History of the Columbus Community

In the diocese of Columbus, Ohio, the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites began in 1947 at the Monastery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 20 Latta Ave., through the efforts of a woman named Viola Grimm, a Secular Order member who had previously been attended meetings out of town (Toledo, Ohio) due to the lack of a local community. The Ordinary of Columbus, Bishop Ready, who had himself been a Secular Order Carmelite when stationed in Washington, D.C., invited a group of Carmelite nuns from the convent at Loretto, PA, to establish a convent in Columbus. They matriculated on September,12, 1947.

At the same time Bishop Ready established the Carmelite nuns in Columbus, Grimm began the Secular Order community with her husband, Arthur. Some of the early members of the community were: Ruth Kline (dec.), Joseph Asbevk, Bob Sprague, Margaret Duffy, and Anne and Joseph Goode. The Columbus Secular Order Community was canonically established in 1948, according to records available at the office of the Provincial Delegate, Father Patrick Farrell, O.C.D., Holy Hill, Hubertus, Wisconsin.

The first spiritual director for the Tertiaries was Fr. Sabrey, a Columbus diocesan priest serving at St. Charles Borromeo pre-seminary. Fr. Sabrey made his own profession as a Third Order member in the late 1940's at the hands of then Father General Silverio, O.C.D. during one of Father General's visits to the Latta Ave. monastery from Rome, Italy. Fr. Sabrey, O.C.D.S., was spiritual director of the Third Order for seven years.

The second spiritual director (Provincial Assistant) for the Columbus Secular Order was Fr. Phillip Foley, O.C.D., from Holy Hill, Wisconsin. For years he came faithfully to assist the Third Order community at their monthly meetings at the new home of the Carmelite sisters (Second Order), Barton Place, which was established in 1950. Upon his death in 1962, Fr. Foley was replaced by Fr. William Healy, O.C.D. In the 1980's Fr. Healy was replaced by Fr. Patrick Farrell, who was himself replaced again by Fr. Healy (upon Fr. Farrell's appointment to the Provincial Delegacy) in 1990.

Most of the above information was obtained from the recollections of two of the nuns of the original convent in Columbus.

The current location of the Columbus Secular Order community meetings is at St. Patrick Church, (614) 224-9522, 376 E Naghten St., Columbus, OH 43215 (see first page for link). Our current president is Janet Baird. Prior presidents include: Barbara Chellis, John Myron, Margaret Duffy and Ruth Kline. The community currently consists of about 110 aspirants, novices, temporary and perpetually professed. We are in the process of establishing a community library and archives.