Sister Mary of Carmel Lord was born, Lucienne Lord on May 2nd, 1903 to Oscar Lord and Valentine Pintal Lord in Mount-Carmel in Quebec, Canada. She was the fourth of fourteen children with whom she shared a close relationship with for her entire life. For Sister Mary of Carmel, her sense of community and French-Canadian heritage were of the utmost importance. There were always groups surrounding her, be it her personal family, other Dominican Sisters, or the students she taught.
Certificate for proficiency in Art from Catholic University, 1946
Award Sister Mary of Carmel Won for her art later in life, 1964
A unique aspect of Sister Mary of Carmel's early life was her family's innate artistic talents. She and her siblings were naturally gifted artists, a gift her parents would consistently encourage and nurture. Sister Mary of Carmel had a particular talent for painting and drawing, and would often draw landscapes, nature pieces, and daily life. The countryside in which she grew up provided inspiration for her works.
Near her childhood home was a small green hill that she nicknamed "la montagne", French for "the mountain". She often played with her siblings and had family picnics on that hill. It was in these early years that Sister Mary of Carmel began her admiration for nature and landscapes.
While Sister Mary of Carmel would not pursue art as her primary career, it was always present in her day to day life. She had several sketchbooks full of drawings comprising of people, and landscapes. She participated in several art competitions throughout her life, the most notable was at the Rhode Island Ceramic Show where she won the first prize for her china painting. She made hand painted cards and illuminated spiritual bouquets. The latter she made for three different Popes. For direct samples of her art, see the Gallery Showcase in the final section of the exhibit.
List of Sister Mary of Carmel's educational background
As mentioned earlier, Sister Mary of Carmel also had a talent for teaching. She attended the Normal School (instiution for aspiring teachers) at the Ursulines' convent in Trois-Rivieres where she graduated in 1923. She spent the next five years teaching before she enrolled in the bilingual school of the Dominican Sisters of Fall River. There she was greeted by the serene atmosphere of the Dominican Convent and fell in love for religious life. Initially Sister Mary of Carmel was conflicted between Dominican life and cloistered life. She has been educated by the cloistered Ursuline Sisters near her home, and one of her blood sisters had joined that community. She ultimately chose the Dominican Life and entered the Dominican Sisters of Fall River on January 7, 1929. During her early years in the convent, she and her close-knit family found the separation very difficult. At the time family visits were not possible since the local Bishop did not allow Sisters to travel outside of the diocese, much less to Canada. A decade later, her cousin Sr. Julie Pintal would join her as a Dominican Sister of Fall River.