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24 June 2021

Lipa Carmel’s 75th Anniversary of Foundation (written by the sisters of Lipa)

Founded on 31May 1946, our Carmel is celebrating this year our Diamond Jubilee of Foundation, 75 years of prayerful presence in the Archdiocese of Lipa (Batangas, Philippines). It is a very rare grace that our Founder was Bishop Alfredo Verzosa and that his Auxiliary Bishop was Bishop Alfredo Maria Obviar. Both bishops are now Servants of God on the road to Sainthood. Bishop Versoza wrote to Mother Theresa of Jesus: “I thank you most effusively, dear Mother, for your work in my diocese and for having founded in it the beloved Carmel of Lipa, the child of my eyes and the repose of my heart.”

Who would have thought of founding a Carmel in 1946 when Lipa was one of the most devastated areas during the war that had ended less than a year before? It needed the compelling faith of hidden saints. The founding group from Manila Carmel consisted of Mother Theresa of Jesus, Sr. Mary Cecilia of Jesus, Sr. Mary of St. Joseph, Sr. Mary Anne of Jesus, Sr. Alphonse of Mary, Sr. Mary Elizabeth of the Sacred Heart and Sr. Carmen of the Good Shepherd. The Titular Patroness of our Carmel is Our Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All Grace and the Secondary Patroness is our Holy Mother St. Teresa. Our Carmel’s Charism is God’s Merciful Love. It is with deeply grateful hearts that we thank God for our 75 years of Carmelite presence in Lipa. The growth of our monastery is a testimony of faithful love and service to Holy Mother the Church, as we give our lives for souls, especially for priests. We are now 22 nuns, with promising young vocations.

In closing, we prayerfully reflect on the words written by Mother Mary Cecilia of Jesus, our foundress, in 1970: “Lipa Carmel is the Carmel of God’s Merciful Love. The years that have passed have been the unfolding of God’s mystery, the condescension of Love and Mercy…Yes, God is the Maker of history. Sunlight and shadow show forth His glory. Here He has childlike souls whose weakness will make His power manifest. We press on to the goal. With expectant hearts we look up to our Holy Mother St. Teresa, top renew in us her double spirit so that like her, we may be valiant, generous and true daughters of the Church.”