Contact UsLinks
Carmel of the Holy Family Past to Present Way of Life Fruit of Our Prayer Join Us For... Vocations
Vocation Information

If you believe that a life of apostolic prayer lived in community is a vital part of the Christian response to the Gospels you may be interested in the process of discerning a vocation to the Carmel of the Holy Family.

We would be privileged to journey with you as you consider God's invitation and call to religious life in the tradition of Carmel. We cherish our life and wish to pass on this wonderful heritage of prayer and community in a vibrant and joyful way to you. Your quest will yield a rich harvest because your desire and openness to listening to God will be a strong foundation in your pilgrimage of life, wherever you go.

Usual Requirements for Entrance

  • Single woman between the ages of 21 - 50
  • A practicing Roman Catholic
  • General emotional and physical good health
  • Some college and/or equivalent work experience

Teresa of Avila did not want to burden her sisters with many rules and regulations; rather, she wanted them to possess that inner peace of heart that Christ wishes to bestow in abundance. The attitudes and values that she conveys about life flow with a wonderful sense of God's boundless love and care.

The legacy and mission of Carmel will be enriched by new members and we invite you to explore this way of fulfillment and loving service to our church and world.

Aspects of our life that we cherish include:

  • Celebrating the Eucharist, praying the Divine Office together, and being attentively present to Scripture and the liturgical life of the Church.

  • Committing ourselves to personal prayer and affording one another the gifts that nurture that prayer: community life, silence and solitude.

  • Accepting the challenge of reflecting on our life and being open to ongoing conversion; growing in the knowledge of our own strengths and weaknesses; becoming more tolerant when faced with other people's limitations.

  • Believing in the transformative love of God, and realizing that our life of prayer, friendship and trust can be seen as a microcosm of the world community. Growing in charity and reconciliation even in small groups like ours can be a beacon of peace for others.

  • Embracing a simple and uncluttered lifestyle that reflects our love for the earth and hope for an equal sharing of resources by all peoples of the world.

Our life together is an effort to create an atmosphere of prayer and acceptance for each sister where she can be herself and grow to that maturity and unimagined beauty which the Lord Jesus desires for her and his Church.

The Process of Discernment

If you want to explore our life and discern your response to God's invitation we would be happy to begin the dialogue with you. After an initial time of getting acquainted, the next step would be to come for several visits within the monastery. These visits may range in length from a weekend to two or three weeks, depending upon individual circumstances. At some point in the process it is necessary for you to have an extended live-in. This is a good time to get to know the sisters in community and draw from the wealth and wisdom of years spent in loving, prayerful service. Your participation and sharing will also enrich and bless the community.

The discernment process is a personal and communal journey, a mutual endeavor moving towards greater light and clarity about your membership in the Carmel of the Holy Family. We trust in the grace and movement of the Holy Spirit, and count this as a sacred time in your life and the life of the community.

The Process of Formation

  • Candidacy: at least one year
  • Novitiate: usually a two year period
  • Temporary Vows: a minimum of three years before taking final vows
  • Final Vows: you commit yourself to God within Carmel forever

During the period of initial formation, you will be involved in a variety of learning situations, and opportunities that foster holistic growth as a human person, as a Catholic Christian, and as a Carmelite religious woman. As you move into the different phases of formation you will experience the life and rhythm of Carmel, and continue your study and preparation for vows.

"Believe me you should remain with so good a friend as long as you can. . . he (Christ) will never fail you." Saint Teresa of Avila

Please Click Here to Contact Us

Home | Past to Present | Our Way of Life | Fruit of Our Prayer | Join Us For... | Vocations | Your Prayer Intentions | Send a Monastery Photo Greeting
© 2004 Discalced Carmelite Nuns Carmel of the Holy Family. All rights reserved. | Credits