Vocation Profile - Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Monastery of the Holy Cross
Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Monastery of the Holy Cross
The Carmelite is one who has heard in the silence of her heart the unique and precious invitation of Jesus Christ to become wholly consecrated to Him in a "Covenant of Spousal love." In union with Mary, she desires to live this consecration totally and faithfully through the hidden but effective apostolate of love, prayer and sacrifice for the needs of the entire Church, but in a special way for priests. This community knows and lives that simple, joyous, family spirit which Saint Teresa wanted to be a distinctive characteristic of her Carmels. Faithful to the Magisterium and to the beautiful traditions of Carmel, we cherish the solitude and silence of our enclosure and consider it a privilege to wear the Habit of Our Lady. Daily life in the Monastery reflects Saint Teresa's wish to preserve the eremitical spirit of the early hermits on Mount Carmel within the loving and supportive setting of community life. Our schedule includes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, two hours of quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, the entire Divine Office in choir, spiritual reading, the Rosary and Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, manual work, and joy-filled recreations together.
Basic requirements include a sense of being called to the Carmelites' cloistered life of prayer, a high school education, sound mental and physical health as well as good judgment and common sense. Please note that, in order to carefully guard our life of prayer, we do not have the Internet. A relative of one of the sisters retrieves initial messages for us at the "vocation@" address if you wish to contact us via email. Otherwise, you are most welcome to call or write.
In the basic formation program, the candidate is gradually integrated into the Carmelite life by a study of religious life, Sacred Scripture, prayer, the vows, the documents of the Magisterium, and especially Carmelite spirituality with its history, charism, saints and sound traditions, keeping in mind, too, the essential formative value of simple daily life in community. This initial formation takes place over a period of six years: one year postulancy, two years novitiate, three years temporary vows, followed by the final commitment of solemn vows. Ongoing formation throughout one's whole religious life through personal prayer, spiritual reading, study, and spiritual direction continues and brings a deeper interiorization to the initial formation received.