Carmelites will move from Newburg Road monastery

The Discalced Carmelite Sisters, who reside at Monastery of Mary Immaculate and St. Joseph on Newburg Road, have announced their intention to move.

The sisters said in a statement late last week that plans are still being made, but they expect the transition to be finalized this year.

“The decision comes after months of dialogue and discernment and with special concern for the health of the sisters,” the statement said.

“The community currently has eight members. Although arrangements for the transition are still being made, and no date has been set, the transition is expected to be finalized within the year.”

The statement said the nuns would “continue their ministry in a new context,” but included no information about what that context might be.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz offered his gratitude to the sisters in the statement.

“I am thankful for the careful discernment of each member of the community regarding this important decision and for the presence of the Discalced Carmelites in the Archdiocese of Louisville,” he said.

The Carmelites came to Louisville in 1930 from Philadelphia at the invitation of then-Bishop of Louisville John A. Floersh. Among the five sisters who established the contemplative community here was the bishop’s sister.

Their first monastery was in a home at the corner of Sixth Street and Park Avenue. In 1952, the community’s 14 nuns moved to their newly built monastery at 1740 Newburg Road. The statement said that the monastery — designed for 21 nuns — was built on land donated by the archdiocese with the support of the Carmel Club.

The upcoming transition will not affect the monastery’s annual public novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel which is planned for July 8 to 16 in the monastery’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Discalced Carmelite Father John Michael Payne will preach.

The nuns currently help support themselves by distributing altar bread to parishes in this archdiocese and in other dioceses. This ministry will continue until new arrangements can be made. They will contact parishes when new arrangements are in place, the statement said.

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