New brother enters Carmelite novitiate

Andrew Joyce

Andrew Joyce

Andrew Joyce was clothed in the Carmelite habit at a ceremony in Aylesford Priory yesterday,  8 September, and entered the community there as a novice for the British Province of Carmelites.

Andy, who is 36 and comes from Leeds, joined the Province after a period of prayer and discernment, accompanied by Vocations Director Fr Pat O'Keeffe, O.Carm.

Prior to his entry into the Aylesford community, Andy worked as a nurse and then, after studying theology at Plater College in Oxford followed by a PGCE, he spent six years teaching, the last three as Head of Religious Education at a large secondary state school in the East End of London.

Andy arrived at Aylesford Priory in early September to undertake a pre-novitiate retreat guided by Fr Bernard Murphy, O.Carm.

Andy was clothed in the Carmelites' brown habit during the celebration of Evening Prayer. The Liturgy called to mind  the symbolic and spiritual value of the habit.

In his words of welcome to Andy, the Prior of Aylesford, Fr Brendan Grady, O.Carm., reminded him that just as the community will have its influence on his life so too the gift of himself which he brings will influence the life of the community - together we are all engaged in seeking the will of God as we strive to live out in our day to day lives what it means to tbe Carmelite.

For the next year, Andy will live as a member of the friar community at Aylesford, discerning his vocation by sharing the prayer, silence, fellowship and apostolate of the brothers.  In this he will be guided by the novice director Fr. Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm..

Andy's entry into the novitiate - on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary - comes just days after Brother Paul Jenkins made his first profession of vows as a Carmelite friar, having completed his year as a novice (to read about the event click here).

Andy, centre, with Fr Bernard Murphy (right) and Bro Neil Scott

For more information on the Carmelite way of life, see:

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