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Apr 22 - Apr 29, 2014

Mount Carmel Niagara Appoints New Spiritual Leader

April 22, 2014

Last week, the Monastery of Mount Carmel in Niagara Falls, Ont.,, announced the appointment of Father Michael Wastag, O. Carm., as the new director of spiritual programs, following the retirement of Father Stanley Makacinas, O. Carm., who served as director of the Monastery since 2006.

Established in 1875, The Monastery of Mount Carmel Niagara Falls is governed by a Board of Trustees made up of members of the Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

The Monastery of Mount Carmel Niagara Falls offers various programs and private retreats where guests can stay and live among the monks.

Prior to arriving at The Monastery in July, Father Michael served from 2004 until 2012 at Carmel Retreat in Mahwah, N. J. From there he spent one year serving in parish work at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tenafly, N. J.

The Carmelites are a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel. Saint Bertold is believed to have founded the order and tradition traces the origin to a community of mendicant monks or hermits who had immigrated to Palestine from Europe. They chose Mount Carmel because it was the traditional home of Elijah. There, they gathered at the well of Elijah on Mount Carmel and were the successors of the schools of the prophets in ancient Israel.

The order emphasizes contemplation and selfless action. Carmelites practice prayer, community and service; the prophet Elijah and the Virgin Mary are patrons of the Order.

The Order has a strong Marian devotion.

Traditionally, the Carmelites are known for strict obedience to their prior residence in individual cells, constancy in prayer, the hearing of Mass every morning in the oratory of the community, vows of poverty and toil, daily silence from vespers until terce the next morning, abstinence from meat except in cases of illness, and frequent fasting.

The Monastery of Mount Carmel of Niagara Falls.

By 2001, membership in the Order amounted to approximately 2,100 monks in 25 provinces, 700 enclosed nuns in 70 monasteries, and 13 affiliated Congregations and Institutes.

The writings and teachings of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, a Carmelite friar of the 17th century, continue to be promoted as a spiritual classic under the title, "The Practice of the Presence of God."

Currently there are several programs offered under Father Michael's direction at the Monastery, including "Desert Wednesdays with Father Michael" and "Who wants to bea Mystic?" He also leads courses such as "Fifty Ways to Pray," "Where the Heck is God," and "A Sunday Night Dinner and Movie Series."

Father Jay Comerford, O.Carm., Father Chris Kulig, O.Carm., and others also present courses and classes, as well as a 12-step spirituality program for women and directed private retreats. Offerings such as "Touching the Hem of Jesus Christ" or "A Holy Week Sacred Triduum Retreat, are among the programs offered at theMonastery.

The monks invite "anyone looking for a spiritual and refreshing break in life" to visit Mount Carmel. For further information on The Monastery of Mount Carmel, in Niagara Falls, Ont.,, contact the Centre online at or through their office at 905 356-4113.

St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) and St. Teresa of Avila 1515-1582, were noted Carmelites
Father Michael Watsag





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