Category Archives: news

Carmelites, Lent, and COVID-19

A message from the Carmelite Friars of the International College of St. John of the Cross in Rome. Brother Frank Sharma, OCD of the California-Arizona province, who is now studying in Italy, put this video together.

By Teresa Linda, ocds

When I dismissed my students on Friday, March 13 , two weeks before their official Spring Break was to begin, after the State Department of Education had asked that public school districts temporarily close their doors, none of us really understood what was ahead. Most half-expected that we would return one month later so we barely said good-bye to one another, not knowing that our future interactions would be online until virtually the close of the school year.

Even before COVID-19 really began to permeate the health of Bay Area residents, I could immediately see the effects it would have in my students’ families, who are primarily Hispanic. One parent told me that he held five jobs, but that he was asked to leave all of them – without pay. On the Monday following the weekend, each teacher was tasked with directly getting in touch with students, to make sure that at least, they knew of the local food banks that gave daily free meals away from public schools nearby.

My daughter, who goes to college in New York, came home for Spring Break, thinking that she would return in a couple of weeks. But within three days, she learned that her campus was closing and that she had to move out of her dorm. At 11:30 pm Monday, just minutes before shelter in place took effect in the Bay Area, she flew out to New York, piled her belongings in a rented car, and drove to the Philadelphia area to drop her belongings off at my parents home. She came back by Friday, just before New York restricted travel.

My Secular Discalced Carmelite Community was just preparing for our election of officers and looking forward to our May Ceremonies, when the ban on group meetings happened. There has been so much uncertainty that has happened in the last few weeks. Most painful for Catholics who hunger for the Eucharist is the ban on public gatherings around Sacrifice of the Mass. Fortunately, we are learning new ways to use technology to keep in touch, to pray together, and to continue to grow spiritually. I have listed some opportunities below.


The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

  • Evening Prayer LIVE: March 26-April 18, 5:30 PM daily
  • Morning Prayer & Holy Mass LIVE: March 26-April 18, 6:00 AM daily
  • Sunday Mass LIVE: March 29-April 5, 11:00 am


Upcoming important dates and links

Walk for Life 2019, San Francisco with the Carmelite Friars of Mount Saint Josephs Monastery, San Jose.

Meeting Place:
Millbrae BART Station
200 North Rollins Road
Millbrae, CA 94030

When: Saturday, January 26, 2019

Meeting Time:
11:00 AM sharp – Mt. St. Joseph Monastery
12:21 Train (12:55 AM arrival at Civic Center)

The walk officially starts at 1:30 PM. WFL San Francisco route Civic Center Plaza along Market Street (2miles) toward Justin Herman Plaza/Ferry Bld.

Please make sure to give yourself enough time to park and buy tickets at the BART Station. We will be dining at In/Out Burger in Milbrae following the Walk.

Questions? Please contact

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

have put together a beautiful Daily Examen here.


SAVE THE DATE: September 16 – The Beauty of Carmelite Prayer

A Day of Recollection
1000 Lincoln St., Santa Clara
Sunday, September 16, 2018

(Feel free to attend any part of the day which suits your Sunday schedule)

10:30am-11:30am – Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Celebrant: Father Robert Elias Barcelos, OCD
11:45am-12:45pm – Lunch
1:00-1:45pm – Conference 1, Father Robert Elias Barcelos, OCD
1:45-2:15pm – Silent Prayer/ Rest
2:15-3:00pm – Conference 2, Daughters of Carmel, Putri Karmel
3:00-3:30pm – Silent Prayer/ Rest
3:30-4:15pm – Conference 3, Daughters of Carmel, Putri Karmel
4:15-4:30pm – Prepare for Evening Prayer/Rest
4:30-5:00pm – Adoration, Evening Prayer, and Office of Readings with Santa Clara Monastery Discalced Carmelite Sisters

HOSTED BY: The Santa Clara Discalced Carmelite Seculars (OCDS) Community of the Infant Jesus. To RSVP or for more information please contact

The Discalced Carmelite Seculars are practicing members of the Catholic Church who, under the protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and inspired by St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross, have made the commitment to the Discalced Carmelite Order to seek the face of God for the sake of the church and the world. For information, go to

Free-will offering welcome at the entrance table

Feast Day: July 12, Saints Zélie and Louis Martin


PRAYER: God of eternal love, You give us Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérese, as an example of holiness in marriage. They remained faithful to you in all the duties and trials of life. They desired to raise their children to become saints. May their prayers and example help Christian family life blossom in our world today.

If it be Your will, grant me the grace I now ask of You, through the intercession of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, and through Jesus Christ,our Lord. Amen.

Did you know that The Family Reliquary of Saints Therése, Louis, and Zélie, located at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery, Philadelphia


Upcoming Lenten Retreats and more…

Sisters Aurelia, Theofila, Jacinta, and Salverina

MARCH 24-25,  2018: “The Shining Radiance of Prayer” is a two-day silent retreat for men and women. Saint Teresa of Avila said, “For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God, a personal conversation with someone who loves us.”

