May 16, 2022


Shopping Works Wonders

Stanton boasts historic monastery – Odessa American

STANTON The tale of St. Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery below at 200 Carpenter St. is a basic tale of the Previous West, where by the clergymen were being about as rugged as any one.

Led by Father Athanasius Peters, 6 members of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, or “Carmelites,” came here from Scipio in east central Kansas in August 1881 and celebrated the 1st Mass in the location that would just one working day be recognized as the Permian Basin.

They altered the settlement’s name from Grelton Railway Station to Marienfeld, which is German for “Mary’s Field,” and designed the monastery and a church, St. Joseph’s, that was the initially Catholic church concerning Fort Truly worth and El Paso. Recognized alongside the Texas Pacific Railroad, the city was renamed Stanton in 1890.

A cassock hangs in the former place of Anastasius Peters within the Carmelite Monastery Nov. 30, 2021, in Stanton. Peters led the Carmelite purchase. (Jacob Ford|Odessa American)

Reggie Baker chairs the Martin County Convent Foundation, which has spent $1.25 million restoring the two-tale adobe building with 4-foot-thick partitions and a stone foundation and the basis plans a $500,000 expenditure to construct a nearby setting up with a ballroom, kitchen, rest room, bride’s space, present shop, lecture corridor, library and workplaces.

“When you walk through it these days, the monastery is an interpretive heart substantially like a museum with rustic Victorian furnishings,” Baker claimed. “There was at some point a population of 35-45 monks who still left a large footprint all above West Texas.

“They were renegades who didn’t have permission to do what they did. They obtained crossways with the leader of the Carmelite hierarchy, loaded their wagons at night time and came south with farm implements that they felt belonged to them.

“Some individuals called them scoundrels and other individuals stated they were being business owners. Whichever else they were being, they had been challenging men.”

The previous space of Anastasius Peters is open up for exhibit inside the Carmelite Monastery Nov. 30, 2021, in Stanton. Peters led the Carmelite order. (Jacob Ford|Odessa American)

Baker stated the Marienfeld Carmelites offered the grounds, monastery and church in 1897 to the Sisters of Mercy, who designed a parochial faculty for boys and ladies and employed the monastery for their residing quarters and a chapel.

The To start with Baptist Church Sunday college trainer reported the monks moved on to New Orleans and inevitably to Straubing, Germany, and Boxmeer, The Netherlands, though the sisters stayed here till a tornado damaged the buildings in 1938 and they moved to Slaton, where by they however function the Mercy Retreat Middle.

Baker said a book by Rosa Latimer referred to as ‘The Spirit of Mercy on the West Texas Wind’ that tells the tale of the monks and sisters is on sale at the monastery for $14.50. He mentioned the 40-by-80-foot constructing, which also has a basement, “was in a critical point out of disrepair” when the foundation took possession of it 30 a long time ago.

The gothic styled cathedral home windows are primary to the Carmelite Monastery designed in 1884 in what later became recognised as Stanton. (Jacob Ford|Odessa American)

“It had eroded and been vandalized,” he explained. “Two people had lived there about the yrs. The Slaton Jaycees opened it as a haunted home and then gave it to a non-revenue for the dwelling quarters of wives and young ones whose fathers were being serving overseas for the duration of Environment War II. It’s a exclusive blend of Mexican adobe with gothic home windows.”

Excursions may possibly be scheduled at by.

The Quite Rev. Michael Sis, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo, said the Carmelites “traveled all through West Texas and Jap New Mexico spreading the Catholic faith to the developing populace of immigrant families.

“This monastery is a single of the most effective-preserved examples of West Texas architecture from the 1880s,” the bishop claimed. “It has withstood tornadoes, droughts and intervals of disuse and I am very amazed with the restoration get the job done that the community community has been executing above the earlier couple of a long time. It is shaping up to turn into a wonderful location for a wide variety of activities.

“I suggest having a generate around to Stanton to tour the constructing, find out about the history and stroll by means of the peaceful grounds,” Sis reported. “When you go to the monastery, you could possibly see a beautiful German Bible. I organized for a German-American Catholic loved ones from Wall to donate that impressive Bible to the monastery. It was posted in Philadelphia for German-talking Catholic Us residents in the 1880s, so it likely would be the exact form of Bible that they utilized in Stanton.”