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Archdiocese’s ‘prayer powerhouse’ turns 50

Episcopal visit: Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge pays a visit to Ormiston’s Carmelite community.

Episcopal visit: Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge pays a visit to Ormiston’s Carmelite community.

ORMISTON’S unstoppable prayer powerhouse and home to a group of cloistered women religious turns 50 this year.

The Carmelites in Ormiston, on Brisbane’s east, have prayed intimately with God inside the monastery’s walls since 1965.

Before their present monastery existed, the Carmelites lived in a temporary house in Auchenflower, on Brisbane’s west.

It took six years between purchasing the land and entering the new monastery.

The Carmelites share their land with the elegant heritage listed Ormiston House, once home to the Honorable Louise Hope, the man responsible for Australia’s first sugar cane fields.

Community prioress Sr Moira Kelly said the Ormiston community had become the new home for 30 nuns, the majority being young women.

“We still have 10 of those 30 in our present community,” Sr Moira said.

Sr Moira is one of 15 who women in the Carmelite Sisters’ community in Ormiston.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge joined the community for Mass on Sunday July 19, the Feast of Mt Carmel and also the Sisters’ golden anniversary in Ormiston.

Australia’s nuncio Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana also made a private visit to the sisters during his visit to Brisbane last weekend.

“Every nuncio in Australia comes to see us because he values our prayers,” Sr Moira said.

This year also marks 500 years since the birth of discalced Carmelite’s founder, St Teresa of Avila.

The Carmelite Sisters have led a young adult group at the monastery since 2009 and still meet regularly today, but the sisters keeping behind their convent’s steel bars.

Carmelites are rarely seen outside their convent, instead choosing a life of contemplative and communal prayer, simple manual labour, spiritual reading and monastic silence.

Lay people are not permitted to step inside the monastery.


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