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Carmel in Cleveland

The first Carmel in the United States was established in 1790 by daughters of American settlers and one Englishwoman. The first community of religious women in the new nation, they came from a Carmel in Belgium and settled in Maryland. The community they founded continues to this day as the Carmel of Baltimore. In 1863 the Maryland community made a foundation in St. Louis, and in 1923 six Sisters from the St. Louis Carmel came to Cleveland.

The first monastery in Cleveland was an ordinary home which the Sisters adapted to their needs. In subsequent years the growing community moved into two more homes, until they were finally able to plan and build a true monastery. With great joy in 1962 the community entered the "Promised Land." Located in an area of great natural beauty on Cleveland's east side, the monastery occupies five acres of land and includes a spacious yard and large vegetable garden. Major renovation of the chapel was done in 1992 to bring the worshipping environment into harmony with the liturgical reforms of Vatican II.

In 1951 the community responded to an invitation to send members to strengthen the Carmel in Nairobi, Kenya. Six Sisters made the journey to Africa, and today the Nairobi Carmel flourishes, enriched by African vocations. In 1952 four Cleveland Sisters founded the first English-speaking Carmel in Canada at Kitchener, Ontario. That community later moved to St. Agatha, Ontario.

Cleveland Carmel observed its seventy-fifth anniversary in 1998. It was a year of celebration and thanksgiving to God for the sisters who went before us and for the many friends and benefactors who have made Carmelite contemplative life a reality in Cleveland.

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