Aspirancy: 1 year
When one feels the call to Carmel, she is encouraged to write and visit us. After having met with the community for some time, the aspirant may be given an opportunity to live a short period of time, from one to three months, with the community inside the cloister. This experience permits the further discernment of the genuineness of the calling. If it is mutually discerned to be a true calling, she may be accepted by the community and begin her formation to become a Carmelite.
Postulancy: 1 year
To further discern her vocation, the aspirant may be accepted as a Postulant into Carmel for a year. During this time, she begins the initial formation program for religious life. She grows in knowledge of self and the love of her vocation. Her intention to become a Carmelite is given time to mature.
Novitiate: 2 years
After mutual discernment, the successful postulant is accepted into the Novitiate. She is clothed with the holy habit of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and receives her religious name and a white veil, to symbolically acknowledge that she has put on a new life and becomes a religious. Over the next two years as a novice, she will be under the direct care and supervision of the Formator. She will be exposed to our Rule and Constitutions and writings of our Saints. She deepens her prayer life and learns to live alone for God in the silence and solitude of Carmel, participating in all the Sacraments, Liturgy, traditions and activities of Carmel.
Temporary Vows: 5 years
After two years as a novice, when the call of Jesus to follow Him has become clear and the Sister is ready to commit herself to serving God in Carmel, she has the privilege of making her consecration to God through the profession of vows which unites her to Jesus as His bride. The temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are made to the superior, in the place of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, for one year at a time. They can be made and renewed annually for five years.
Solemn Profession of Vows: Forever
After five years she binds herself to the service of God in Carmel by making the public Solemn Profession of Vows. This is an indication of her definitive commitment to serve God in Carmel for the rest of her life. In place of her white veil, she receives a black veil to symbolize her new status in the Church as the consecrated Spouse of our Lord, Jesus Christ. She becomes a Chapter Nun, involved in all aspects of the community life of Carmel and continues to fulfill the mission of our Order for the rest of her life.
To live the life embraced by Jesus and Mary, the vow of ....
Poverty means to surrender all we have to God. While possessing nothing of our own, we possess God who is the source of all riches and blessings.
Chastity means to surrender our entire being, body and soul to Jesus our Bridegroom, so as to love Him with all our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength.
Obedience means to surrender our will to God, allowing Him to guide us and direct us in His service, and to always do what pleases Him.