March 1, 2022
St Joseph & Child Jesus

March: Dedicated to St Joseph

Husband of Mary, Patron of Carmel, Feast Day: 19 March

OCDS Shield

By Maureen William OCDS,
Christchurch President

My dear brothers and sisters in Carmel,

While working on our OCDS Archives last month, I chanced upon this inspiring letter from our dear Barbara. It is her reflections on what it means to be a Community – and I think it is most appropriate for us to ponder upon this at the start of the year.

“I have been thinking a great deal recently about the part of our Secular Carmelite life that involves being a Community. Let us look at what it is and ask ourselves how we are measuring up.
Being a Community is so much more than just coming together for a meeting once or twice a month. It goes on between meetings while we are about our day-to-day living our Carmelite life. It is:

• remembering our Community at our daily Mass and while we are praying the ‘Office’ throughout the day
• making the time for our half hour quiet prayer each day
• making ourselves familiar with the Constitutions and the Statutes
• preparing well for our Formation and Ongoing Formation sessions, and writing down our responses
• being concerned for each member of the Community, and especially our sick Special Members
• paying attention to the ‘little’ things – which are really not so little – but important for building a strong Community, for example:
• being punctual for meetings
• putting in a personal apology if you cannot be where you are expected to be
• carefully reading the Newsletter so that you know what is going on and who is being asked to pray for and what we are being asked to do
• finding a substitute if you cannot be present to perform your allotted task
• being willingly available to ‘help out’ when needed.
If we are doing our ‘bit’ day by day, week by week, it will surely shine out in our Community and we shall grow and learn from each other – together. Our meetings will show it and our Formation sessions will be enriched. We are so blessed in our Community here, under the shelter of the “Peace of Christ” but it will only work if we continue to “work at it”, and make our Carmelite vocation the top priority after our family responsibilities.”

May God bless our Community with a blessed and joyful Lent.
St Joseph, pray for us.

Maureen William, OCDS

Christchurch's Peace of Christ Community President