Cloistered Carmelites Reviving Ancient Architecture

Photo: OC-Travel
Fortunate souls are blessed to visit this special hidden place - the Carmelite Hermitage of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  Here Carmelite hermits have built a lovely brick and limestone cloister with matching buildings.  They now intend to finish the building project with the construction of a fitting chapel worthy of the name.

The project is being spearheaded by noted Catholic architect Duncan Stroik of Notre Dame.  He has put together a wonderful design that includes a church that looks like a church, appropriate to the dignity of its language and the importance of what it has to say.  Indeed, the temple informs the city. 

The chapel will be modeled after basilicas in Rome and Ravenna.  A lot of thought has gone into the design work taking into careful consideration Minnesota weather and the needs of a cloistered community with a rich liturgical life.

The hermits here have an expressed interest in the Carmelite Rite, also known as the Rite of the Holy Sepulchre, a pre-Tridentine rite which developed from an interesting mix of liturgies including influences from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.  Recently much nostalgic eulogy has been lavished on this beautiful gift to the universal Church which deserves being preserved and fostered  precisely because it best captures the ascetical-mystical spirituality of the Carmelite Order.

I ask everyone to be generous.  About half the funds have been raised.  For more information and to make a contribution please see HERE.

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