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Vocations Ministry

Brothers' Stories

How does it feel to be a Carmelite today? Click on the images or names below to access each story. You can also watch video interviews with some of the friars by visiting the Friars Speak page.

Kevin Alban

Kevin Alban
Kevin joined the Carmelites following a career in communications. He belongs to the British Province but currently serves as a member of the General Council of the Order based in Rome where his gift for languages has great scope. He has a particular interest in history and completed a doctorate on the role the Carmelites played in England during the Middle Ages. As Bursar General of the Order he travels the globe to support the Carmelite Family in its many ministries.

Joseph Chalmers

Joseph Chalmers
Joseph studied law at Glasgow and worked as a lawyer before hearing God's call for him to become a friar. His ministry focussed on spirituality and retreat giving before he was elected first as Prior Provincial of the British Province and then Prior General of the whole Order. After 12 years as Prior General he returned to ministry in Britain. He is a well-known author and Director of Novices at Aylesford Priory in Kent. He is a passionate supporter of Celtic football club.

Brendan Grady

Brendan Grady
During his time as a Carmelite Brendan has lived in a number of communities and served in a variety of ministries from being a priest in inner-city London to vocations director and then novice director for the province. Work he did to enable renewal in Lay Carmel still bears fruit. He is presently Prior of the Carmelite friar community at Aylesford Priory in Kent.

Tony Lester

Tony Lester
Tony comes from Lancashire. As well as working in a Carmelite parish he has been a youth worker, retreat-giver, and prior provincial (senior brother) of the Carmelites in Britain. He has a particular interest in outreach work to those at the edges who feel excluded from the 'mainstream' of the church. He also works occasionally as a simultaneous translator at meetings of the Order. He is Catholic Chaplain at the University of York and Prior of the friar community in York.

Wilfrid McGreal

Wilfrid McGreal
Wilfrid is a well-known broadcaster and writer on religious and social affairs and is very involved in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. He has spent much of his Carmelite life in Kent where he has been prior of The Friars at Aylesford, one of the ancient houses of the Order and prior and parish priest of nearby Faversham where the friars also care for the Shrine of Saint Jude. He is currently Prior Provincial (senior brother) of the British Province.

Kevin Melody

Kevin Melody
Since joining the Carmelites in 1997 Kevin has studied at the Missionary Institute in London and at Heythrop College where he completed an M.A. in spirituality. Since solemn profession and ordination he has been a member of the Carmelite community and in ministry at English Martyrs, Walworth, a busy inner-city parish, where he is now prior. He has also been chaplain to the Irish Traveller communities in Southwark Diocese. He is Mission Promoter in the British Province.

Pat O'Keeffe

Pat O'Keeffe
Pat's background is in education and sport where he maintains a strong interest. He loves travel, and spent some of his time as a friar in Australia. He has been a member of the Carmelite communities in Aberdeen, Cheltenham, and Walworth, South London. As well as teaching he has been parish priest and university chaplain. He is currently Catholic Chaplain at York District Hospital. He loves all types of world cuisine … except cheese!

Ben Reney

Ben Reney
From a family of Galway boat builders, like so many others of his generation Ben came to England as a young man in search of work. A chance visit with friends to Aylesford Priory and a meeting with hearing one of the community preach raised questions for him about what he was doing with his life. Brother Ben died peacefully in 2008; before his death, looking back on over 50 years of religious life, he was able to say "God has been very good to me. I've no regrets."

Ged Walsh

Ged Walsh
Prior to entering the Carmelite Order in 2005 Ged worked as a senior radiographer in a busy Liverpool hospital having qualified at Birmingham University. Having completed his noviciate at Aylesford Priory and making his simple profession of vows Ged studied theology at The Milltown Institute in Dublin. He is a member of the Carmelite Community in York where he assists in chaplaincy work at the University of York and York Hospital.