no. 3   july - september 2005

A Golden Jubilee for Birmingham Lay Carmelites

Tribute given to a founding member

Saturday 30th April 2005 was a memorable day for the Birmingham (England) community of Lay Carmelites. The community members were up bright and early preparing the food, display boards and putting the last minute touches in place for the Carmelite family gathering at St. Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham. This was to mark 50 years of the Third Order in Birmingham.

The celebrations began with a special Mass at noon. Prior Provincial Tony Lester, O. Carm. presided and preached. Damien Cassidy O. Carm., Jimmy Lutwama A.J. and Denis Labartette, I.C. concelebrated. Maurice Carter and John Berry served at the altar.

Brendan Grady, O.Carm and William McQuillan, O. Carm., were also present and sat with the rest of the community in the main body of the Cathedral.

Fr. Tony gave a powerful homily in which he talked about prayer and other aspects of Carmelite spirituality. "True life in Carmel must be rooted in Christ," Fr. Tony said and he spoke of the Jubilee being an opportunity to reconnect with the past and look to the future.

After Mass, the celebration continued in the Grimshaw room of Cathedral House where our guests were welcomed and thanked for making the journey to Birmingham from all over the province - England, Wales and Scotland.

An article was read from an old issue of Mary magazine, which was the newsletter for lay Carmel in 1955 when the Birmingham chapter was canonically erected. The article was written by Eric Hanson who was the Tertiary Prior of the Aylesford chapter at the time. It read:

The new Birmingham chapter was erected by Fr. Brocard Sewell O.Carm. at St. Chad’s Cathedral. Some twenty tertiaries and others were present, His Grace the Archbishop, had kindly given his consent to the erection of the chapter. Cannon Hodgeson, the Cathedral administrator, gave us one of the most charming welcomes I have ever heard. He made us feel that he was really happy to have us there and we are really happy about it.

The new tertiary prior is Mr. Michael Crowley, the tertiaries indeed owe him a debt of gratitude for all he has done for them during many years; and his appointment is well merited. The whole ceremony went off very pleasantly.

Mr. Raymond Jones was received and Miss Olive Preston was professed, many congratulations.

It was noted that Raymond Jones, who was sacristan at the Cathedral, went on to become a diocesan priest but retained his close links with the Carmelite Third Order of which he was a member.

Among the guests at the anniversary were Sìne Cameron-Mowat (National Secretary to the Third Order), Jean Harrigan from Third Order central office and Johan Bergström- Allen, who works for the Carmelite projects and publications office, and currently the youngest member of the Third Order in the British Province.

We also had guests from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Guildford, London (Warwick St. and Camden town), Leicester, Newcastle and Sheffield chapters. It was very heartening to see so many of our fellow Carmelites including Discalced Carmelite tertiaries and members of the Augustinian Third Order. I was also struck by the way members from all over the Province are now recognising each other and remembering each others names, now that we are meeting more often as the wider Carmelite family.

After a buffet lunch, we were treated to a talk by Johan Bergström-Allen. It was a very interesting talk entitled Carmel in the Midlands. We still don’t know how he did it, but Johan managed to combine the three elements of chocolate, history and spirituality into his talk which resulted in an interesting glimpse at Carmelite influence in the Midlands. The talk concluded with a history of Mother Mary Ellerker of the Blessed Sacrament, foundress of the Corpus Christi Carmelite nuns.

The afternoon came to a close with a living tribute to Tom Tarmey who was one of the founding members of the Birmingham Third Order in 1955. It was felt by the Birmingham community that we couldn’t possibly let the opportunity pass without acknowledging and thanking Tom for his service to Carmel and the Church over many years. Tom helped in the rebuilding of Aylesford Priory, even traveling down to Aylesford from Birmingham on his bicycle to do so.

We were glad to have Tom with us for this special day. We then thanked God for the past 50 years and made a toast to Lay Carmel for the next 50 years. The day concluded with the Carmelite family prayer, followed by tea and cake.

by John Berry

Top: Tom Tarmey, a founding member of the Birmingham Third Order 50 years ago, cuts the celebration cake. Tom helped rebuild Aylesford Priory, traveling to Aylesford on his bicycle from Birmingham.

Bottom: Carmelite William McQuillan participates with the Lay Carmelites in one of the small group discussions. (Photos courtesy of Johan Bergström-Allen)

Formation & Communication
at the Service of Community


September 2–9, 2006
Sassone, Italy

For more information:


International Congress on Formation and Communication Changes Location

Website Activated for Congress

The site of the 2006 Congress of Lay Carmelites, "Formation and Communication at the Service of Community," has been changed to Istituto "Il Carmelo" in Sassone, Italy. The International Lay Carmelite Commission announced the change in May.

The change from Casa Beato Nuno Residence in Fatima, Portugal was necessitated by the large number of reservations that have been received. The dates of the Congress, September 2-9, remain unchanged.

The Istituto "Il Carmelo" is a religious conference center operated by the Italian Province of the Order. It is located approximately 30 km outside of Rome.

To facilitate the preparations, the Office of Communications for the Order (CITOC) has activated a website for the Congress. The website brings together information that has been sent to the various Lay Carmelite groups around the world as well as directions for arriving at the conference site from Rome’s airports and main train station. It is hoped that Lay Carmelites will be able to follow the progress of the conference through periodic updates to the website.

The website is accessible from

Introducing a Member of the International Commission
Rose Mary Lancellotti

Rose Mary Lancellotti is an Assistant Delegate on the newly formed Provincial Lay Carmelite Team for the St. Elias Province, USA. She and her husband Jim made their profession in November 1991. They have 4 children. Her deeper involvement with the Lay Carmelite office began with assisting Fr. Gus Graap,
O. Carm. with a few phone calls. Her work for the Carmelites continues to develop as God calls her and her husband to service for the good of the Order.

Rose Mary began working for the Carmelite Order in 1993 in the Development Office and moved over to the Vocation Office a few months later. Jim currently works as Gift Store Manager at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Middletown, NY. They are very active in the Carmelite Parish, of St. Paul’s in Bullville, NY which is where they were first introduced to the Carmelite spirituality in the 1980’s by Fr. John Horan,
O. Carm.

Having a strong love for St. Therese, Rose Mary was asked to give a presentation to St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Brooklyn in preparation for the arrival of St. Therese’s relics. It is one of the most moving times in her life since she spoke of how St. Therese continues to move her to love and serve even when it is difficult.

This honor of serving on the International Commission has been a very exciting and challenging time for Rose Mary to learn how to balance a very busy family life with her love for Carmel. Thankfully she has a family who encourages and supports her and the Carmelites too!