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Formation course on St. John of the Cross
30 June 2012

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For a week in the second half of June, a formation course on the life and teachings of the sixteenth-century Carmelite friar and mystic St. John of the Cross was held at Aylesford Priory in Kent.

The course was organised as part of the formation programme for the three novice friars from Poland, Germany and Malta spending their year-long novitiate in the British Province. The course was open to other friars - especially those in initial formation as simply professed - as well as Province co-workers from the wider Carmelite Family. Religious and laity, from both the 'Ancient' and 'Discalced' Observances of the Carmelite Order took part.

The course took place over a few days in the beautiful surroundings of Aylesford Priory.

The speaker was Fr. Matthew Blake, a Discalced Carmelite friar who has extensive knowledge of Carmel in Spain at the time when St. Teresa of Avila's reform and renewal of the Order was being supported by St. John of the Cross.


Fr. Matt Blake, O.C.D., speaking to fellow Carmelites at Aylesford.


Carmelites in concentrating mode!


The course participants gathered at the main shrine in Aylesford.


Photography: Kevin Melody, O.Carm.