The vow of chastity, or consecrated celibacy makes love of God the primary life commitment of a person, to the exclusion of any mediating commitment. As in the case of marriage, when two people make their vows to each other and they thereby exclude any other sexual relationship, so a Religious by the vow of chastity, excludes a spousal relationship with another person, and in this case, the possibility of founding a family in order to belong exclusively to God through Jesus Christ.
The vow of poverty regulates a person’s attitude to material goods and ownership. It does not mean that a religious lives in poverty, but it promises an attitude of detachment from and moderation in the use of material goods. a simplicity of lifestyle. How this is lived out varies from Order to Order, and has changed throughout the course of history. An important aspect of this vow nowadays is care for the environment.
Our main ‘work’ is prayer. Besides spending two hours in silent prayer each day, we gather seven times in the day for the communal celebration of the liturgy, centred on the Mass. We also spend time in reading which fosters growth in the life of prayer. This does not leave us much time in which to earn our living and to engage in the normal household tasks ¬preparing meals, washing, cleaning etc. It is often a surprise to women who come in to try our way of life to discover how hard we work!
For further information on our daily routine, go to the timetable page.
Although the habit may seem elaborate compared to modern clothes it is actually very simple to make and very hard wearing. Clothing is always the smallest item on our expense list! The choice of clothes is ordinarily an expression of individual personality. As Carmelites, we choose to express instead our dedication to Christ and our commitment to one another by wearing a common form of dress.
We live in a multi-cultural city and many of the people on its streets can be recognised by the clothing they wear as belonging to a particular religion or nationality. Like them, we are happy to be identified by the witness of our dress.