I have been eager to tell you some exciting news happening here in Clyde… but first I have to back track a little and give you some history.
As you know we make and sell altar breads to many parishes across the country. We also sell breads to other religious communities who re-distribute our breads. One of these customers is a community of Carmelite Sisters in Jefferson City, MO. They themselves made altar breads and also sold our breads to their customers.
In the past several years, their community has gotten increasingly smaller, to the point that there are now only 3 sisters in their community. They decided that this Year of Faith would be one of deep discernment for them as they ponder what God was calling them to do in the future, how He was leading them to continue their lives of prayer. They could no longer do the altar bread work as they had – so they graciously referred all their customers to us. That helped alleviate SOME of their work load but not all of it. After meeting with them about altar bread business we asked how we could help them. The Mother Superior asked if the 2 other sisters in community (who are 70 & 80) could come to our place to make a retreat as they had not been able to do so for several years. We of course agreed …. and that began a chain of events that we didn’t expect.
The sisters who came for retreat/rest loved their time with us and we loved having them. We could see how the smallness of their community was a difficulty for them and at the same time we saw how much they embodied the Carmelite charism. Our shared love of the contemplative life and Divine Office made us kindred spirits. There was such a lovely connection that we asked them to consider relocating their Carmel on our property as part of their discernment. They did so and it wasn’t long at all till they replied with a wholehearted and enthusiastic YES!
They are, of course, very sad to leave their Carmel in Jefferson City. They have deep roots in that area and are a very important prayerful presence in their diocese. They will continue to be under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Jefferson City and will continue to offer prayers and sacrifices for the good people of that diocese (as well as all the world). But their physical location will be on our property.
We have a old and lovely guesthouse very near our chapel that was built in the 1920s. It served as the Chaplain’s house for many years before it became a guest space for us. It will become the residence of the Carmelite sisters. They will be close enough to join us for prayer and Mass as well as meals if they so wish. They will also have a kitchen andsmall chapel in their house if they choose to eat and pray there. As the sisters age we have invited them to reside in our health care facility on our Clyde property.
As of Dec 2,2013 the Carmelite Sisters of Jefferson City will be relocated on the property of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde MO. We are so excited and happy to welcome them. We know they are women of deep prayer and their presence can only enrich our lives. They are eager to join us but the transition and leave-taking of their property and home as well as saying goodbye to their many benefactors and friends will be painful and difficult. So, please keep them in your prayer.
So that’s our good news! We are grateful to be part of this small sign of unity in our Church!