Discalced Carmelites of the Australia Oceania Region


Mary, Mother of Divine Grace Group

This group in Launceston, Tasmania, meets on the second Sunday of each month.  If you are interested in finding out more about this community please contact Sandra Walkling. It is the newest group in Australia and continues to grow.


April 2012, from left to right : Robert, Helen, Patrick, Michael, Brian, Sandra and Fr Greg (the Regional Delegate visiting from Varroville.) Meriam was not present at the time of this photo but is pictured below.



An expanding community

At the monthly meeting on 15th April 2012, Fr Greg Burke ocd received into the Carmelite Order, and into the Launceston community, two new members. Their names are Brian and Michael. At the meeting the following month, on Sunday 13th May, Fr Mark received another member, Meriam. Meriam, along with Sandra and Helen, was fortunate to be able to attend the National Congress held in Sydney in March this year.

Fr Mark is the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Hobart. The photo was taken in the main parlour of the Launceston Carmelite Monastery, which is where the community holds their meetings at present, with the grill behind them.


Annual Retreat

Each year the community takes time out for a weekend retreat on Carmelite Spirituality at the Emmanuel Centre, Launceston. In October 2011 the retreat took a reflective look at the writing of the Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Jesus. In November 2010,  Fr Tadgh Tierney, Carmelite Friar from the Sydney parish of Corpus Christi, St Ives, helped us to spend a quiet reflective weekend in the company of our Carmelite Saints as we looked at how we can deepen our relationship with God through our prayer life.


Mini World Youth Day  - August 2010

With one year to go until World Youth Day in Madrid, in 2011, the Carmelites in Launceston participated in a local promotion.


Saturday 21st August marked one year before the pilgrimage to Spain for World Youth Day in 2011. To help celebrate this occasion a mini World Youth Day was set up in Launceston, Tasmania for the Hobart Archdiocese. The day included catechesis, workshops, meeting with other young people from around the state, bands and an expo. The day concluded with the celebration of Mass.
The Carmelite Order was invited to be part of the day and given the opportunity to set up a stall for the Expo showcasing the different areas in the Carmelite family. Sandra and Helen, (pictured) two Secular Carmelites, represented the Carmelite family and provided brochures, cards and presentations to illustrate the charism of the Order.


A New Chapter: Definitive Promises made

Sunday 26th October, 2008 marked a new chapter in the history of Mary, Mother of Divine Grace Secular Order Community in Launceston, Tasmania. This youngest community in Australia saw its first two members make their Definitive Promise and another make his first Promise. (pictured below in the Chapel of the Launceston Carmelite Monastery) 


These promises were made during a Liturgy of the Word which was conducted by Fr Paul Maunder ocd, Regional Delegate for the Secular Order, as the Celebrant. It was held in the Carmelite Monastery at Launceston with the Carmelite nuns also being present to complement our Carmelite family and to provide the music and assist in the singing.

Sandra Walkling ocds, the formator, presented Helen and Robert who made their Definitive Promise along with Patrick Harvey who made his First Promise individually to Fr Paul Maunder where they each made their Promise before him in turn. Each member was then presented with a symbol to mark the occasion and to carry with them on their continued journey in Carmel.

Other family members and friends were also present during the ceremony to join us in this wonderful event.

First new members received

The Ceremony to receive the first new members of this group was held at the Carmelite Monastery on Sunday 30th November, 2003 with celebrant, Fr Des Williamson, OCD. Robert Archer and Helen Fisher were the candidates received. Present also were the Carmelite Community of Nuns, Sandra Walkling OCDS and Don and Brenda McIntyre OCDS who are Special Members of the Sydney Community.

Robert and Helen took the next step and made their First Promise on 20th November, 2005 during a weekend Retreat at the Emmanuel Centre, Launceston with Fr Aloysius Rego OCD as the celebrant and Sandra Walkling OCDS the Formator.

 A short history

The history of this group begins back in 2002 when Sandra Walkling OCDS, originally a member of the Community of St Elijah, Varroville, NSW, was asked by Fr Des Williamson OCD, to look at setting up a new Community in Launceston with the support from the Carmelite Monastery of nuns here. She invited seven people from the parish to be part of the discernment programme which was based on talks given by Fr Aloysius Deeney OCD. The group met once a month with prayer, meditation and discussion on the papers presented. Out of this original group of seven, two felt that they could have a vocation and asked to be received into the Secular Carmelite Order.