Initial Formation: Preparation for Total Consecration


 

After your initial contact with our Carmel, a visit to our monastery may follow, and if discernment indicates a possible vocation, you will be invited to spend between one to three months inside the Enclosure (or Extern section for Extern vocation). This initial experience allows both the aspirant and the Sisters time to better discern the vocation and enables the aspirant to come to a better, more practical understanding of our way of life.

 

 

 

After this initial live-in period, you usually leave Carmel for a short time so that both you and the Community can assess your suitability. Applicants who are invited to return spend one year as a Postulant. Here, the vocation to Carmel is further tested and the Postulant gradually learns to adapt herself to the Carmelite life under the direction of the Novice Mistress.

 

 

 

 

The Novitiate begins with the reception of the Carmelite Habit, the Holy Habit of Our Lady, with a white veil as well as a new Religious name. This time as a Novice lasts approximately two years. It is here that study and prayer gradually form the new Carmelite into an aspiring spouse of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

 

 

 

After the Novitiate, comes the profession of the Vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience for 3 years. The newly Professed continues to wear the white veil but receives a Profession Crucifix which is worn beneath the Scapular. During this period, the young Professed further develops what began in the Novitiate and continues, under the Mistress, to become more fully integrated into community life and to prepare for the definitive consecration of Solemn Vows for life.

 

Original photo by Msgr. Timothy Stein

 

After three years in intense formation, if the Chapter decides, the Sister may be admitted to the Solemn Profession of Vows. Here, in a solemn and beautiful public celebration, the profession of the vows is made for life, the black veil replaces the white one and you become a Chapter Nun, that is, you become a full member of the community, involved in all the aspects of the community life.