Members of the Teresian Carmelites monastery were having difficulties supporting themselves financially and the Diocese of Worchester withdrew support saying they were too small to sustain themselves and to grow.
That’s when one of what Brother Dennis Wyrzykowski calls “God-incidences” connected them with a medical school professor, whose work included patented research into a compound in the human heart that has been found to also fight wrinkles.
With the professor’s blessing, the religious community recently started selling a high-end skin cream online based on the compound.
Its three consecrated members and approximately 30 lay members hope it’s the answer to their prayers, not just to keep the community afloat financially, but to prove its viability to the diocese and fund programs for homeless and disadvantaged people throughout the region.
“My first thought was, ‘What are people going to think about nuns and monks making cream for your face?’ ‘ Sister Nancy Connors said. “But it’s a good product, I use it every day and I believe it will help people.”
The $65-per-tube face cream, called Easeamine, is a far cry from the more traditional offerings that some monasteries sell, such as homemade jam and cheeses. After the Carmelites pay off their launch costs, the profits will be used for grants to Worcester-area agencies serving poor and homeless people, and to support the tiny religious community which has existed on donations since it was founded in 1971.
“I did worry initially about offering a so-called beauty product, but monks and nuns have always had a long tradition of making health care products and food products,” said Brother Solomon Balban, one of two consecrated monks in the independent religious community who live at the monastery in the Worcester suburb of Millbury in central Massachusetts. [reference]
Well St. Teresa of Avila was suppose to have said “From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.” So maybe less wrinkled-faced saints could be included – though I doubt Blessed Mother Teresa would agree.
On another level though there is something just plain wrong about Carmelites selling high-end anti-wrinkle cream. Though I can imagine an appropriate motto for Easeamine “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
But then again St. Paul did write in Ephesian in regards to husbands taking care of their wives ” that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Their is a link on their web site to buy the cream from Carmel Laboratories, LLC. So those that want the cream can also say that they are helping the poor by doing so! Plus at $65 a tube it is less than many on the market.
I once wrote a parody post about a moisturizer for spiritual dryness.