Discalced Carmelites of Carmel
The Carmelite Monastery of Carmel, California, nestled close to the Santa Lucia foothills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, provides a distinctively beautiful ambience for a joyful life of prayer in a contemplative community of women, consecrated to Jesus through solemn vows. We wear the habit as a sign of our religious consecration and devotion to Our Lady. Our enclosure gives a visible witness to our total commitment to our apostolate of prayer for the Church, especially for priests, and for the world. Faithful to the teachings of the Church and the charism of St. Teresa of Avila, our sisterly way of life provides a good balance of community and solitude, enriched by daily Eucharist, the entire Liturgy of the Hours, spiritual reading, silent work, simplicity of life, two periods of recreation together and two hours of silent prayer daily. St. Therese of Lisieux, expressed our vocation in this way: “In the heart of my mother the Church, I will be LOVE...” for she knew that “love reaches through time and space, because it is eternal.”
Professed Members: 11
Year Founded: 1925
Diocese: Monterey, CA
Worldwide: Every continent
Qualifications: A well-balanced personality with common sense, a good sense of humor; good mental and physical health; sufficient maturity to live in solitude as well as the ability to get along well with others in a small community; willing to embark upon the life-long process of conversion and self-knowledge, so necessary for a deep relationship with Christ in prayer; some college or work experience. Above all, a love for prayer and a desire for intimate union with Christ. Also, a candidate should be motivated by faith and have a strong desire to “pour out ones life in love as a gift” for others, in imitation of Christ’s self-giving love.
Formation: Since each Carmelite monastery is autonomous the formation program is carried out in the monastery. As part of the discernment process the candidate may have the possibility of a pre-postulancy live-in experience of community life of up to three months, in order to discover God’s call. The candidate is gradually integrated into Carmelite life by a study of Sacred Scripture, theology, prayer, religious life, the vows, Church documents; Carmelite spirituality, history and saints; and the formative experience of living daily life in community. This initial formation extends over six years: one year postulancy, reception of the habit and two years of novitiate, three years temporary vows followed by perpetual solemn vows and full integration into the community as a member of the Chapter.
Age range/limit: 21-40
Belated vocations? Yes: Late vocations are considered on an individual basis.