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Our Lady of Mount Carmel Inspires Courageous Serenity

On a hot August day nearly 20 years ago, I arrived at Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, Ill., for my first day of teaching.

One of my most vivid memories of that day was seeing the massive window of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Blessed Titus Brandsma Chapel. I was captivated by the serene beauty of this depiction of the Virgin Mary gently holding her Son.

As the days turned into months and the months turned into years, I grew to love Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I grew to appreciate her as the patroness of our school and a source of devotion for both the BVM Sisters and the Carmelites, our founders.

I began to see her as a special companion on my earthly journey. That initial serenity that I saw in her revealed itself to be a dynamic and courageous serenity.

Her bold “fiat” has inspired me to have the courage to say yes when God calls me out of my comfort zone in ministry and in life in general. Her constant companionship has strengthened me as I have had the privilege of accompanying students as a teacher and campus minister for the past 20 years.

Her approaching feast day, July 16, takes on new significance this year. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and passionate response to racism in our country, her fearless yes stands as an icon of trust in the Lord and emboldens us to be voices for justice, love, and true freedom.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Thank you, Kammie, for sharing your insightful reflection about Our Lady of Mt Carmel’s inspiration for you over the years. Happy Feast! C Jean

  2. Kammie, what a powerful and deep reflection which you have embedded deep within to give you courage and grace to say “yes” to what is right and good for you. You feel confident in your choices. Mary of Mount Carmel inspired this in you and fortunately you came to a school with such a strong reminder for each day. In this time of pandemic, we need to keep going back to what gives us courage, what helps us to carry on, what tools do we have within us to guide our choices. Thank God you found yours in Mary. . . .a woman who led others in her quiet, confident, yet effective way.

  3. Dear Kammie, Thanks SO much for sharing this. I’ve heard your name from Lori but never met you. However, I do have VERY strong ties to Carmel, since I spent my first 5 yrs of teaching there, & those yrs were also the first 5 that Carmel was open. Over the yrs I’ve been able to attend many reunions & appreciate all the good memories that re-enforce everything you wrote about Carmel. Thanks again, Nancy

  4. A lovely meditation on the stained glass image of Mary, Kammie. Thank you for sharing this thought for the day. Mary

  5. Thanks so much, Kammie, for your inspiring life and reflections. What a special way to celebrate July 16th. May we live out your last sentence knowing that our God and strong woman, Mary, are with us.
    (Glad to have met you via ZOOM with the students of Carmel — I hold them and their families in thought and prayer).

  6. Beautiful, Kammie. I’m so grateful to know you and to have seen all you do for the Carmel community. You truly live the values of Carmel’s founders.

  7. Thank you, Kammie, for this personal reflection on the meaning of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in your life. Thank you for your reflection. I am delighted that you are inspired by her and that she is very present to you. May she always be a strong motivation in your life! Your reflection is inspiring for me too! Thank you.

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