Our Formation Philosophy
The Sisters of Mount Carmel:
· Desire to become women in love with God and one another, unafraid to live the Gospel, and on fire with the mission of the congregation.
· Seek to grow in our ability to discern the movement of the Spirit in our personal and corporate lives.
· Commit ourselves to caring for this Earth, through our Carmelite charism.
· Desire to live the vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience which gives witness to the prophetic nature of religious life.
Thinking About Carmelite Life
The Sisters of Mount Carmel’s formation process offers women an opportunity to experience Carmelite life and to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. A woman who is considering religious life as a Carmelite Sister journeys through four distinct steps as she grows in her understanding of God’s call for her.
Living in community, the candidate gradually transitions into religious life and is guided through prayer, study and apostolic experience to discern God’s call to her and her capacity to respond. This stage may last from six months to two years.
A time to promote growth in one’s ability to listen to God in silence, to seek a deeper understanding of the Carmelite call to see and judge rightly those elements in contemporary society which are of God. The Novitiate is a two-year period of study, reflection and prayer, which begins with a ceremony of admission during which the candidate receives a copy of the Constitutions, and ends with the novices’s first profession of vows.
During the Novitiate period, opportunities to pray, to study, and to minister together are encouraged. Though the basic elements of the formation program follow a common thread, the activities, experiences, works and studies of sisters in the United States and of sisters in the Philippines are designed to adapt the Carmelite tradition to the respective cultures of each country.
During this period, a woman participates in ministry and enters more fully into the Carmelite challenge: to integrate contemplation and action in a life of love and work. The newly professed sister wears the silver cross of the Sisters of Mount Carmel.
As sisters who have vowed a life-long commitment, we continue to develop our call to God and seek opportunities for our continuing formation in Christ. We value our life together as a rich source of our ongoing formation. The program for ongoing formation includes opportunities for the following:
· Growth in one’s spiritual, professional and community life
· Days of prayer, retreats and spiritual direction
· Exposure to the needs of the global church
· Peer exchange and support