The Order of Discalced Carmelite Nuns in the Philippines sprang from the prophetic vision of Bishop Dominic Lefebre, a missionary bishop in Hue, Vietnam. While awaiting his execution in a prison cell during a fierce religious persecution at that time, Bishop Lefebre recounted how our Holy Mother St. Teresa appeared to him in a vision and requested him to establish her Order in Vietnam.
The Carmel of Hue eventually founded the first Carmel in the Philippines on November 9, 1923, almost 4 centuries after the Reform.
The first Carmel in the Philippines is the Jaro Carmel in Iloilo, founded by Bishop James McCloskey, Bishop of Iloilo at that time. Bishop McCloskey, in a visit to the Carmel of Lisieux, the Carmel of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, shared a beautiful personal encounter with the then newly-beatified St. Therese, which led him to believe that St. Therese was interested in the newly-founded Carmel in the Philippines and that she will ensure its success through her “little way of love.”
In 1949, Cebu and the whole country were recovering from the effects of the war, and material reconstruction was the call of the moment. But people with vision knew the real need of the post-war world – it was the need for GOD. God-hungry and God-thirsty, the world would only fling itself into greater ruin if it did not find the authentic solution to its problem.