In October 2023, Buffalo Bishop Michael Fisher issued a statement saying: “It was with a heavy heart that I learned of the Carmelite Nuns of the Monastery of the Little Flower of Jesus wish to relocate outside of the diocese to an area that provided the necessary solitude to continue their ministry.”
“The Carmelite Sisters have been an important part of the religious fabric of the Diocese of Buffalo for more than 100 years, when Mother Mary Elias of the Blessed Sacrament, OCD, founded the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in 1920, first on Cottage Street, and then on Carmel Road in North Buffalo,” he said.
“All in the Diocese of Buffalo wish to impart on Mother Teresa and her community all the love and gratitude for their century of service to Western New York in God’s love as they relocate to the Diocese of St. Augustine,” the statement said.
In announcing the move in October, the community said that they knew the news may be a cause of “great sorrow and disappointment.”
“We trust that you will understand that we have prayed very much about this matter and have reached the conclusion that Our Lord is leading us to take this step,” the statement said.
The community said in its most recent update that Augustine Bishop Erik Pohlmeier offered Mass for the sisters at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, the first shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the U.S.
“While there, we were able to tour the ‘Sacred Acre’ where the first parish Mass was offered in what is now the United States on Sept. 8, 1565. Our Lady’s maternal presence is so strongly felt on that site, which has such historic significance for the Church in our country!” the statement said.
In a statement to CNA Thursday, Pohlmeier said he extends his “warmest greetings” to the Carmelites.
“We know that with heavy hearts, they left behind 103 years of community. I am confident that the sisters will find a welcoming and supportive community here, and I look forward to how they will enrich our diocese with their prayer and presence,” he said.
“Our greatest hope is that the Carmelite nuns will experience the solitude and peacefulness essential to their way of life. May God bless them in their new home, and may they continue to be a source of inspiration and grace to all who encounter them,” he added.
The sisters said in February that “as we continue to get settled in our new surroundings and wholeheartedly embrace our life of prayer in the heart of the Church, our hearts are overflowing with gratitude for all our friends and benefactors, both near and far, who sustain us by their prayers and material assistance.”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
“Please be assured that you have a loving remembrance in our prayers and sacrifices each and every day!”