The process of becoming a Carmelite Nun begins when you join our Community. Once you are here with us, you will experience a gradual integration into the life of the Community. The formation process offers a sacred time for you to continue your discernment, deepen your relationship with God, contribute to the life of the Community, and strengthen your relationship with your sisters in Community.
Classes and Study
Weekly formation classes and study, which involve a significant amount of reading and some writing, will be an important part of your formation.
Scholars from within the Carmelite family, as well as theologians and other experts from nearby Universities, teach in our formation program.
During your time of formation, you will undertake an in-depth study of the Carmelite Rule, read all the major Carmelite texts, learn the history of the Carmelite Order in general as well as the history of our Community, and study other significant areas of theology.
While you are in the novitiate, you will study the vows in preparation for First Profession.
In addition, you can also take classes in Liturgy, Church History, and Scripture. Every effort is made to help you pursue areas that are of interest to you.
Your Formation Team
Your formation team will accompany and guide you on your journey as a Carmelite. They will meet with you on a regular basis to help you with areas such as:
- Your ongoing discernment – Are you moving toward wanting to give your entire life to God as a Carmelite Nun forever?
- Your prayer life – How is your relationship with God? In what way has it grown since you entered?
- Silence and Solitude – How are you adjusting to the silence and solitude?
- Community life and relationships – Does this community feel like home? Is it the right fit for you? How are you relating to your sisters in community? What do you find difficult?
- Classes and study – How are your studies helping you grow in your vocation as a Carmelite Nun? Do you feel challenged and encouraged to grow?
- Work – Can you see how your work contributes to the life of the Community? Do you find it life-giving?
Your formation team will also be available to answer any questions you have, be there to encourage and support you, and most importantly, they will listen to you and be honest with you.
Formal Steps of the Formation Process
Your time of initial formation lays the groundwork for your lifelong spiritual journey with God and consists of the following steps:
Sr. Judy’s Reflection on Entrance into the Novitiate