Bishop Curlin and Father Ron Potts with our community, Christmas 1990.


It was Christmas Eve, 1973.  The pioneer women of what would become the Carmel of Port Tobacco had taken up temporary residence in Great Mills, Maryland.  They were poor.  They had not much to celebrate with.  Worst of all, they had no confessor.  So the prioress placed a call to Cardinal O’Boyle, who placed a call to a Father Bill Curlin in Washington, and ordered him to make the two-hour drive to hear the confessions of the nuns.  This was the genesis of our life-long friendship with Bishop-Emeritus Curlin, who died on December 23 in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

We would have to consider the Bishop a founding member of our monastery.  His generosity in our regard knew no bounds.  On that first Christmas Eve, he drove back to Washington, picked up presents, treats, and a Christmas tree and set it up.  He said the first Mass at this site on May 11, 1976, worked all night to prepare for the grand opening on October 1 of that year (a long and separate story), became our local auxiliary Bishop, and continued his involvement after being named the third Bishop of Charlotte.

Bishop Curlin’s love of Christmas merits a whole chapter.  How fitting that he celebrated it with the Lord this year!  Bishop Curlin would love what our volunteers have done with our Christmas lighting.   Our heartfelt thanks to all of them.