The nuns had come at the invitation of Father Ignatius Matthews, S.J., brother of the first Prioress, Mother Bernadina Matthews. The sub-prioress was Mother Clare Joseph Dickenson who became Prioress on the death of Mother Bernadina in 1800. Her successful administration until her death, March 27, 1830, won for her, in the estimation of the Carmelite Order, the title of Co-foundress. In 1831, Mother Angela (Mary Anne Mudd), the last Prioress at Port Tobacco had the sad responsibility of moving the nuns to Baltimore.

A Time of Change
After 100 years, the original Mount Carmel Monastery had almost disappeared. At the time when Archbishop Whitefield transferred the community to Baltimore, the Mount Carmel farm was sold to Edward Sanders.

Arriving in Baltimore, the nuns went directly to the Archiepiscopal residence on Franklin Street where Archbishop Whitfield received them most kindly.

Aided by the Sisters of Charity, they opened a Carmelite school for girls in the 200 block of Aisquith Street. Bishop Carroll had obtained permission from the Pope to allow the Sisters to teach. They remained here for 40 years, when in 1873 they removed to their Carmel on Caroline and Biddle Streets. From it seven other Carmels were founded, and from these at least 35 more, all in the United States. In 1961, they moved to their present Carmel in the Dulaney Valley, Baltimore, Maryland. 

After many years absence, the Carmelites returned to Mount Carmel in 1976, where they continue their prayers and holy works.

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THE NUNS TODAY 
























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This website's purpose is to provide a historical resource to the general public. Data, photos, etc. have been gleaned from both private and public sources. Material from private sources is copy righted and may not be used without the written consent of the owner.
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History

The Nuns Today

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HISTORY 
The Carmelite Nuns Come To America
In 1754, Ann Matthews, a descendant of one of the first families in Maryland, in religion Sister Bernadina Teresa Xavier of St. Joseph, left her home, Mt. Airy, in Charles County to answer the call to the cloister in Hoogstraten, Belgium. She was soon joined by her two nieces, Ann Teresa and Susanna Matthews. In 1790 they, accompanied by an English woman, Sister Clare Joseph Dickenson, quietly took ship and sailed for America to establish a monastery.

Sailing from Antwerp, May 1, 1790, they reached New York July 2, 1790, accompanied by Father Charles Neale, S.J. their spiritual director. On July 4th they left New York and reached Brentfield, opposite St. Thomas Manor, landing 5 o'clock in the morning of the 10th. They proceeded to the home of Mr. Robert Brent where Father Neale celebrated Mass.

The nuns next went to the home of Ignatius Matthews where they remained eight days, when they removed to Chandler's Hope, the paternal estate of Father Charles Neale. This property, lacking the seclusion suitable for a sanctuary, Father Neale exchanged it for a tract of land of 860 acres, known as Durham, owned by Baker Brooke, and about three miles north of Port Tobacco.

On this land, now known as Mount Carmel, the buildings more suitable to the needs of a cloistered Order were completed. On October 15, the feast of the Carmelite foundress, St. Teresa, the nuns canonically established in the permanent monastery.
Main Rooms of the Old Monastery
Photos from "Who Remember Long" A History of 
Port Tobacco Carmel. Copy right 1984 Carmel of 
Port Tobacco, MD.
(Above) The Nuns of Carmel of Port Tobacco, MD
Front Row: Mother Virginia Marie, Prioress; Sisters Anne, Bernadette, Susannah, Maria Goretti, Corazon, Ana, and Mary Joseph and their Australian Shephard Kabba.
Back row - Sisters Madeline, John, Luciana, Marie Bernadina, Dorota, Clare Joseph, and Teresa Benedicta.

(Right) few of the nuns enjoying "Heaven on Earth."
Photos Courtesy of the Carmelite Monastery