By: Jo Siedlecka
The tenth anniversary of Carmel in the City was marked with a special celebration at St Joseph's, Bunhill Row, on Saturday, attended by more than 40 lay Carmelites and friends from around the country, including representatives from the Midlands, Yorkshire, West Country, Kent, Sussex, Northumberland and East Anglia. After a time of quiet prayer in the morning, Mass was concelebrated by Prior Provincial, Fr Kevin Alban and National Chaplain, Fr Michael Cox.
A special cake was brought out during the lunch break (see more pictures on the ICN Facebook page. ) In the afternoon, before Lectio Divina, people introduced themselves and shared how they had been drawn to the Carmelite charism. For some it had been a gradual process. Several mentioned that they had found their Carmelite group through searching on the internet. One person said he had been 'bowled over' immediately by the spirituality of St Teresa of Avila. Some had been lay Carmelites for more than 30 years. Others were very recent arrivals. Many participants wore the scapular and were reminded that Blessed Oscar Romero always wore his. One member said simply: "The Carmelites are my family. I belonged from the beginning."
Convenor Sylvia Lucas said: "The members of Carmel in the City Spirituality Group, were delighted with the response from the many Carmelite friends who came from across the country to share the day with us. We will continue to support one another as we share our ancient tradition of contemplative prayer and service and we look forward to many more opportunities to meet together."
Carmel-in-the-City is a praying community in London formally recognised by The British Province of Carmelites (O.Carm) as a Carmelite Spirituality Group. It meets every month, bringing together people interested in developing their spirituality - from local parishioners, lay Carmelites and members of other local churches. The group meets at St Joseph's Church, Lamb's Buildings, off Lamb's Passage, off Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8LE.
For more information call 07889 436 165 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.carmelinthecity.org.uk
Carmel is a worldwide Christian religious family that first came to Britain in 1242 and is alive and active today with more than 40 communities of friars, religious sisters, and lay Carmelites in England, Scotland, and Wales.
Carmelites seek to be contemplatives, friends with God, who form praying communities at the service of all God's people. Reading the signs of the times they are engaged in many different ministries of service and presence: retreats and spiritual development; parishes; shrine ministry (including Aylesford Priory and the National Shrine of St Jude in Faversham); prison, hospital and university chaplaincy; counselling; teaching and research; publishing and broadcasting; ecumenism and interfaith dialogue; justice and peace work; and many other apostolates.
To find out more about the Carmelites, visit: www.carmelite.org
Visit ICN's Facebook page to see more pictures from the day: www.facebook.com/Independent-Catholic-News-ICN-195368037167900/