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Carmel in America

Following St. Teresa’s death in 1582, the Discalced Carmelite Order spread rapidly throughout Europe.  During the 17th century English-speaking Carmels were founded in Belgium for women who fled religious persecution from their native England.  In the 18th century women from the thirteen colonies in America crossed the Atlantic to enter Carmel in Belgium, with the hope that one day they would bring Carmel to America.


In 1790, after religious freedom was secured in the newly formed United States, four of these women left the Carmel of Hoogstraeten, Belgium, to journey across the Atlantic. Three of the four foundresses were from prominent Catholic families in Maryland. They arrived at Port Tobacco in Southern Maryland—at long last the hope was fulfilled and Carmel was established on American soil.  


After some years this first community of Discalced Carmelite Nuns moved to Baltimore city. Foundations made from this original monastery furthered the spread of Carmel throughout the U.S. 

Carmel in the Archdiocese of New York


The Carmel of the Archdiocese of New York was the fourteenth founded in the United States and the last foundation of Baltimore Carmel. The five foundresses arrived in New York City on July 15, 1920. They lived for several months in a brownstone apartment until relocating to the Bronx.  


In the 1950s the Bronx monastery made foundations to Barre, VT and Saranac Lake, NY.  Thus the Carmelite contemplative life continued to flourish in the dioceses of Burlington (Vermont) and Ogdensburg (New York).


In 1982 the Bronx Carmelite community relocated to Beacon, New York.  Beacon is located 60 miles north of New York City in the scenic Mid-Hudson Valley region. The Carmelites settled on a naturally beautiful setting nestled below Mt. Beacon. 

The Tree of Carmel
Sr. Cecelia Kang, OCD    Carmel of Reno, NV
Carmel of the Incarnation


In 2001 the three monasteries of Barre, Beacon and Saranac Lake united to form a new community, the Carmel of the Incarnation. The Beacon monastery was chosen as home for the new community. In a spirit of joy, prayer and charity, the sisters continue today to live the Carmelite contemplative life of prayer and community.



Beacon Carmel.JPG
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