Young Carmelites Arrive in the Arizona Desert

September 6, 2017 |

Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, AZ has welcomed Brother Kevin Keller, O.Carm. and Brother Mike Joyce, O.Carm., as Carmelite interns to their campus.

Brother Kevin will focus on spiritual direction, retreat work and teaching in his ministry. Brother Mike hopes to focus on parish ministry, retreat work, high school administration and advancement or coaching. “Like Saint Therese,” he says, “I want to do it all.”

Both Brother Kevin and Brother Mike originally hail from Chicago where they graduated a few years apart from Mt. Carmel High School.

Brother Kevin is an avid non-fiction reader and documentary watcher. What started as a childhood interest in stamp collecting has grown into a passion for exchanging postcards with people all over the world. Through his involvement with, his postcards have traveled around the world more than 30 times.

Brother Mike loves to be active and is a sports fan, particularly his beloved Chicago White Sox. He enjoys playing baseball, flag football and volleyball, as well hiking and cycling. In fact, he plans to compete in El Tour de Tucson this November.

The Call to Carmel
As an elementary school student, a friend asked Brother Kevin what he planned to do when he grew up. When he didn’t immediately answer, his friend encouraged him to pick a uniform, someone whose job he recognized and found interesting. Brother Kevin then easily answered, “Priest”. As the years passed, Brother Kevin came back again and again to the idea of pursuing the priesthood and ultimately decided that religious life was what God wanted him to do.

Throughout Brother Mike’s life he felt a calling to religious life, and eventually found himself drawn to attend a Discernment Retreat with the Carmelites. At that retreat, Brother Mike was filled with peace and, always knowing that he was meant to help others, felt at home with the Carmelites. Brother Mike says, “Religious life isn’t a choice. It’s a part of you, and you either nurture it or you don’t.”

In the short time since arriving in Tucson, both Carmelites have remarked on the sense of community, student faith formation and the atmosphere of love and kindness on campus. Brother Mike has found Salpointe to be an open and welcoming school that both preaches the gospel and puts it into action. When it comes to Carmelite values at Salpointe, Brother Kevin says, “We don’t just talk it, we live it.”

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