15 October 2008

Heaven on Earth

The Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a community of discalced Carmelite nuns in the rural backwoods of southern Michigan. It is a thriving community of nuns of varying ages, who celebrate Mass according to the 1971 Missal.

I visited the chapel and gift shop (the rest of the monastery is closed to the world) one cold November day several years ago when up visiting an old law school friend. It is a 15-minute drive from Grand Rapids through rolling countryside, the farmhouses along the way gracing statues of Our Lady on their front lawns. The chapel itself is simple, lovely, and deeply peaceful, adorned with traditional life-sized statues of Carmelite saints, and a powerful bust of a bleeding Christ wearing the crown of thorns.

Since that time I've kept up a correspondence with two of the prioresses, and send along the occasional gift (my last package of French chocolates and Lourdes water was repaid by a first-class relic of St. Therese--talk about repayment!!).

A few images from their website:

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