The Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary has given The Catholic University of America School of Theology and Religious Studies (STRS) $5 million to establish an academic center that will conduct research and support the development of courses on the Carmelite charism of prayer and contemplation.

The gift marks the single largest donation in the history of STRS. It will fund the Center for Carmelite Studies, the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Endowed Chair, annual scholarship stipends for three doctoral students, and an annual lecture series. It also will ensure “a permanent bond between the Carmelites and Catholic University,” says Very Rev. Mark Morozowich, dean of theology and religious studies.

The center, which is scheduled to open in fall 2018, will become the 23rd research center at the University and the first for STRS. It will be the first research center sponsored by a religious order at Catholic University. The Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Endowed Chair will be the ninth endowed chair in STRS and the 30th universitywide. 

The Carmelites of the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, in allegiance to Jesus Christ, live in a prophetic and contemplative stance of prayer, common life, and service. The province, which is based in Darien, Ill., has 187 members in established ministries in Canada, the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, and Perú. The province maintains eight secondary schools, three retreat houses, 22 parishes, five houses of formation, and various residences for retired members or specialized ministry. Approximately 400 Carmelites in initial formation have studied at Catholic University since it was founded in 1887. Presently 15 are enrolled at the University.

Read the full press release.