Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Thérèse

Friars' Communities of our Province

Click on the tabs below to know more about each community.

Dallas - Mt. Carmel Center

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Mt. Carmel Center is situated on 40 acres of land atop one of the highest hills of Dallas. It functions as a pastoral institute of spirituality. The community of friars offers retreats, days of recollection, individual spiritual direction, and lectures in Carmelite spirituality. Our friars also minister to the Secular Carmelites, Carmelite nuns, and to various parishes in the Diocese of Dallas.

History:
On August 23, 1940, Bishop Joseph Lynch granted permission for the Carmelites to open a seminary in Dallas. The property was purchased in 1946. Construction began in 1948 when Fr. Sebastian Valles was elected Provincial. On July 20, 1950, the first Mass was celebrated there by Fr. Andrew Palmero in the presence of Fr. Michael Okuroski, Br. Victor Kopycinski and the high school seminarians. Formal dedication was on Sunday, September 3, 1950. It served as our inter-provincial college seminarian residence from 1966-72. In June 1974, Fathers Sam Anthony Morello and Mary Philip Wurth reopened the seminarian residence with the added purpose of being an Informal Institute of Spirituality, bearing the name "Mt. Carmel Center."

Community:
Fr. Stephen Sanchez, OCD
Superior, Program Director, & Prefect of Studies

Fr. Bonaventure Sauer, OCD
Provincial Delegate for the Secular Order & Communications Director

Address:
4600 West Davis St.
Dallas, Texas 752113498

www.mountcarmelcenter.org

Dallas - St. Mary of Carmel Parish

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The Oklahoma Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars has a long history of service to the people of St. Mary of Carmel Parish in west Dallas. Our ministry in this parish is primarily to the Hispanic people of this area of the city. 

History:
On May 1, 1926, Fathers Luis Benages and José María Sanchis received charge of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 2500 N. Harwood, assuming the pastoral care of the Mexican people in the Dallas area. In 1941 Fr. Sebastian Vallés organized St. Mary of Carmel as a mission of Guadalupe parish. April 27, 1944, Bishop Joseph Patrick Lynch canonically erected it as a separate parish. The present church was dedicated on the first Sunday of Advent, 1966, during the pastorate of Fr. Aurelio Paz.

Community:
Fr. Jenaro de la Cruz, OCD
Pastor

Fr. James Curiel, OCD
Superior

Address: 2900 Vilbig Rd.
Dallas, TX 75212

Little Rock - Marylake Monastery

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Nestled within a vast pine forest just outside Little Rock, Arkansas, and overlooking a spring-fed lake, Marylake Monastery serves as the novitiate house of our Province of St. Thérèse. Here, men seeking to become members of the Discalced Carmelites undergo a year of intense prayer, discernment and training in the Carmelite life. Our community of friars is dedicated to the formation of these young religious, as well as to ministry to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Little Rock, the Secular Carmelites, and the Missionaries of Charity. Our priests also offer the service of sacramental ministry to many parishes around the state of Arkansas. In addition, our provincial archives, the records and historical documents of our province, are located at Marylake. Our provincial cemetery, where all the friars of our province are buried, is likewise situated on the grounds of Marylake.

History: During the Provincialate of Fr. Evarist Foix, on December 22, 1951, the wife of L.G. LeTorneau agreed to sell what was known as "Pine Lake Camp" to the Carmelite Friars. Br. Victor Kopycinski soon moved to the property to ready it for the arrival of a community of friars. Fr. Felix DaPrato was elected Prior; he offered the first Mass there May 4, 1952. The novices came from San Antonio on May 15; Carmelite observance began May 16, then the feast of St. Simon Stock, with Bishop Albert Fletcher celebrating the community Mass. This Bishop formally dedicated the chapel on July 25. After an "Open House" of 3 days, he blessed the monastery and imposed the cloister on Sunday, July 27, 1952. Bishop Fletcher dedicated the provincial cemetery October 26, 1966.

