TODAY: Mass with Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC (Pittsburg, CA)

If you are in the Bay Area, please check out this special event — an evening on heaven’s messages for our times.


Mass 7PM followed by presentation.
Prayer with the Divine Mercy Chaplet
Blessing with a 1st class relic of St. Faustina

Church of the Good Shepherd
3200 Harbor Street
Pittsburg, CA 94565

Celebrant and Featured Speaker: Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC.
For over 20 years, Fr. Seraphim served as Vice-Postulator for North America in the Canonization Cause of St. M. Faustina. He was directly instrumental in the publication of the very first edition in the original Polish language of her now world-famous Diary. He also was a first-hand witness of the miracle attributed to Sister Faustina’s intercession that opened the way for her being declared “Blessed” in 1993, and he coordinated the efforts that served to verify that miracle as well as a second one that led her to be declared a “Saint” in 2000. In October 1995, Fr. Seraphim was assigned to full-time promotion of The Divine Mercy message and devotion, participating in Divine Mercy retreats, conferences, and symposia. He is also a familiar face on EWTN.

Download the event flyer here (PDF):  Father Seraphim Michalenko event flyer

August News

Carmelite House of Prayer, Oakville – 39th Annual Benefit Dinner & Auction

WHEN: Sunday September 10, 2017, 2-6 pm
WHAT: $50 Individual Ticket – Buffet Style Dinner (BBQ Tri-tip & Chicken, Side Dishes & Wine Cakes, Napa Valley Wines)
RSVP: by September 1 to Carmelite Benefit, PO Box 347 Oakville CA 94562

Carmelites Welcome 10 new nuns to monastery

This summer, during my recent trip to the Philadelphia, I was fortunate enough to attend a Solemn Extraordinary Mass welcoming Carmelite nuns  into the Philadelphia Monastery (click on the link above for the write-up).

Very few people know that the Philadelphia Carmel was largely responsible for spreading the devotion to Saint Therese throughout the world.  For more online scholarship on the Philadelphia Carmel and St Therese, visit Maureen’ O’Riordan’s blog.

Intercessory Prayer Hour Conference Call:

Please join Respect Life for this prayer hour for all matters pro-life.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 9th at 9 AM (Pacific time)
CALL: (515) 739-1515
ACCESS CODE: 908105#

The hour consists of prayer, devotion, petitions, and a rosary. Simply dial in at the date and time. Feel free to invite family and friends. If you have petitions that you want included during the hour, submit the petitions to by Tuesday, August 8th.


Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

WHEN: December 8-13, 2017
HOW: Click here for registration materials

Ugandan Pilgrimage

WHEN: October 24-November 7, 2017
CHAPLAIN: Father Stephen Watson, OCD
HOW: Click here for registration materials

Other Pilgrimages can also be found on  Syversen Touring, the tour company who organized my recent trip to Fatima, Portugal.



May Carmelite Events

  1. Friday, May 12 – Deadline to register for  the 100th Year FATIMA Pilgrimage (Portugal, Spain, France and Italy) led by two beloved Carmelite Friars, one very seasoned, 30-year Friar, Fr. Jan Lundberg, OCD, presently Uganda’s Mission Postulant Formator. The second Friar is soon to be Fr. Augustine Sunday, OCD (July 8th Priestly Ordination in Mission Uganda). Click here for registration information.

2) May 5-7, Vocations Vigil, Santa Clara Monastery(Click on the image for more information)

2) Saturday, May 21, 1 -5 PM. Mount Saint Joseph’s Monastery – Auction to support the vocations for Discalced Carmelite Fathers,  Club Auto Sport,  San Jose, CA. For more information contact Mount Saint Joseph Monastery (408) 251-1361. You can listen to a vocation story here, by Brother Mathhias.



The Feast of Saint Joseph

Brothers clothed on the Vigil of the Solemnity of St. Joseph

Photo Credit: Father James Geoghegan, OCD

On March 18, 2017  the Carmelite community of Mount St. Joseph in San Jose, CA clothed four postulants with the Carmelite habit.  These novices now have begun their year-long novitiate as new Carmelite brothers in the Province.

In the picture above from left to right: Bro. Colin Livingston, Bro. Matthew Knight, Bro. Frank Sharma and Bro. Dustin Vu.

We ask you to keep all these men in your prayers, as well as our other friars in formation.

Saint Joseph and Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Josephs Convent, Avila Spain. Photo Credit:

Known in Avila as “El Convento de las Madres,” this convent is particularly important because it was the first foundation of Santa Teresa in spreading the reform of the Carmelite Order. It dates from August 24, 1562, Saint Bartholomew’s Feast Day and was dedicated to Saint Joseph, to whom Santa Teresa was particularly devoted. On the façade is the image of Saint Joseph with Baby Jesus by Giraldo Merlo, a gift from Felipe III.

