Tag Archives: Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus

Carmel DCJ Sisters Celebrate 100th Anniversary

DSCJ OCD CardinalOn May 14, 2014, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., came to St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home in East Chicago, Indiana, to celebrate the 100 years since its foundation. Receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the nine Carmelite sisters, he attended a fundraiser that raised over $200,000 for the sisters who annually provide an emergency shelter and home to 200 children and their families.

Blessed Mary Teresa of St. Joseph, foundress of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, personally founded this particular home in 1913.  The sisters’ mission is to see God in all, serve God in all, love God in all. A Lutheran convert in Germany, Mother was described as going through the world like a “hurling locomotive.” At the time of her death in 1938, Mother had begun 58 homes, formed 1000 sisters and cared for 10,000 children.

dscjOn of those children was Earl Mager, 88, who came to the East Chicago home when he was 5 years old. “My mother died in childbirth,” he said. “I was placed in all kinds of homes and then sent to the orphanage when I was 5 years old. I stayed there until 1939.”

Another girl named Michelle came to the sisters at age 13. The sisters sent her to school and paid for the transportation to get her to and from work. “They are my roots. They are my everything,” Michelle said. “I really wonder where I would be if I didn’t have them.”

The sisters also care for the aged. My grandfather and uncle, both doctors, used to care for the residents in their home in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

This facility is the oldest Carmelite Home in the United States. “Our founding mother stayed close to this mission of love throughout her life,” says Sister Marie Giuseppe, “even requesting soil from the home be used on her grave in the Netherlands. I think she’s here right now.


100 Years in Canada

This year, a community of Carmelite Sisters is celebrating 100 years of service to the people of Canada. They are the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus who were founded by Bl. Maria Teresa of St. Joseph (Anna Maria Tauscher) in Germany in 1891.

In an astonishing short period of time, Mother Maria Teresa had founded homes for abandoned and poor children in Germany, Holland, Italy, England, the US (where the first home for the aged was founded) and Canada. She arrived in New York in 1912 and came to Toronto, Canada, at the request of the Archbishop in 1913.

As contemplatives the Carmelites dedicate themselves to prayer of reparation to the Heart of Jesus and intercession for the needs of the world. Through their apostolic endeavors they bring God’s love to others through their care for children, the elderly and the poor and needy.

Mother Maria Teresa said, “How great is the holy love that binds religious together! It is this love that makes life in the Order a paradise despite all the sacrifices, hardship, and privations.” Mother had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and said if He would come to their homes, she would come too, wherever it may happen to be. This love for her Spouse carried her across the ocean and is a Divine love that never rests but “sends forth new flames that consume itself in works of charity toward others.”

Today, the sisters in Canada serve in the dioceses of Toronto, St. Catharines and Calgary. On May 30, they will be holding a 100th anniversary celebration at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Mississauga, Ontario. May they be blessed with many more years of service to the people of Canada.


Healing the Heart of Jesus

On November 21, 2012, the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus will be celebrating 100 years in America. They came to this country from Germany in 1912 and settled in Milwaukee at the invitation of the Archbishop. In honor of this special event and to honor their foundress Bl. Maria Teresa of St. Joseph (Anna Maria Tauscher), the sisters in Wauwatosa, WI, will be hosting an open house, rosary and reception along with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

The sisters are very happy that their Mother Foundress founded the Wauwatosa house personally. Sr. Immaculata says, “She walked the grounds, saw the staircase that was in her dream (still standing!), and because they had no money, the sisters all worked together to build a high cloister fence that surrounded the entire property.” Their Mother General from Europe will also be in attendance to share in the festivities.

The sisters now have homes throughout the US but in this particular province they have the provincial Motherhouse in Wauwatosa, homes for the elderly in Kenosha, WI, and Grand Rapids, MI, a Residential treatment center for boys in Wauwatosa, a Residential treatment center for girls in East Chicago, IN,  and Emergency shelter care for infants and small children in East Chicago, IN. The Order’s newest foundation is in Russia.

Their coat of arms beautifully symbolizes their spirit of humility and penance. The silver star in the center stands for the sisters who are striving to practice these virtues. The other stars represent the saints of Carmel of the old law, the saints of Carmel of the new law and the shining virtues of the Mother of God. The arm and hand is that of the prophet Elias, the “Father of all Carmelites.” The sword signifies his ardor: “With zeal, I am zealous for the Lord God of Hosts”. The wreath of thorns represents the sufferings that the Church must endure because of the sins of her members.

The Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus should be ignited with fervor and ready to offer itself as a victim in order to atone for all those who have been “torn from the Heart of Jesus.” A Carmelite Sister D.C.J. must engrave the Coat of Arms on her heart and become, through its meaning, a “heroic victim soul.” Our goal is to transform our “silver star” in this life into the golden star in heaven. There as saints, we may give praise to God for all eternity!

See the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s Catholic Herald for more information.


An “Old Fashioned Order”

The National Catholic Reporter recently had an article about a group of “old-fashioned nuns,” actually what I could call a timeless group of sisters carrying on the traditions of the ages. The LCWR was meeting nearby and the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus were carrying on with their work of caring for the aged and pre-schoolers.

These sisters belong to the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), a group that comprises about 10,000 sisters and according to the article, they are young and growing. About 15 years ago, these Carmelites were “stagnant,” not attracting vocations. But then they emphasized their traditional life and vocations started coming in. Many young women are attracted to the wearing of the habit for as Sr. Mary Michael Reiss, 27, says: “I thought if I’m going to do this with my life, to give everything, I want people to know about it, darn it! I wanted the whole church.”

The spirit of the Carmel DCJ comes from the faith experience of Mother Mary Teresa of St. Joseph. Meditating upon and contemplating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded and bleeding, yet burning with love for mankind, a desire was born in her to love the Sacred Heart with her whole being and make Him loved in every heart He had created.

For more information about this IRL Affiliate Community, see their website.

What do you ask of God and His Church?

Four Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus from Corpus Christi, TX, had reason to celebrate in July. First, there was the Religious Profession of novice Sister M. Clare of St. Michael (left), an entrance into Postulancy of twin sisters (!) Susan Redlinger and Laura Redlinger and the Renewal of Vows of Sister M. Teresa Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament. Twin sisters entering religious life together is really something!

The Carmelites in Corpus Christi were founded by Blessed Maria Teresa of St. Joseph (Anna Maria Tauscher(b. 1855)) who died in the Netherlands in 1938.  They serve God, the Church, and neighbor by means of prayer, atonement, and  active charity.  The charism of Carmel is very Marian.  Carmel is Mary’s Order and they venerate her as their Mother and Queen.

To experience the joy of three other Carmelites from the same order pronounce their perpetual vows (July 2011) in Kirkwood, MO, see this beautiful video. Brought a lump to my throat.