Sister Lawrence Habetz, O.Carm. heads order’s new leadership team
The Sisters of Mount Carmel celebrated the installation of their new leadership at a Eucharistic Liturgy April 27 at Mount Carmel Academy’s Assembly Center. Sister Lawrence Habetz, O. Carm. was installed as president; Sister Maria Sheila Undang, O. Carm., assistant; Sisters Paula Marie Derise, Kathleen Farrelly, and Mary Ellen Wheelahan councilors.
Rev. John Payne presided and gave the homily. Mount Carmel Academy’s Michelle Richards and “Celebration” provided the music. Sister Elizabeth Fitzpatrick presided over the Installation ritual. Sister Lawrence delivered the President’s address after the liturgy. A reception followed in the Assembly Center. P.J. Ciaccio coordinated the reception. Family and friends of the sisters attended.
Prior to the installation Sister Lawrence Habetz taught for 52 years and currently serves as Instructional Lab Teacher and Junior High Math Coordinator at Brother Martin High School and President of Carmelite Ministries, Inc. (Cub Corner Preschool), New Orleans, LA. Sister Maria Sheila Undang currently serves as Regional Treasurer of the Sisters of Mount Carmel, Administrative Assistant and Treasurer of the Sisters of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Quezon City, Philippines, and formator for the junior professed sisters. Sister Paula Marie Derise is Director of Religious Education at St. Angela Merici, Metairie, LA. Sister Kathleen Farrelly resides in Lafayette, LA and ministers in counseling and spiritual direction; she is the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Lafayette, a member of the Lafayette Diocesan Pastoral Council and Co-Vocation Director for the congregation. Sister Mary Ellen Wheelahan serves as the Safe Environment Coordinator for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
The Sisters of Mount Carmel crossed the waters to come to Louisiana from France in 1833. In 1962 they began a foreign mission in the Philippines. They currently serve in Louisiana, Illinois, and the Philippines. Their ministries include prayer, service and hospitality, education, child care, health care, parish work, prison, retreat, art, social justice, Lay Carmelite, out-reach ministries and congregation service.
In 2001, the Congregation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel received approval from the United Nations as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) associated with the Department of Public Information (DPI). This NGO status gives Carmelites a platform to influence international issues with a Carmelite perspective regarding justice and peace.
In 2008, the Sisters of Mount Carmel celebrated their 175th anniversary of the establishment of the Congregation in the United States.
As a directive from their 35th General Chapter in January, two Sisters from the Philippines will open a new mission in East Timor, crossing waters to spread Carmelite Spirituality.