The Generosity of Mary

I have reached this stage in Carmel because I have always felt the maternal presence of Mary. She is a true mother, friend, teacher and my concrete example in following and giving my whole self to Jesus. I would always say, my vocation in Carmel is a concrete story of Mary in my life.

Since childhood, I have witnessed how my family, especially my Father was so devoted to Our Lady of the Rosary, the patroness of our barangay. During the chapel construction, that the image of Our Lady was temporarily sheltered in our house, our home became a concrete venue of Marian presence. Because of the resemblance of the image of the Our Lady of the Rosary, our family visited every May the Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan. Then the family had also grown a special devotion to Our Lady of Good Voyage in Antipolo, Rizal. Finally, the family also joined the pilgrimage in Baclaran to visit and pray to the Mother of Perpetual Help. Indeed, my first travels outside my province were these Marian pilgrimages to Manaoag, Baclaran and Antipolo. I have realized how these early childhood pilgrimages to Marian Churches and devotion to the Our Lady have helped me become closer to Jesus, Our Lord.

In my growing teenage years, I always came to visit and see the Carmelite chapel in Angeles City, a Marian pilgrim site in our province. I began to go there during my high school years, begging the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for all my needs. I owed to her intercession the well-being of my family in times of poverty, the quality years of my father with us as he struggled terminal illness, the success of my studies, th unity and love in the family amidst all the struggles and many more favors which the Our Lady granted me. With all these blessings and intercessions, I have felt how the Our Lady has been journeying with me all through these years. In 1992 when Mt. Pinatubo erupted, the whole community was disturbed and displaced by this major calamity. I realized that all things passes away; all are fleeting. The only thing that matters and lasts is God. I started falling in love and serving his people. The examples of the Our Lady deepened my love for Jesus.

I have found myself freely, peacefully joyfully in the Order of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The Order is truly a Marian congregation. The habit i wear bears the scapular as a sign of consecration to Our Lady. The religious name chose is linked with the name of Our Lady. Are these connections all coincidences? I think not. My being in Carmel is truly a Marian event. I ask the Grace of God to follow Jesus in the example of Mary as a faithful disciple. This following is on-going. I am always a work in progress. I believe that with the grace of God, I will also reach the summit of Mount Carmel.

By: Rev. Richard Escoto, OCD


Take me Lord, bless me, break me and hand me around. All of us called to serve in one way or another. After many years of suffering from cancer Brother Dominic was called home by Our Lord last April 23rd. He went very peacefully in his room. He was laid to rest in our Carmelite plot at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina.

Fr. Joey Mabborang, OCD was ordained to the priesthood last June 4 here at Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish. The following day he had his first thanksgiving mass at the parish of his parents at San Isidro Labrador in Quezon City. Fr. Paulo Gamboa, OCD gave a beautiful homily during that first mass. Fr. Joey also had his first mass in his native home town in Conner, Apayao. Much of June and July is fully booked with thanksgiving masses and novena masses at different Carmels and OCDS chapters. Joey is part is our community but he is also assigned as the National Director of the OCDS as Fr. Ernie Montuerto left for studies in Carmelite Spirituality in Spain.

Fr. Jose Ma. "Tatay" Lopez is a joy to have in our community. He is the most regular member for community acts. His physical condition continues to improve but his memory is very poor. He responds to Tatay or Papa and sometimes he even can say that he is Jose Maria Lopez. However, until now, he does not klnow any of us by name. He cannot read or follow a conversation. He joins us in the chapel for the office and prayer time. Much of the day is spent in sleeping, praying the rosary, and talking to anyone who is nearby. Too bad we cannot understand much of what he says.

Since early June Fr. Jack has been busy with vocation promotion. Fr. Henry, our guest Carmelite priest, has recently returned from his vocation in India. Bro. Archie Buenaagua, OCD is with us for his pastoral year. He is a BS Math graduate from Camarines Sur. He will be involved in community activities and also help somewhat in the parish newsletter, the

The new columbary was finished the end of May. More than half of the 105 new niches have been sold already. We are now adding more and larger downspouts to the church. When there is a heavy rain for a prolonged time the gutters fill up and the water backs up under the roof and leaks into the church. There are also a number of cracks in the gutters of the church that have been repaired.

The fiesta of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is just around the corner. Fr. Alex, Fr. Arnie and the Parish Council have worked out many plans and activities for the fiesta. Our Provincial, Fr. Chito Reyes, OCD will be the main celebrant and preacher fro the 6pm mass on july 16. Happy Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to everyone!

How can we be good stewards?

By Fr. Arnie Boehme, OCD

We want to do what Jesus asks us to do: sometimes, however, we wonder: what difference can we make when the needs are so great? Jesus taught his disciples to offer what they had, and God would make up for what was lacking.

An event in the life of Jesus illustrates this point.

A huge multitude had gathered to hear Jesus teach. Seeing them, Jesus asked the Apostle Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” (John 6:5). John tells us that Jesus knew what he would do, but he asked Philip this question to test him. Philip responded by telling Jesus that a year’s salary wouldn’t be enough to give each of them even a little. Andrew, overhearing this points out a young child “who has five barley loaves and two fish,” but after calling attention to this, he wonders out loud, “What are they among so many?” (John 6:9).

Jesus then has the people sit down. He takes what the young child has to offer—the five loaves and two fish. He gives thanks to God, and then he has the disciples distribute the bread and fish to the multitude. The multitude eats until they are filled. Jesus has the disciples gather the fragments…and the Gospel tells us that they filled twelve baskets with what was left over!

