The celebration of the 150th anniversary of the German Carmelites coming to North America began on Wednesday evening, October 22, with a compline service at St. Joseph’s church in Leavenworth, Kansas.
On Thursday, October 23, there was a commemoration of the Carmelites arrival by stagecoach at the riverfront in Leavenworth. The mayor of the town, Mark Preisinger, read a proclamation that had been given to David McEvoy the previous week. The prior provincial, William J. Harry, blessed a plaque.
Those in attendance then re-enacted the procession of the Carmelites to the cathedral to meet Bishop Miege, complete with a stagecoach. Representing the early Carmelites in the stagecoach were two members of the German province, Günter Benker and Tobias Kraus, the prior general, Fernando Millán, and Sam Citero, 1st provincial councilor.
The current bishop, Joseph F. Naumann, was on the steps of the current church, Immaculate Conception, where the cathedral once stood, to welcome the Carmelites. Also present to welcome everyone were the students from Immaculata high school and Xavier elementary school.
Bishop Naumann led a Mass of Thanksgiving, concelebrated by Fernando, the Abbot of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison, KS, Bishop Michael Lafey, William J. Harry, Mario Esposito, prior provincial of the St. Elias Province, and 31 priests joined by Carmelite nuns and sisters and lay people from across the province.
Before lunch, David McEvoy gave a keynote address on the history of the province with a focus on the people and places of Kansas.
On Thursday night Br. Joseph Schmidt, FSC, gave a keynote address entitled “Carmelite Spirituality for the 21st Century: St. Therese and the Spirituality of Non-violence”
Click on the thumbnails below to see more pictures from the celebration