What is our cause?

We are building a monastery to last the ages.

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The church ought to be a building that will serve for generations. It should transcend time and culture… the church ought to be of a significant mass, built with solid foundations and thick walls. This is related to durability… a good solid mass of stone enables the church to be an icon of Christ and reflects the solid base of the Sacred Liturgy…
— Rev. James W. Jackson, FSSP "Nothing Superfluous"

“I will never forget this”

Cardinal Burke - on the occasion of offering Mass at the Carmel of JMJ

A visit from Cardinal Burke

On November 19, 2018, the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Fairfield was honored and privileged with a visit by Cardinal Burke! During his visit, he celebrated the Veiling ceremony of a newly professed nun. The Solemn Pontifical High Mass was attended by over 120 faithful, on a cold and windy Monday. “This is a most beautiful moment we see here,” he said, “and may it be for all of us who are privileged to be part of it the occasion to give ourselves more fully to Christ.”

Craftsmen and Journeymen

Some of the most renowned and skilled tradesmen in their field have traveled far and wide to join us in this endeavor. In being called to this project, a mastermind group of artisans has been brought together. This assembly of journeymen, bringing their tools, skills and labor, has allowed the construction to commence. As they ply their trades, they work tirelessly to bring this settlement to fruition. They bring their vocation, their expertise, and their enthusiasm to this work. Their commitment, steadfastness of purpose, and masters touch are visible to all who see the tangible aspects of their craft. Building a firm foundation, one stone at a time.

Why are we building a new Monastery?

From its beginnings in the Elysburg, PA monastery, the Nuns have experienced a surge in vocations. A new generation has found and entered fully into the cloistered Carmelite vocation, lived in all its traditional fullness. With these new vocations, the Nuns have outgrown this convent. Rooms meant for recreation, meals, and work were being used as living quarters to accommodate new postulants.

Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese gave his blessing for the Carmelites to branch out. In 2012, the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph found a new community and purchased the land on which to build. 

At both Elysburg and at the new monastery in Fairfield, the nuns will be able to continually grow, attracting new vocations and providing powerhouses of prayer and sacrifice the world so desperately needs.

MADE BY HAND

Delving into their rich Carmelite history of architecture and tradition, the Nuns are recreating the way monasteries were originally designed: to be settlements, not just a building. These settlements are mini villages, made up of small, auxiliary cottages connected by walkways, courtyards, and gardens. The Chapel stands at its center. On the perimeter are fields and pastures for their crops and livestock.

Following in the footsteps of their Holy Mother, St. Teresa of Avila, the new monastery farmstead is designed on a smaller scale, meant for more of a family-sized religious community. Much like homesteaders of 19th century America, these Nuns are building not just a home, but a self-sustaining community, in which they raise their animals, till their fields, tend their gardens, spin their wool, and ply their needles.

time-honored skills and crafts

Solemn and sacred liturgies, music, literature, and even the very methods and materials our homes have been built from for centuries are are being brought back to life here in this small corner of the world.  The strong stones dug from the soil by our forefathers and the simple, heavy timber beams of the past will be used to support this new monastery.

Who are the Carmelites of Fairfield?

THE MISSION

The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is a papally enclosed Discalced Carmelite community. In communion with the Roman Catholic Church and approved by their diocesan bishop, the Most Rev. Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese, the cloistered Nuns live lives of solitude, prayer and sacrifice.

The primary mission of the Carmelite Order is to pray and offer oblation for the Church and the world. The use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Divine Office sets this monastery apart and their observance of the Rule and Constitutions is part of an unbroken tradition stretching back from Mexico to Spain to Mount Carmel itself in the Holy Land.

AT A GLANCE

  • Primarily use the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass and the Divine Office and wear the full, traditional Carmelite habit

  • Observe the Rule and the Constitution just as they were written in the 1200’s and 1500’s, respectively, and use the original Carmelite breviaries of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila

  • Originate from the thriving Carmel in Valparaiso, NE

  • Undertake to lead an austere and laborious life, which reduces their needs to the essentials

  • Trust in Divine Providence for their sustenance, relying entirely on alms and in-kind donations (no funding from the diocese is received)

  • Choose to live a simple, retired lifestyle largely free of modern conveniences, comforts, and technology

  • Carry out their monastic life in the context of the farmstead milieu

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How can you help?

Take Action

Will you help us? You can become a contributor to our cause, or participate yourself!

Learn more about events happening here by visiting and bookmarking our website. Join our community for discussion at https://www.facebook.com/pg/patronsofthefairfieldcarmelites

Sharing news about our cause is a wonderful way to help! We thank you for your patronage and bringing blessings upon our community.

Pray for continued blessings for the work of the church and the Carmelite settlement here at Fairfield.

Share news about the project with your parishioners, family, and the faithful that may have yet to hear about it. The building projects are continuous and there is constant activity as this aspect of our story unfolds. There is much work to be done during this period. Thank you for your support and prayers.