Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Getting to know the Carmels of the World: The Monastery of Mount Carmel of Popayán, Colombia

The Monastery of Mount Carmel of Popayán was founded on October 14, 1729, by Doña Dionisia Pérez Manrique y Cambreros. On July 28, 1863, the 19 Discalced Carmelites of Popayán were exclaustrated from their Monastery and were taken in by the Monastery of Mount Carmel the Lower in Quito, Ecuador. In 1866 they traveled to Ibarra to make their first foundation. The earthquake of August 15, 1868, destroyed it and the afflicted community returned to the Lower Carmel in Quito. They were not able to return to Ibarra until 1876.

In 1959, under the priorship of Isabel of the Most Holy Trinity, the decision to begin the restoration of the Carmel of Popayán was made. The marked interest in this restoration shown by the archbishop of Popayán, Archbishop Diego María Gómez; the Redemptorist Fathers; and the President of the Republic of Colombia, Dr. Guillermo León Valencia, who covered the travel expenses for the nuns, pushed the project forward to such an extent that on July 28, 1963, after 100 years of exclaustration, Popayán received in its bosom these Religious.

The daring of these exemplary daughters of Saint Teresa gave new impulse to the construction of another building on the diagonal street 13 North, on August 6, 1972, where they currently live. The Church became a small Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague, where He receives uninterrupted homage.

After 28 years in this small oasis, constantly cultivating liturgical and personal prayer, but in the face of scarcity of vocations to strengthen the perpetuity of Carmel in the city of Popayán, the sisters met with the necessity of asking for help from another monastery through the President of the Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Association.

It was opportune for the Sisters of the Discalced Carmelite Convent of Saint Joseph of Bellavista to come to the aid of the Popayán community, since they were living through a difficult time of not having their own monastery. The joining of these communities was approved on January 8, 2004.

It has been nine years since the communities have fused, and we can testify that things have gone from good to better, as our Holy Mother Teresa of Jesus tells us in her writings. We are now a community blessed by the INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE and warmly welcomed by the citizens of Popayán, who have shown us support and unconditional affection.

For all this we give thanks to God and to our Queen and beauty, the Sweet Queen and Mother of Mount Carmel. We are currently 21 sisters and form one body in Christ, our head; we want to be like contemplative Mary at the feet of Jesus, who chose "the better part, and it will not be taken from her.


Communicationes 223 - Generalate of the Teresian Carmel

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