Experiencing Carmelite life:
After becoming acquainted through letters, email,phone, or a visit, A person may ask to do observe life in the Monastery for up to three months. This allows the candidate to experience our life of prayer, work and community first hand, while also allowing the community to get to know her and she them. After her three months or arranged time she leaves the monastery and If after a successful visit, she feels calls to the Carmelite life and would like to continue, she may apply to enter the community and gather the necessary papers etc before acceptance.
The postulancy is a period of 6 to 18 months, depending on the person and community. This time allows the postulant to experience more deeply the Carmelite life and to make adjustments to community living. She will take part in classes of the Novitiate and join the community in everything, such as recreation, meals and work. During this time she will experience more deeply her vocation within Carmel, while growing closer to Christ.
After the period of postulancy, the candidate becomes formally incorporated into the community as a novice. The novitiate begins with the rite of initiation in which the candidate is given the habit of the Order and a white veil. She will chose to keep her name or change it, adding a title, which has some special meaning for her. During these two years as a novice, she will learn more fully what it means to be a Carmelite and interiorizes everything as taught by our Rule, by our founder St. Teresa in her book , The Way of Perfection, and by our other Carmelite Doctors and saints.
Temporary Profession follows the novitiate. By religious profession, the sister pledges herself by public vow to live according to the three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. This is a period of three years, but can be extended. During this time,she remains still part of the Novitiate for two years, joining the community for her last year. The sister increases her practical understanding and knowledge of Carmelite spirituality in order to interiorize it more completely and prepare to give herself completely to Christ her Spouse.
The Sister is now ready to give herself completely to Christ her Spouse, She has longed for this day and by her religious profession of Public vows of Chasity, Poverty and Obedience she consecrates herself to Christ and His Church forever.