Novena 2008



Tonights theme: Holy Mary, the New Eve

This is the homily given by Bishop Robert Herman at the first night of the Carmel of St. Joseph’s 60th Annual Outdoor Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.Dear Bishop Herman graciously came to present the liturgy to us as our Archbishop Raymond Burke has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to become the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome.

Bishop Herman is a powerful homilist and speaks so eloquently about the need for Contemplatives in our modern day society. As this mass is said outside, you will enjoy hearing the cicadas, frogs and other outdoor wild life along with the chime of the Monastery Bells.

We hope you will enjoy this homily from the first night of the Novena! Please come and join us if you can. The rosary starts at 7:30 and mass begins at 8 p.m.For more information please see our website


Night 2  | LISTEN HERE

This evening our Celebrant for the Holy Mass on the Second Night of our Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was Msgr. Richard Stitka who is the Pastor at AnnuziataChurch here in St. Louis and he also serves at the Chaplin to the Sisters here at the Carmelite Monastery.  You can hear Father’s beautiful homily in testimony of Vocations.  

Also available here as a podcast is a recording of the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary which was prayed in Chapel before the outdoor mass. The rosary was lead by a Seminarian fromKenrick-Glennon Seminary here in St. Louis and it is followed by prayers for Benediction of the Holy Eucharist and completed with a song entitled “Queen and Beauty of Mt. Carmel”.  This is a special favorite song ritually sung here at the Novena each night.


Monday July 14 - Holy Mary Queen and Mother of Mercy

Rev. John L. Suenram, OCD, Pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower

This evening’s Holy Mass was celebrated by Father  John L. Suenram, OCD who came all the way from San Antonio, Texas and the National Shrine of the Little Flower!  How wonderful it was to have a Carmelite Friar come and preach to us during this Novena and his special understanding of Carmelite Spirituality filled our hearts.  

The youth choir from St. Marks parish was the special choir for this evening.  Apparently they have just returned from a visit at the University of Stubenville in Ohio.  Their passionate singing was so uplifting!


Tuesday, July 15 - The Blessed Virgin Mary Pillar of Faith 

Rev. John L. Suenram, OCD, Pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower

This evening’s Holy Mass was again celebrated by Father  John L. Suenram, OCD.  Despite difficulties with his microphone halfway through the sermon, a fast thinking Father quickly picked up another microphone and kept on with his homily!

The choir tonight was composed of fellow Carmelites.  The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Divine Heart of Jesus.  Their mission is to serve the elderly at their St. Agnes Home for the elderly here in St. Louis.  How wonderful it is to have them with us!  Thank you Sisters!


Wednesday, July 16 – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel 

Rev. John L. Suenram, OCD, Pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower

This evening’s beautiful mass on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel was just beautiful. Fr. Suenram spoke to us of the special motherly relationship Our Lady has for her loving Carmelite children. She has clothed us with a special garment of grace and we implore her heavenly protection. Father spoke of the special relationship Our Lady played in the life of St. Therese of Lisieux and how we all are guided by Our Lady’s maternal care.

Also of significant note… this broadcast of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel repreasents our 100th Podcast!!! Deo Gratias!


The Carmelites best known for their martyrdoms during of the French Revolution are the Martyrs of Compiègne, who were guillotined in Paris in mid-July, 1794. The memorial of the beatified Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne is today, July 17 and we celebrated their memory during the Novena tonight. Newly ordained Priest in our Archdiocese, Fr. Michael Houser was the main celebrant and he spoke beautifully about Peace and the Martyrs. Father Houser was assisted by Deacon David Skillman of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary who is in his last year of study before ordination.

The sixteen Discalced Carmelite nuns were condemned to death by the revolutionary tribunal for their fidelity to religious life, for their “fanaticism” (especially for their admirable devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary), and for their attachment to constituted authority. These were all considered crimes against the “State” which was adamant about removing all forms of clerical thought from their secular government and rule.

The prioress of these Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Teresa of St. Augustine, offered themselves to the Lord as a holocaust “to placate the anger of God and so that divine peace, brought to earth by His beloved Son, would return to the Church and to the state.”

After their Monastery and lodgings were invaded again in June, their devotional objects were shattered and their tabernacle trampled underfoot by a Revolutionary. This soldier told them that their place of worship should be transformed into a dog kennel!

The Carmelite sisters were taken to the prison to await their trial. There they composed a canticle for their martyrdom, to be sung to the familiar tune of the people at the time. The original writing still exists. It was written in pencil and given to one of their fellow prisoners, a lay woman who survived.


Friday, July 18 The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Divine Hope 

Rev. Edward G. Nemeth, Newly Ordained, Associate Pastor, St. Joseph Parish in Imperial

For the 7th Night of the Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Father Nemeth spoke to us about the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother of Divine Hope. His beautiful sermon was briefly muffled by the sound of a car alarm, but please persist in listening for it only last a minute or so!

The photograph of St. Michael shows the newly reclaimed statue which guards the front lawn of the Carmelite Monastery. After a storm damaged his sword, a restoration company came to assess the damage. The found that this statue was actually painted and that underneath the layers of paint lie the most beautiful and very old marble! Through a careful restoration St. Michael now again gloriously guards the Monastery and his guilded sword brightly reflects the sun!


Saturday, July 19 –The Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians

Rev. Noah A. Waldman, Newly Ordained, Associate Pastor, Sts. Joachim and Ann Parish in St. Charles

It was another beautiful St. Louis evening and as the sun set and Holy Mass began, a cool breeze gently comforted us all on the front lawns of the Carmel of St. Joseph here in St. Louis, Missouri. Newly ordained Priest, Fr. Noah Waldman spoke so very beautifully about Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, his beautiful understanding and love of Carmelite spirituality and about Our Lady Help of Christians.

Of particular beauty is Father’s prompting to us to consider the holy life of Our Lady and her life with the young St. John after he was entrusted with the care of our Holy Mother from the dying Christ on the cross.

The “Filipino-American Friendship Choir” uplifted us with their beautiful singing throughout the evening. Thank you!


Sunday, July 20 – The Blessed Virign Mary, Gate of Heaven -

Rev. Timothy P. Elliot, Pastor St. Giana Parish, Lake St. Louis

It is hard to believe that we have come to the end of our wonderful novena of masses and prayers in honor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel! Certainly many graces were shown upon the faithful who not only attended the Novena with love and prayerful hearts but who also endured the 107 degree heat tonight! (though that temperature was only a rumor and not confirmed!)

Father Timothy Elliot spoke about the importance of understanding and discerning what things in life are good and what things are evil. He reminds us that the Devil is very clever to make things “appear” good to us, but if we examine them through the eyes of faith and love of Christ we will see differently. In his homily, Father speaks quite frankly on the subject of honoring morality and embracing a culture of life.

May the graces and strength bestowed on us through prayer in love of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and in honor of her most beautiful, humble and holy example to the world shine as a beacon of holy hope as she leads all her beloved children to her Son, our Lord and our Eternal Savior and King. Praise be Jesus Christ, Now and Forever!!!