The Carmelite Vocation

The Call to Carmel


At the origin of religious consecration, there is a call of God for which there is no explanation apart from the love which he has for the person whom He calls. This love is absolutely gratuitous, personal and unique. At the core of a vocation to Carmel is an intense drawing to contemplative prayer. It has been said that Carmelites are explorers of an inner place of intimacy with God. Our life is an interior journey of growth in love and friendship with Jesus Christ which is developed through constant prayer.

The Order has the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother and Patroness, “it takes the mystery of her life and her union with Christ as its ideal model of consecration. Every sister will find in Mary a mother and teacher in the ways of the Spirit who will conform her to Christ and lead her to the heights of holiness.” (Carmelite Constitutions).

The Carmelite Vocation

Each Carmelite nun is called to be our Lord’s bride and good friend, totally surrendered to God in a profound and complete “fiat!” — yes! that allows God to use her as an instrument to carry out His divine plan of salvation for all people. “Therese of Lisieux and Elizabeth of the Trinity understood the act of total surrender to the triune God as the highest possible form of engagement on behalf of the world’s salvation. They knew that this calling burrowed itself into hiddenness even as roots disappear into the ground. Above ground the visible church and her activity feed from these roots.” (Hans Urs von Balthasar)

The call to Carmel is a call to this hidden but powerful encounter with God. It is standing before God for all people and drawing them to His mercy and love. Every vocation is part of God’s plan and is always a personal call that God speaks to a person’s heart. First of all, one must discern the call to Carmel as a way of life for her.

Some questions that might be helpful in the process of personal discernment are:

  • Do I have a deep desire for intimate friendship and union with the Lord?
  • Do I believe in the power and effectiveness of prayer as an apostolate in the service of God and of others?
  • Is there a growing need in me for silence and solitude so as to be with God?
  • Is there a growing attraction in me to live a “hidden life in God” as an instrument of grace, healing, and peace for our world?
  • Does the thought of living my vocation in a community dedicated to the church and united in their love for Christ bring me joy?


Come and See

If you are inclined to respond affirmatively to these questions, God may be giving you a vocation to Carmel.  We encourage you to take the first step in experiencing our contemplative way of life.

” We, the men and women of the church, are in the middle of a love story: each of us being a link in this chain of love…May Mary give us the spiritual joy of participating in this love story.”

- Pope Francis

“As our Lord dwells in our souls, His prayer is ours and I want to share in it unceasingly, remaining like a little vessel at the spring, at the fountain of life, and so be able to communicate it to souls by letting its floods of charity overflow.”

- Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

“I have found my calling: my calling is love.  In the heart of the Church, I will be love.”

- Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

” Live to the full your dedication to God, so that this world may never be without a ray of divine beauty to lighten the path of human existence. “

- Vita Consecrata