The Establishment of the Kildare Lay Carmel Group

Father Joe Mothersill, O.Carm., presents the Charter establishing the Lay Carmel Group in Kildare to Ollie McCormack.

On Saturday, September 17th 2016, Father Joe Mothersill presented the Charter establishing the Lay Carmelite Group to Ollie McCormack, during the regular meeting. The three Carmelite friars from the Kildare Community were present. It is hoped that the First Professions in the group will take place in December. The Whitefriar Street and Moate Groups have been helping the Kildare Group as they get established.

When asked about the foundation of the group, Ollie stated:

"For quite a long time I had been thinking that it would be nice to have a Lay Carmelite group in Kildare. I knew that there had been a Third Order group in Kildare Town in the past. People of my late father’s generation were members. The group was called a confraternity then.
In October 2014, I approached Father Tony McDonald, who was the Prior of White Abbey at the time, and discussed setting up a Carmelite Lay Fraternity. Father Tony was very supportive of the idea. He put me in touch with Father Des Kelly, O.Carm., of Whitefriar Street, Dublin, and Ms. Peggy Molloy, moderator of the Third Order, also based in Whitefriar Street.
On Saturday, October 18th 2014, I met with Father Des Kelly and Ms Peggy Molloy. Both Peggy and Father Des gave me guidance on how to establish a Lay Fraternity locally. They also provided me with leaflets on the meaning of Lay Carmelite life and the fundamentals of Carmelite Spirituality. I attended a Lay Carmelite meeting in Whitefriar Street that afternoon. I am grateful to Father Des and Peggy for their time and support and also for the books they gave me.
Later in the discussion with Father Tony McDonald, an information meeting on being a Lay Carmelite was scheduled to take place in Kildare. This took place on Saturday, November 29th 2014. This was well promoted through newsletters, information leaflets and an announcement after Masses on Sundays. I am grateful to Catherine Murphy for her assistance in printing the information leaflets.
A number of people attended the meeting. A date was set for the first lay Fraternity meeting: January 17th, 2015. Seven people attended. We selected the name of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Fraternity for our Lay Carmelite Group. Imagine my surprise when I found my late aunt Ciss’s membership of Lay Carmel in Kildare. It too was name Our Lady of Mount Carmel Confraternity. Aunt Ciss’s membership card was dated 03/10/1941! The intervening years just slipped away and there was a lovely sense of continuity with the past.
We meet monthly on the third Saturday of each month at 3.00 p.m. We have a core attendance of eight people. We have the ongoing support of our Spiritual Director, who joins our meetings and shares aspects of Carmelite Spirituality.
And so, in conclusion, the seed of an idea which germinated for a long time has sprung into life and is thriving. We the members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Fraternity, Kildare, look forward to further guidance in Formation in Carmelite Spirituality so that eventually with God’s grace we may become fully fledged Lay Carmelites in Kildare."

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