The current church is the work of Francisco Mora, who built it between 1607-1610 at his own expense, as an expression of thanks and favours received through the mediation of Saint Teresa. It rises above the humble houses that formed that first convent, built on land first acquired by her sister Juana and assisted by her brother Lorenzo.

The convent is still occupied by cloistered nuns who follow the rules of Our Holy Mother.   (Source: Avila Tourist Information, August 2015)

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday May 21, 2017.

57th Annual Benefit Dinner and Auction. Discalced Carmelite Friars, Mount St. Joseph Monastery. For more information, contact

Pray with Carmelites


Clouds over SF Bay
Clouds over SF Bay

RETREATS/TALKS with Father Robert Barcelos, OCD

March 9 – 6:45-9:00 pm at Our Lady of Refuge in San Jose – talks in Spanish* on Spiritual Discernment

March 11 – from 9:00 am-4:00 pm at San Jose Cathedral 2nd floor: Day of Recollection on Crossing the Threshold of Hope amidst Cultural Conflict.  Register here. (March 8 deadline)

March 25 Youth Ministers and Core Team Day Retreat.  Talk on Trust at 3pm followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (location: TBA, San Jose Diocese)

April 1-5 – Parish Mission at Sacred Heart Church in Red Bluff, CA.

April 22 –  St. Mary’s Church in Gilroy, CA – all day Women’s Charismatic Retreat in Spanish*

May 13 – church in Modesto, Shalom Revival in honor of Our Lady of Fatima 100th Anniversary (location-TBA)

July 1 &2, 5:00pm-7:oo pm, Parish Mission at St. Margaret Mary Church in Tucson, AZ


June 7-14, 2017 – Fatima-Portugal Pilgrimage. Chaplain: Father Robert Barcelos, OCD. Registration information.

September 12-27, 2017 – Portugal, Spain, France, Italy Pilgrimage. Chaplain: Father Jan Lundberg, OCD & Brother Augustine Sunday, OCD from Uganda. Registration information.

December 8-13, 2017 – OLG-MEX Feast Day Pilgrimage. Chaplains (tentative): Father Stephen Watson, OCD;  Father Thomas Reeves, OCD. Registration information.

October 16-30, 2018 – Mount Sinai and the Holy Land. Chaplain: Father Robert Barcelos, OCD. Registration information.


Ash Wednesday March 1- April 7 – (40 Days for Life) Take on Tuesdays for Life at Saint Leo the Great, San Jose California.  To participate, please call Maryann at (408-984-4721) or contact Father Marcelo at St. Leo.



Father Michael Buckley

Father Michael Buckley, OCD

Burial Service Mt. St. Joseph 12 29-2016

Note: Please also read the Provincial Obsequial Letter from Father Stephen Watson

By Father James Geoghegan, OCD: In this holy season we recall the circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ and we are painfully aware of the tragedy of civil war in the Middle East and the sufferings of refugees. It is appropriate to think of these as we bid farewell to Father Michael. In November on the occasion of his 96th birthday he wrote to me, “I think at this time always of the rough ride my mom made, on the run, to save her little boy from the Tans [Irish Royal Special Reserve] in Tournafulla. And my birth within an hour or two as she just reached the sanctuary of her brother’s home in Castle Island.” It was during the Irish War of Independence in 1920. Fr. Michael’s father was hiding from the British Army and his mother got a horse and cart and set out for her brother’s home to avoid harassment. A couple of hours after her arrival she gave birth to Michael.

Three years later in the tragic civil war in Ireland there was disruption again. Fr. Michael’s father, Patrick Buckley was taken prisoner by the government forces and murdered, leaving behind a very young family of which Michael was the baby. In a new book, the Irish historian Tim Pat Coogan tells of this tragedy and how the government “in a mean spirited and ungenerous approach” then refused to give any compensation or help to the widow and children of Patrick Buckley. Coogan’s father, a high ranking officer in the government police force said of the family “they have no visible means of obtaining a livelihood.”

That was the beginning of Fr. Michael’s life. When he was 3 his mother sent him to school with the other children of the family. I remember Fr. Michael’s mother when she visited the seminary when Fr. Michael was our teacher. She was described by one of the priest’s as like Our Lady of Sorrows. Kitty Scholl of Napa, who grew up in Castle Island, said that her mother described Mrs Buckley as “so kind and gentle that you could go to confession to her.” I think we have enough evidence to know how difficult was Fr. Michael’s childhood. Recently, he told me that he had no bitterness in his heart and that time had healed the divisions of the country. He was a brilliant student and received an excellent education. He studied in the National University of Ireland and in the Carmelite Seminary in Dublin

After ordination, he was sent to Rome where at the Angelicum and the Biblicum, he received degrees in Theology and Sacred Scripture. He spoke fluently English, Irish, Latin, Italian, Spanish and could read Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and French. Always interested in sports, he played soccer for the university team. One of the other players was a young Polish seminarian called Carol Wojtyla later known as Pope John Paul II.

