Discerning one's vocation in life, for some, may be a bit daunting. What is God's will for my life? How do I know? Where do I start?
First, know that God is with you, He loves you deeply, and He will guide your footsteps. It may also be helpful to seek out a trustworthy spiritual guide who can walk with you on your journey. Prayer is essential to discernment; a real "one on one" with the Lord seeking out His heart. He knows what's best for us and has a mission for each of our lives.
After taking time for prayer, making first steps in contacting communities that the Lord is attracting you to is important. You'll never start the process if you don't start! The Vocation Director(s) can further help you along the journey!
A vocation to the religious life is anchored around the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We follow the poor, chaste and obedient Christ more closely so as to help bring our own souls and others closer to Him, as He calls. This is accomplished, by God's grace, through prayer and our witness of joyful gospel living.
As cloistered Carmelites we more exclusively dedicate our lives to prayer and sisterly communion with one another. We are here to pray for your needs and intentions!
As you go through your discernment know that we are accompanying you with our prayers! If you believe Our Lord may be calling you to our community, please feel free to contact our Mother Prioress on our contact page, by mail, or phone for further discernment!
*If you have further questions, or need more information, please feel free to contact our Mother Prioress on our contact page, by mail or phone!
A vocation to the contemplative life is a call to focus your life more completely on prayer, within a specific community, for the building up of the Church. We respond to this call by loving God more deeply and faithfully each day in the prayerful recollection of our hearts. Carmel’s charism focuses more on union with God through solitary prayer throughout the day. These opportunities for solitary prayer are also combined with periods of recreation and prayer with our Sisters, which allows for a healthy balance of solitude and community life.
Work is an important aid to prayer in our life. It is part of the rhythm of our daily recollection in God and allows us to be in solidarity with the poor, who work for their daily bread. Generally, our work involves the practical day to day upkeep of the Monastery. This includes duties such as gardening, cleaning, sewing, cooking, laundry, etc... In the Novitiate, especially, Sisters are assigned to simple tasks that are more conducive to prayer.
The habit is a sign of our total consecration to God alone and that we belong to a specific religious community. It reminds us, and others, that we belong wholly to God in a unique way and are here to witness to His love. It is also an aid to living out our vow of poverty and an aid to simplicity.
Usually, families who live close visit once a month in the grate room and those living farther away make other parallel arrangements. It can be a challenge for our families to see us so little, and when they do, behind a grill. We still love our families and friends very much and keep them close in prayer, but God has become the center of our lives in a radical way, as He has called. The grill is meant as a sign, and a real separation, reminding us and others that our vocation to prayer and union with God is our main focus in this life, helping us and others homeward to eternal life.
Please feel free to call, write us, or use our contact form at any time! Mother Mary Therese, our Prioress, will be happy to discuss any questions you may have that can help you in your discernment process. Contacting us does not mean you are making a permanent commitment! There is nothing wrong with simply exploring what God may be asking of you! If you are not called to our community, may we be a stepping stone to finding His will for your life. If there is a possibility you are, we look forward to helping you discern the next steps!
At times we do. We generally have our Mass and the Divine Office in English, as it is much simpler to understand what you are praying when the Liturgy is in your own language. However, we appreciate the beauty that Latin hymns and other works can lend to the liturgy and incorporate them at different times. One example is daily at night prayer when we sing the “Salve Regina”, or another Marian hymn, in Latin.
A vocation to be an Extern Sister is a beautiful blend of the contemplative and active life within Carmel. An Extern is called to live a deep life of prayer within the community as well as offer hospitality to visitors to the Monastery. By this, she also helps to safeguard the purely contemplative vocation of her Sisters who live completely within the cloister. Her contemplative Sisters, in turn, aid her with their prayers as well as the support of a joy filled community life.
“Let us love, since our heart is made for nothing else.”
~ Saint Therese of the Child Jesus ~
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