the great Archbishop.

  • Rev. Mother Irene also asks that we pray for their New Zealand Postulant, who will be receiving the Holy Carmelite Habit on 14th Sept. (Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross). Her new name in religion shall be: Sister Anne-Marie of the Sacred Heart. Deo gratias!
  • Visa issues continue to impede and intrude upon the peaceful exercise of the hermits’ vocations.  Irish law only allows 90 day tourist visas for those not possessing either European citizenship or a religious visa (and one cannot possess a religious visa without the support of the Catholic hierarchy).  The hermits ask that you join them in praying for a solution to this issue.

Meanwhile, some new pictures from the hermitage:

Bottling herbal cough syrup


Rev. Mother Irene has a rare talent for making beautiful icons:

Working in Our Lady’s garden:

Prayer in Solitude:

 Update: Construction of the new cells begins

The hermitage begins to take shape!