8:45 am, Saturday March 24 – 1:00 pm Sunday March 25. Silence will be maintained until lunch time, Sunday.

PRESENTERS: The Daughters of Carmel, who are rooted in the Carmelite Spirituality and are also open to the call of the Holy Spirit through the Charismatic Renewal.

The program will include: conferences on prayer, vocal prayer (rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet),  mental and contemplative prayer (the Jesus Prayer, nature meditation, adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, Scripture meditation), a prayer service and Palm Sunday Mass, and spiritual

More details will be given during Saturday check-in registration.

WHERE:  Vallombrosa Center
250 Oak Grove Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3218

COST: $155 (includes food and lodging)

 Here’s the flyer.



Live Free! An UNBOUND Seminar – 5 Keys to Freedom in Christ

WHEN: Saturday, March 17, 8:45am-5:00 pm

WHERE: Saint Dominic’s Catholic Church, 2390 Bush Street, San Francisco




Happy New Year 2018!!

Photo credit: Lorelei Low, OCDS, San Francisco

Make a New Year’s  tax-deductible donation today

NOTE: There will be no new posts until the beginning of February 2018 for we will need that time to line up more lay and secular essays, and to transcribe and edit audio conferences from our Carmelite Fathers.

If you have enjoyed and grown from The Speakroom in the last year, we encourage you to use the ‘donate‘ tab above to contribute to our efforts.

The Speakroom has been a completely volunteer effort and has relied on the generosity of individual volunteers. However, to keep the site sustainable and to grow  our capabilities, we anticipate the need to stipend some of the transcription, editing, and technical tasks.

Your tax-deductible contribution to Prophet Elijah Media, The Speakroom’s parent organization, will support production costs including transcription, web hosting, and other media editing tools and resources.

We hope that 2018 brings you many blessings, and that you will continue to experience spiritual growth and healing through The Speakroom

Teresa Linda, Editor and Santa Clara, California  OCDS Formation Director

Advent Evening of Meditative Prayer Friday, December 15, 2017

The Madonna Grove, St. Clare’s Retreat Center, Soquel, CA. Photo credit: Lorelei Low, ocds

Father Robert Barcelos, OCD and the Novices will be hosting an Advent Evening of Meditative Prayer and Worship with Candelight Eucharistic Adoration, chant, Taize, and sacred silence.


Mount St. Josephs Monastery  

12455 Clayton Road, San Jose, CA

WHEN: 7:30-9:00 pm, Friday December 15

All are welcome!

An Encounter with St. Thérèse – Retreat Day Registration

Saturday, November 11, 2017: An Encounter with St. Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin 

A Retreat Day offered by the Santa Clara Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites

Location: The Santa Clara Carmelite Monastery, 1000 Lincoln Street, Santa Clara, CA  95050.

When: Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Everyone is welcome!

Three conferences by Maureen O’Riordan of Philadelphia, Pa.,
curator of “
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: A Gateway

“Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, Lay Persons, Spouses, and Parents”

“A Map of Saint Thérèse’s Way of Confidence and Love”

“How Can We Love One Another? Saint Therese’s Practice of Sisterly Love in Her Carmelite Community”

Vigil Mass for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Fr. James Geoghegan, O.C.D. will preside

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided by the Santa Clara Discalced Secular Carmelite Community

Scroll all the way down and click on the orange button below to register for the Retreat Day at the Santa Clara Monastery on Saturday, November 11.  $20 donation requested


Sunday, November 12: “A Map of the Way of Confidence and Love of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Location: Mt. St. Josephs Monastery,  12455 Clayton Road, San Jose, CA 95127

When: Sunday, November 12, 3:00 pm. The conference and question and answer period will end before 5:00 p.m. You are welcome to stay for Evening Prayers and Benediction with the Carmelite Fathers and Seculars. No registration or tickets necessary for Sunday’s talk. Donations welcome at the event.

Click on the orange button below to register for the Retreat Day on Saturday, November 11 at the Santa Clara Monastery. $20 donation requested

Audios on the conferences and other talks by Father Robert Barcelos, OCD, Father James Geoghegan, OCD, and Maureen O’Riordan, will soon be available on for purchase.  

Fatima 100th, Consecration to Our Lady – October 7, 2017

1) To mark the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparitions at Fatima, Father Robert Barcelos will give a reflection, lead us in prayer, and consecrate our families and the Carmelite Monastery to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Please join the Carmelites in Adoration, a 15-decade Rosary Procession, and Consecration at Mount Saint Josephs Monastery (12455 Clayton Road, San Jose, CA) starting at 7:30 PM, Saturday,  October 7.  Bring a flashlight.

2) The San Francisco Archdiocese will also be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Archbishop Cordileone on October 7 at 9:00 AM at Saint Mary’s Cathedral. Click here for more details.