How we live

Community life

The women who make up a Carmelite community come from different cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds, from many walks of life, and with a rich diversity of life experience. They do not choose their companions, for each one comes in response to an inner conviction that God is calling her to this way of life, in this particular community. The unity of its members has to be worked at, it does not happen ‘naturally’, without effort, sacrifice and unselfishness.

Each sister works for the good of all and everything is held in common. This means that our gifts, our talents and our time are at the service of the community, rather than for purely personal self-fulfilment. The sacrifice that this sometimes calls for can lead to a fulfilment that is not centred on self. The goods of the monastery belong to all and each sister receives from the common store whatever she requires for her work or her personal needs. A sister usually remains for the whole of her life in the monastery she enters. Our older members who have given many years to God, are cherished with special love and cared for in infirmity.

While silence is maintained throughout the day as far as possible, this is balanced by two periods of recreation when the sisters come together to recreate, relax, and strengthen the bonds of community life. Decisions relating to the life of the monastery are reached by community participation.