Carmelite Nuns Contributed to Island Community; They Will Be Missed

Pacific Daily News
November 18, 2016

After 50 years, the Carmelite nuns have left Guam because of what Mother Superior Dawn Marie described as a “toxic environment” on the island. The nuns were behind the $2 million anonymous gift that was used to pay off the loan for the Accion Hotel, which was later converted to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and the San Vitores Theological Institute of Oceania.

According to the mother superior, who is the last Carmelite nun here, they were also asked by Archbishop Anthony Apuron to lie about the donor’s intent for the gift.

The Carmelites’ website states that the order first arrived on Guam in 1966 from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. They are cloistered, which means they leave the monastery only for emergencies. They lead quiet lives of work and contemplative prayer.

On Guam, the nuns have supported themselves by making and selling communion wafers, baptismal gowns, wedding veils and Christmas products, according to the website. They also ran an egg farm for several years.

The Carmelites have served the community by providing prayer and spiritual guidance.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said the archdiocese is saddened by the departure of the Carmelites.

“I have to apologize and to admit certain damages of the ‘toxic environment’ they experienced,” Hon wrote in a message. “In the month of July, eight seminarians were asked by their bishops to return to their dioceses from the RMS. Before their departure, I met them one by one and started to better realize the complexity of the issues which gave rise to the so-called ‘toxic environment.’”

Hon also said prayer is especially needed now, with members of the clergy facing allegations of child sexual abuse.

The departure of the nuns leaves Guam without a contemplative monastery. After their years of work for the archdiocese and the community, the Carmelites will be missed.








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