Community:
Fr. John Michael Payne, OCD
Superior, Provincial Archivist, & Zelator for the Missions

Fr. Raphael Kitz, OCD
Novice Master & 1st Counselor

Fr. Sam A. Morello, OCD
Assistant Novice Master

Fr. Jerome Earley, OCD

Br. Bernard Joseph O’Neill, OCD

Address: 5151 Marylake Drive
Little Rock, AR 72206

Oklahoma City - Little Flower Parish

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The community of Discalced Carmelite Friars in Oklahoma City staffs the parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Thérèse, popularly known as "Little Flower" parish, or "La Florecita." The friars minister primarily to the Hispanic community of Oklahoma City. They also serve as chaplains to the Carmelite Sisters of St. Thérèse, and oversee the free medical clinic that is located on the monastery grounds. The clinic is open to all persons who are otherwise unable to afford medical care, and is the only local clinic with a staff which speaks both Spanish and English. Through the generosity of St. Anthony's hospital, free lab exams are also available. This community of friars also welcomes Carmelite postulants, men who come to live with the community in order to learn about our way of life as they discern a possible vocation to the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

History: In July of 1921, Bishop Theophile Meerschaert gave permission for the Carmelites to found a mission in Oklahoma City to care for its Mexican population. On August 11, 1921, the Provincial Definitory of Aragon-Valencia (Spain) gave its permission. "On Sunday, the 4th of September, we started to say Mass for the first time in the basement of the cathedral for the Mexican people” recorded one of the first friars in his journal. Fathers Edward Soler, Boguslaus Jacazsek, Jose Vicente Guaita, and Jerome Castellet took possession of a wood frame house in the now 1100 block of South Walker St. “On the 14th of May 1922 at 8:00am, we said our first Mass in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mission.”
In the spring of 1926, construction of a new monastery and church began under Fr. Raymond Gomez and these were dedicated on March 24, 1927. The "student wing" was added after our house of theology in Valencia was threatened by Communists in 1930, and students from Spain were sent to study here. Erected as a Priory in 1931 when students from Spain arrived, the community was then established as a parish in 1933, with Fr. Evarist V. Foix as the first pastor. When proponents of liturgical renewal threatened to remove the baroque altar carved by Mr. Svoboda, Fr. Louis Scagnelli had the church listed by the city of Oklahoma City for historical preservation in 1975. On June 1, 1990, under the pastoral direction of Fr. Jesús Sancho, the Little Flower Clínica, founded in the 1920's, was re-opened in the family house of Manuel Diaz, and began to offer free medical assistance to the medically needy.

Community:
Fr. Jorge Cabrera, OCD
Superior, Pastor, & Postulant Director

Fr. Jesús Sancho, OCD
Parochial Vicar

Fr. John Magdalene Suenram, OCD
1st Counselor

Address: 1125 S. Walker Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73109

San Antonio - Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Therese

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The community of Discalced Carmelite Friars of San Antonio, Texas, staff our National Shrine of St. Thérèse. This shrine also functions as a parish, under the patronage of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Thérèse. The parish is popularly known as "Little Flower", and the church as "Little Flower Basilica."

The friars of this community also serve as chaplains to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of San Antonio, as well as to the local Secular Carmelites. They promote the spiritual teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux through their work at the Shrine and through The Apostolate of the Little Flower, a magazine published by the province under the direction of this community of friars. In addition, they oversee the Little Flower School (grades pre-K through 8th), located across the street from the Basilica, as well as the Gardens of St. Thérèse, a community garden project located on the monastery grounds.

History: On March 30, 1926, Fathers Edward Soler, Cyril Corbato, and Jose Maria Sánchis moved to Kentucky and Zarzamora Sts. in San Antonio. Fr. Edward offered the first Mass in the makeshift chapel for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish on April 4, 1926. A wood frame church was built in the spring of 1927; this is now part of the school cafeteria. Groundbreaking for construction of the present basilica, designed by Charles L. Monnot of Oklahoma, was held on October 15, 1929. The cornerstone of the church “was solemnly blessed and laid” by Archbishop Arthur Drossaerts on that day. Fr. Edward contracted the Dennehy Construction Company to build the shrine. The bells were blessed by Archbishop Drossaerts, assisted by Fr. Edward, a month before the dedication of the church, which lasted from September 27th to October 12th, 1931.

Through the renovation efforts of Fr. John Magdalene Suenram, the shrine was listed on the national register of historic places in July 1998, and was raised by Pope John Paul II to the rank of a minor basilica in February 1999. School construction began June 1946 and was blessed September 30, 1947. In 1955, a college wing was added to the monastery for our students who, at that time, attended Assumption Seminary.

Community:
Fr. Gregory Ross, OCD
Superior, Vocation Director, & Student Director

Luis Gerardo Belmonte, OCD
1st Counselor, Pastor, & Editor of the Apostolate Magazine

Fr. Ralph Reyes, OCD
Vicar for the Nuns

Fr. John Henry Bordeaux, OCD
Promoter of Causes

Fr. Marion J. Bui, OCD
Parochial Vicar

Fr. Luis J. Castañeda, OCD
Provincial

Address: P.O. Box 5820
San Antonio, TX 78201
or
906 Kentucky Ave.
San Antonio, TX 78201

www.littleflowerbasilica.org