This week's parish newsletter contained the following announcement:
On March 3rd the Carmelite Sisters held their triennial elections. Mother Elizabeth of the Trinity has been elected as the prioress for the next 3 years. As she takes up this office for the first time the Sisters ask your prayers for her and for the whole community, very united in this step, which is a major one for the Carmel after having the same prioress for the last 15 years. Mother Elizabeth and the Sisters assure everyone of their continuing prayers and support for the whole parish community.
The immediately past prioress, Mother Stephanie, despite now being well into her eighties, has been prioress of the Carmel for as long as I've known the sisters, and had been prioress even before that in an earlier term of office; apparently, though she had previously been reëlected continually - and had had to obtain the necessary dispensation from Rome to continue on past the term limit specified in the Carmelite Constitutions - she has recently made it clear to her sister nuns that she felt herself unwilling to continue to bear the burthen of office, and hoped very much that they would elect a new superior. The Carmel has half a dozen or so younger sisters, all of whom have joined in the last ten years, of whom Sister - now Mother - Elizabeth is the longest-professed; the older sisters are now very old (in their seventies and eighties), so it is a great blessing for the whole Carmel that they are of one mind and heart in the Lord and now have a new generation of religious coming along, united and strong in the Faith.
From the sublime to the less so... at Mass at Carmel this morning we had the rather uninspiring presence of Archbishop Doyle as celebrant. Coincidentally, I had thought of him, who is rapidly approaching the age of resignation for bishops, while praying None last night (I read the end of Matins and all the Day Hours by aggregation, in bed): Fiant dies ejus pauci: et episcopatum ejus accipiat alter.