Carmelite nuns are grateful for support of people from the area

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Carmelite nuns are grateful for support of people from the area
Carmelite nuns are grateful for support of people from the area
By Terri Lang
Solitude is what they needed. Solitude is what they were
seeking. They searched for a
place that would provide them
peace and joy, a place where
they could be solely with God
and offer Him their prayers
for people everywhere.
The Carmelite nuns found
that place in the countryside
northeast of Hague.
Mother Mary Baptist, the
prioress of the monastery in
Hague, said that after being
requested by Bishop Kagan
for a Carmelite foundation
in the Diocese and obtaining
permission from Rome, the
Carmelite nuns from Alexandria, S.D., began their search
in the diocese.
“One of the Sisters was
keeping an eye on property
that would be suitable for us,
and she narrowed it down to
four places,” Mother Mary
Baptist said.
The Sisters planned their
trip to North Dakota, and by
the time they arrived, some
of the sites were already sold.
They found the Hague site
on the Internet and decided
to look at it as they had only
a few options.
“Everything worked out
according to His will,” she
said. “The other properties
that had been sold meant that
the Lord really wanted us to
come here.”
As the first Carmelites
found their home at Mount
Carmel, these Carmelites
know they found their home
off a nine-mile graveled road
in Emmons County. With the
sense of humor these Carmelites have, and when asked,
“Why Hague?” they joke, “It
was the only vacant building
available in North Dakota!”
“It wasn’t so much the
house we were concerned
about, it was the land,”
Mother Mary Baptist said. “It
may not be attractive to some
farmers, but it was to us.”
The property is mostly pasture land and a wetland area,
or a “pond” as the Sisters call
it. But it was just what they
were looking for—solitude
for them and grass and water
for their livestock.
Mother Mary Baptist grew
up in Rochester, N.Y., and
said she and the Sisters love
it here.
“Some of the Sisters’ families are amazed how remote
this is, but it is perfect for our
lifestyles,” she said.
The Carmelites are “cloistered,” meaning they remain
in enclosure at the monastery,
except for rare occasions,
such as medical appointments. They do not have
much communication with
the outside world, but Mother
Mary Baptist said they do
have mail service.
“I like getting the Emmons
County Record in the mail as
that is a source of news for
us,” Mother Mary Baptist
said. “It is just amazing that
there is so much information
and pictures every week.”
Mother Mary Baptist said
she reads and monitors the paper and decides what articles
to share with the Sisters. She
appreciates the clergy column
and shares those, and she
said she really liked Father
Richter’s recent column on
instructive prayer. She also
shares stories on people who
are in need, those who may
be suffering and need their
prayers. “I have also liked and
shared stories on gardening
tips and also a story on types
of trees that grow well in this
part of the state,” she said.
The Carmelites have a
large garden, and they are
hoping to plant trees on the
farmstead next spring.
Mother Mary Baptist said
the monastery has Internet
service, but only certain
Sisters are allowed to use the
Internet and e-mail.
“Nowadays, you can’t
communicate with the outside
world without it, it is a part
of life,” Mother Mary Baptist
said about the Internet.
She found that many companies do not offer catalogs
and only offer their items on
a website.
Because the Carmelites
try to live a simple life, they
keep their use of the computer
and e-mail to a minimum as it
could be a source of distraction. They have a landline
telephone and a cell phone
since they do have some
phone calls to make and also
calls they may receive from
those who are requesting
prayer.
Sister Mary Joseph said the
cell phone was needed as they
did not have a landline for a
short time when they arrived,
and now that they have the
land line, the cell phone use
is pretty limited and mostly
for emergency use.
The Carmelites hosted an
open house for the public on
April 23-25, and Sister Mary
Joseph said they wanted
to invite people to visit the
monastery and the Carmelite
nuns so they could shed some
light on what they do and why
they do it.
“One of the reasons we had
an open house was because
we were aware that there
could be some misunderstandings, and we wanted to
be able to clear those up,”
Sister Mary Joseph said.
Mother Mary Baptist said
it was a great opportunity
for people to get to know
them and for people to know
what the Carmelite nuns are
here for.
“We were so pleased with
the response from the people
at the open house,” she said.
“People were really open and
offered to help us, and we took
people up on their offers.”
They said they have received so much support from
the community, and they have
so many people to thank, including many neighbors, the
parishes, Knights of Columbus, the Hague Cafe and the
Hague Grocery Store.
“We are very blessed to
have the people who have
been so supportive of us, and
we just want to extend our
thanks to everyone,” Mother
Mary Baptist said.
Because of their limited
communication with the public, they said they are grateful to the Emmons County
Record for giving them this
opportunity to thank everyone who has helped them.
The Carmelites are also
thankful they had some time
prior to April 26 to get to
know the people in the area.
“Why a monastery near
Hague? We prayed about it
The Carmelites found the solitude they needed in the peaceful, green countryside
near Hague.
What once was the house and farmstead originally owned by Frank and Christina Hulm
is now the monastery and farmstead of the Carmelites. A metal fence surrounds the
home and yard where the Carmelites live their lives of consecration to God.
The Carmelites welcomed the public through their front
door of the monastery in Hague on April 23-25. A statue
of Saint Therese, known as “The Little Flower of Jesus”
or simply, “The Little Flower,” is at the entrance. She
is one of the most popular saints in the history of the
Catholic church.
and knew it had potential.
Now that we are here, we
know why. We are amazed
with the people, they are
so very kind and helpful,”
Mother Mary Baptist said
graciously.
In upcoming editions of the
Record, there will be a series
of articles on the Carmelites,
the start of the monastery in
Hague, the open house, the
help and donations of time
from the community and their
future plans.
This wooden cross stands at the entrance of the graveled
road that leads to the farmstead where the monastery is
located.

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