After Studies in Rome, he returned to Dublin as professor of Scripture. Some of us here had the privilege of studying under him He was so clear and a marvelous teacher. Over 60 years later, I attended one of the classes in Oakville. At 95 he was as clear as ever. He loved the Scriptures, they were the living presence of Christ. He loved to teach, he loved to share.

He went as a missionary to India where he taught in the major seminary at Alwaye. While there he was involved in ecumenical work. Eventually he came to California where he was elected Major superior. During his time, we Carmelites founded a house in Washington State. Because of his success here, he was then elected Provincial Superior of the Anglo Irish Province, which at that time embraced Ireland, England, United States, Australia, and the Philippines. At the end of that service he returned to California. When Fr. David Costello went to Africa Fr. Michael took his place as superior of our House of Prayer in Oakville.

Stationed here in San Jose he was in charge of the Carmelite Secular Order for eleven years. Wherever he was stationed he made a big impact because of his intelligence and his quiet holiness. He cooperated with the Central Office in Rome on various projects and of course was always a brilliant contributor to issues affecting us here in the Western Province. He was a free man, unafraid of anyone or any idea. In fact, he was the burr under the saddle of our Provincials always reminding them to fulfill the tasks assigned by the Provincial Chapters.

In his later years he led a quieter life, always interested in Ireland and its football teams, and always a perfect example of Christian kindness. A man of prayer and study, he was a wonderful confessor, preacher, writer and lecturer, and ever a contributing member of his religious community. Toward the end he suffered partial paralysis of his face and blind in one eye. He wrote to me, “Well praise God for his testing: because a good share of that now and it’s hard to smile with a paralyzed face. But a share of smiling goes on inside, I believe.” He kept going, still teaching class and sharing in the work of the monastery.

A man of his word and of The Word he loved the Bible and literature in general. He loved poetry, especially Newman’s

lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom
lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
the distant scene – one step enough for me.


Twilight and evening bell,
and after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

And Robert Louis Stephens epitaph.
This be the verse you grave for me
Here he lies where he longed to be :
Home is the sailor , home from the sea,
and the hunter home from the hill

I think that his favorite passage from literature was a section from Uncle Tom’s Cabin that describes the death of Eva the young girl and friend of Tom. 40 years ago he wrote it out for me.” In that book (Bible) which Eva and her old friend (Tom)had read so much together, she had seen and taken to her young heart the image of one who loved the little child: and as she gazed and mused, He had ceased to be an image and a picture of the distant past, and come to be a living all- surrounding reality. His love enfolded her childish heart with more than mortal tenderness; and it was to Him, she said,she was now going, and to His home”

That too could be a description of Fr. Michael’s death. He died peacefully like a little child and went home to the one whom he had studied and loved for so long.

Michael is now at home joining his beloved mother and meeting the father he did not remember and could say in the recent words of an Irish poet Paul Durcan –

“and now I put the key for the first time into the door of my father’s house.”

Announcement: History of Christianity lecture series by Father Jose Luis Ferroni, OCD

History of Christianity Lecture Series.

What: Father Jose Luis Ferroni, OCD will be  giving a series of personal enrichment talks that will be open for all adults 18 and over.

The 7.5 hour course  will introduce a wide exposition of the History of Christian Spirituality from the first centuries after the death of Jesus Christ through the Medieval Ages, the 16th century, Enlightenment and Contemporary Spirituality. The course is geared so that the participant is able to recognize the human evolution and the development of Christian Spirituality in order to better understand and interpret Christianity within its context of Spirituality.

Where: Mount Pleasant High School, Main Building, Room 201, 1750 South White Rd., San Jose, CA 95127

When: Tuesday and Thursday 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, January 17, 2017 until January 31, 2017. Registration deadline: January 13, 2017.

How: To sign up for this course send your request by the deadline. No Tuition fee – the mini-course is free of charge

At the end of the course, a Certificate of Course Completion will be awarded by the Carmelite Institute of Spirituality of the California-Arizona Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Stanwood, Washington

What to expect:

Content: 1. First Centuries of Christianity 2. First and Second Part of the Medieval Age. 3. Spirituality of the 16th and 17th centuries. 4. Enlightenment and Contemporary Spirituality.

Method: The course is divided into two parts, instruction form and some independent reading material as reference to accompany or complement the topic or particular theme.

Instructor: Jose Luis Ferroni, O.C.D., a Carmelite priest, was a professor in Rome and in Avila, Spain and is now residing at Mt. St. Joseph Carmelite Monastery in San Jose, CA. He holds a M.A. in Theology, Baccalaureate and Licentiate in Church History from the Gregorian University in Rome and is presently completing his doctorate in the same field.