The Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary acknowledges its origins from the convent of Straubing in the Upper German Province, the only German house to survive the suppressions of the nineteenth century. Two members of this community, Frs. Cyril Knoll and Xavier Huber, the former appointed commissary general by the vicar general, Fr. Angelo Savini, emigrated to the United States and in 1864 at the invitation of the local ordinary, Msgr. John Baptist Miège, settled in Leavenworth, Kans. After several candidates for the Order presented themselves, a second foundation in nearby Scipio was made the following year.
These houses, however, were in remote areas, so Fr. Knoll in 1866 moved East to the former Redemptorist convent in Cumberland, Md. Here there was need of English speakers; these were supplied by Fr. Savino from the Provinces of Ireland and The Netherlands. After the foundation of new houses, especially in Englewood, N.J., Niagara Falls, Ont., New Baltimore, Pa., and Pittsburgh, Pa., a commissariat was erected in 1881 under Fr. Anastasius Smits. This in turn became a Province in 1890 with Fr. Pius Mayer at its head.
At its centenary, the Province had spread throughout the United States with some 300 members in 10 States, the District of Columbia, and the province of Ontario, Canada. In 1949, it accepted a foundation in Lima, Peru, erecting there a parish and school. Since 1959, it has had charge of the prelature of Sicuani, its present prelate being Msgr. Miguel La Fay Bardi.
At present the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary has about 200 religious working in North America, Australia, Canada, France, Peru, Mexico, El Salvador and Italy.
The Provincial Chapter of the PCM Province held on 20-24 June 2011 were elected:
- Prior Provincial: Fr. Carl Markelz, O.Carm.
- Eastern Commissary Provincial: Fr. Leonard Gilman, O.Carm.
- Midwest Commissary Provincial: Fr. Joseph Atcher, O.Carm.
- Western Commissary Provincial: Fr. William Harry, O.Carm.
- First Councilor: Fr. Quinn Conners, O.Carm.
- Second Councilor: Fr. Gregory Houck, O.Carm.
- Third Councilor: Fr. Myron Judy, O.Carm.
- Fourth Councilor: Fr. Samuel Citero, O.Carm.
For further information: Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, North America
Carmelite Provincial Office
1317 N. Frontage Road
DARIEN, IL 60561-5555