May 1, 2023
Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker
Dear Friends in Christ,
In 1957, Bishop Thomas J. McDonough invited a group of Discalced Carmelite Nuns from Philadelphia to make a new foundation in Savannah to pray for Priests and “for a deepening of faith in the few and scattered faithful” of our Mission Diocese. By the next year, the first generation of Nuns had moved into Our Lady of Confidence Monastery in Savannah where, by their prayers and presence, they have blessed our Diocese for 65 years.
In 2018, the Holy See released the instruction Cor orans, which contained new guidelines for the life and organization of monasteries for contemplative Nuns around the world. The document called for revisions to be implemented in various areas of monastic life, from community autonomy to work habits to formation. Last year, the Discalced Carmelite Order conducted an official visitation of the Carmel of Our Lady of Confidence to determine the sustainability of the community under the norms instituted by Cor orans. The local Sisters are in discussion and discernment with leaders of the Discalced Carmelite Order to determine the future of the community.
I am grateful to these holy women who have made their home among us for so many years. The Sisters are dear to my heart and their Carmelite spirituality has greatly enriched our local Church. I ask that the many supporters of the Carmel of Our Lady of Confidence join me in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that discussions and decisions by the local Sisters and the Carmelite Order regarding the future of the monastery and the Nuns are carried out with justice and charity.
Most Reverend Stephen D. Parkes
Bishop of Savannah