Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada ~ Carmel of St. Joseph

Our Carmel was founded by the community in Macau, China.

Here is a little of our history:

The Carmel of Macau, South China, was founded from the Carmel of Hong Kong which originated from the Carmel of St. Michiels, Brugge, Belgium. On March 21, 1931, Mother Therese (Delameillevre) and her companions left Brugge to found the first Carmel in Canton, South China but this Carmel soon transferred to Hong Kong and was canonically established in August 1933. The Bishop, (later Cardinal) da Costa Nunes, of Macau had brought from Rome the Indult of Foundation dated Oct. 16, 1940, giving the Bishop of Hong Kong permission to send nuns to make a foundation in Macau. Eight sisters were chosen, the Prioress was Mother Marie Therese (Neirynck) originally from the Carmel in Belgium. The first Mass was celebrated on October 23, 1941 and thus became the Carmelo do Bom Jesus.

In 1967, due to the Cultural Revolution, the Sisters from Belgium were asked to return but they refused saying that it was the Chinese Nuns who were in danger. The Belgium Government immediately paid for the whole community to go to Belgium. They stayed in Brugge Carmel for almost two years, then it was safe enough to return to Macau.

However, due to the uncertain future of their growth and viability in South China, Mother Teresa (Fox) of Jesus, originally from Great Britain, being a woman of wisdom, discernment and with unlimited energy, sought and obtained permission to close the Carmelite Monastery in Macau. The Archbishop of Edmonton, Alberta, Most Rev. Joseph MacNeil, welcomed them wholeheartedly into the Archdiocese. Certainly Divine Providence was at work in having all the Sisters arrive safely in Canada in 1991.

After almost two years of enjoying a full Carmelite life in the Carmel in Montreal, Quebec, the Sisters were able to move to their newly built monastery in the rural area of Spruce Grove, Alberta. Our first Mass was celebrated on May 31, 1993.

Here we are now, under the protection of St. Joseph, living as best we can as true daughters of Our Holy Mother, St. Teresa of Avila. Our Carmelite daily schedule is arranged in such a way as to give priority to this witness of prayer – “frequently conversing with the One Who we know loves us” (St. Teresa of Avila). During our two periods of recreation, in a relaxed atmosphere, we enjoy each other’s company and either work together in the garden or do simple work that doesn’t stop the flow of conversation.

A call to Carmel is an invitation to Divine Intimacy. We live our life in the sacred place of our enclosure, so as to foster the full gift of self to God in contemplative prayer. Everything in our life is directed in ‘seeking the Face of God.’

In joy we shout in silence that God exists and He is our All, and we are all His!

Contact Spruce Grove Carmel


Monastery of St. Joseph 12, 51222 Rge Road 270Spruce Grove, AB T7Y 1G7Canada780 963 3380