The pre-novices are fully immersed in their studies, learning to balance life in community with their academic work. Our schedule consists of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer. Formation sessions are weekly and follow a four-week cycle such as studying one of our Carmelite documents, lectio divina, house meetings and group facilitation. Each month, we deepen this process with workshops and presentations on topics in the areas of Human Development and Growth in the first semester and Carmelite Spirituality in the second.
In time, each pre-novice will commit himself to a ministry, whether it be working with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, teaching CCD, parish ministry, Ministry of Care, or tutoring in an Adult Learning Center.
An important aspect of our communal prayer life includes longer times of silence for reflection, time for meditation, praying the rosary, Adoration of the Eucharist, Stations of the Cross, novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Therese. These traditions, customs and devotions are often determined by the liturgical season or solemnities and are usually initiated by the students. It is a rich and varied life that we share in common, forming us to be men of deep intimacy with God, the Church and one another.
Brother Darly Moresco, O. Carm, Carith House, Chicago
Matthew Gummes, originally from Hobbs, New Mexico, moved to Joliet with his family when he was 13 and attended Joliet Catholic Academy (JCA). Though he was raised Catholic, he passed through a dark “evening” of the soul during his first two or three years in Joliet and seriously doubted the existence of God. Then he went on Kairos, the senior-year retreat at JCA, and experienced God’s Presence in his life in a very real way for the first time in years. Filled with this new faith experience, he went off to college where he rediscovered a childhood vocation to the priesthood. At first he was bewildered by all the different paths before him, and by the pile of vocation information spilling out of his mailbox after he filled out a vocations survey online. “Thankfully, the Spirit came to me,” says Matthew, “in the person of Father Donald Buggert, O.Carm. He introduced me not only to the Carmelites of today, but also to Saint John of the Cross, whose “nada” answered my adolescent doubts.” After a discernment retreat at Whitefriars Hall, he found himself not only comfortable and at home with the Carmelite friars, but also strongly attracted to Carmelite spirituality and its tradition of mysticism. “As a pre-novice, I seek to grow in humility and love while I explore the castle within me.”
Ryan Burtock “My vocational story started when I was younger,” says Ryan Buntrock, “after my first communion I was always curious about the Holy Eucharist, and the impact it had on my faith.” Ryan graduated from Pius XI High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in June of 2001, and he began to discern what he would do in the professional world. Shortly after 9/11, he began to grow closer to his home parish, Saint Charles Borromeo, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For a time he discerned with the Salesians of Saint John Bosco, as well as the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and after realizing he was not attracted to Salesian spirituality, missed the lack of community in diocesan life, his mentor and good friend, Father Michael Fugee, suggested he take a look at the Carmelites. He felt attracted to the spiritual notion of the “journey” which is central to Carmelite life. “It is a journey in Carmel in service of Jesus Christ and His Church,” says Ryan. In December 2009 he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Philosophy. He is currently a student at the Catholic Theological Union studying for a Master of Divinity Degree.
Michael Giglio was born in Toronto, Ontario, the youngest of three siblings. He was raised Catholic, but it has been primarily as an adult that he has come to fully appreciate the depth and reality of his faith. A few years back, in the midst of a very trying period (that included the untimely passing of several friends and relatives), he began in earnest to pray. What began with simple prayer gradually developed into something more profound-into a real sense of the sustaining presence of Christ in his life. “Having been carried by faith through such a difficult passage,” says Michael, “I am left with a tremendous sense of thanksgiving that has inspired me with a strong desire to put myself fully at the service of God and God’s people.” That desire led him to the Carmelites. “With the loving support of the Carmelite community I am committed to following where it leads.”
Warren Kinkade was born in Casper, Wyoming, and is the oldest of five siblings. Despite being baptized at the First United Methodist Church, there was no religious formation in the home. At the age of 12, he began to attend various churches in search for a spiritual home. Two years later, he felt the promptings of the Spirit and attended his first Mass. He entrusted himself to the care of the Blessed Virgin, and entered full communion with the Church at the age of 17. Discernment has been a long and interesting process for him. He has visited with the Dominicans, Benedictines, and the Trappists while trying to understand God’s will in his life and to find the right blend of active and contemplative life. Just a few years ago, Warren met Father Brian Henden, O.Carm., at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, one who has been very helpful in his discernment. There were many resonating factors that led him to Carmel. In a moment of epiphany, he realized that he already looked to Elijah and Mary to be examples for him, and that Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross dominated much of his spiritual reading. Warren says it was the mystic spirituality which places value on interiority, and the commitment to active ministries that really helped him to say “yes.”