The account of the multiplication of loaves and fish is profoundly Eucharistic. The priest stands in the person of Jesus and receives the gifts of bread and wine brought forward by the faithful. Just as Jesus did with gifts of the young child, Jesus takes what little we have to offer and changes it into something tremendously different. Just as the simple snack of children became a feast for the multitudes, so does the bread and wine placed upon the altar become for us the food and drink that truly satisfy the hungry heart, the Bread of Life and the Cup of Eternal Salvation.

Jesus can transform what we have to give, no matter how little, into more…


July is the month of our parish fiesta, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We will celebrate our fiesta for the year 2009 with the theme: "Mary: Model of faith and Service". May we always be inspired by the deep faith of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was this faith taht made her a true model of servant hood and discipleship.

May mary be always our guide in deepening our own faith: so that we may also serve God and others with the purest of hearts, as we help the parish embarks on its six (6) point program. With Mary as our Patron let us:
  • Deepen our Carmelite Spirituality with the Carmelite saints; also as models;
  • From BEC's or neighborhood Christian communities and continue to be formed through these communities;
  • Strengthen our Families as basic unit of spiritual growth and as agents of growth of Christians communities;
  • Pray for our Youth that they may be instruments of evangelization especially to their fellow youth; our fellow parishioners so that we may all build a worshipping, witnessing and serving community.

Let us say as true devotees of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-- "O Mary thou art blessed amongst all women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus."

Maligayang Bati, Santo Papa!

Pope Benedict XVI turned 82 on April 16, 2009.
Vatican media noted the milestone, with the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore runnng a front-page birthday greetings in Latin - "Ad multos annos, sancte pater" (many happy returns, Holy Father). Vatican Radio also ran birthday special: an interview with papal spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi in which he acknowledged that the most difficult period of the past year was the Vatican's decision to remove the excommunication of a bishop who denied the Holocaust. He said the Pope's decision, despite the outcry that ensued, was guided by his overall desire to "bring men back to God and God back to men".

The whole parish community of Mt. Carmel jins the rest of Christendom in thanksgiving prayers for the Holy Father's continued good health. May he remain in the service of the Lord for many, many years to come.

Choice of name

The Pope, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, explained his choice of name Benedict XVI during his first General Audience in St. Peter's Square, on April 27 2005: "Filled with awe and thanksgiving. I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided thte Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples..."


Where did the year go? It seems we hear that question every year. With so many activities in the parish in the last quarter the time goes even faster. The last quarter means confirmations, kasalang bayan, first communions, and advent recollections for different groups in the parish. We also had three formation talks: St. Teresa of Avila by Fr. Paulo Gamboa, OCD in October, St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) by Ms. Edith Burgos, OCDS in November, and St. John of the Cross by Bishop Rolando Tirona, OCD, DD on December 11th. On December 15 we started the 8:30 pm Christmas novena masses as well as the 4:30 am masses from December 16 to 24. When you add to this some eighty weddings in our church for the month of December, plus all other Christmas activities, you can understand why we look forward to a New Year to start over again.

We are very blessed that Fr. Paulo is now a full-time member of our community. He is always ready to help ou and serve. Deacon Niel is also busy with preaching, baptizing, blessing, and visiting the sick. He already preached his first retreat in Tagaytay where Fr. Arnie assisted him with confessions and a mass. Fr. Arnie and Rev. Neil also joined the Parish Renewal Experience (PREX) Seminar, November 28 to 30. This is our Parish Renewal Experience seminar. We plan to have one PREX class every month.

Some recent important dates are the following: birthday of Fr. Alex on November 27. Since it was allso Thanksgiving Day we celebrated with the roast turkey. December 13 is the arrival of Fr. Paul Sullivan from Ireland to spend Christmas in the Philippines. December 21st, a dinner for the birthday of Bro. Dominic. December 23rd, the 4oth anniversary of the arrival of Fr. Arnie in the Philippines.

From our community to yours, Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

News from Mt. Carmel

Fr. Arnie Boehme, OCD celebrated his Ruby Jubilee or forty years as a Carmelite priest. He was ordained in Washington, DC on June 8, 1968. The first celebration was with his classmate, and now the Provincial of the Washington Province, Rev. Fr. John Sullivan, OCD. A thanksgiving mass was held at the Shrine Chapel ot Holy Hill, Wisconsin last June 7, 2008. A special meal was served at noon for the Carmelites and other guests. In the evening a steak dinner for the Friars was the perfect ending for the Jubilee celebration.

Fr. Arnie had his second celebration at his home parish in Bird Island, Minnesota. Many relatives, town mates and classmates joined the thanksgiving mass and dinner reception. This was the day after the high school Class 1958 reunion.

Last, but not the least, another celebration was held here at Mt. Carmel Shrine. It was dubbed “40 years a priest, 40 years serving the Philippine Church, and 68th birthday.” Many Carmelites and other priests joined the mass with, Fr. Arnie as the main celebrant and Fr. Chito Reyes, OCD, Provincial, as the preacher. A dinner party was held afterwards in the Fr. Mark Horal Hall for more than three hundred persons. A wonderful time was had by all. The Jubilee celebration also brought in five hundred thousand pesos for the Foundation for Carmelite Scholastics.

Brother Niel will soon be Rev. Niel on November 14th. Nathaniel Maravilloso, OCD of our community will be ordained a deacon. Niel is from Maasin, Iloilo. He will have plenty of work here with preaching, baptisms and blessings.

Brother Dominic, OCD is doing better in his struggle with cancer. He has just finished six sessions of chemotherapy. He is also drinking plenty of vegetable and fruits juice. With this and the TLC of his care-givers and the community he is gaining weight and feeling stronger. Let us continue to pray for him.

We have had two important visitors recently: Fr. Michael Fitzgerald, OCD from Ireland and Fr. Kevin Culligan, OCD from the Washington Province.