At the heart of discernment is a call from God for which there is no explanation apart from the love that He has for the person He is calling. Countless women have heard that call and judged it worth the sacrifice to follow where it may lead. At the core of a vocation to Carmel is an intense draw toward contemplative prayer and a desire to grow in love and friendship with Jesus Christ and Our Blessed Mother.
Every vocation is part of God’s plan and is a personal call spoken by God directly to one's heart. Some questions that might be helpful in the discernment process are:
Do I have a deep desire for intimate friendship and union with the Lord?
Do I believe in the power and effectiveness of prayer as an apostolate in the service of God and of others?
Does my desire to deepen my friendship with Jesus Christ enable me to generously give myself to a life of sacrifice and self denial?
Does my desire to deepen my friendship with Jesus Christ enable me to live a life of solitude and silence that is balanced with sisterly sharing in community?
Can I live a life that has limits on personal contact with family and friends?
If you are inclined to respond affirmatively to these questions, God may be giving you a vocation to Carmel. We are here to help you make the right decision guided by prudence and wisdom, the fruits of a disciplined plan of life. Our daily schedule provides a rhythm and balance between community life and times of silence and solitude to communicate with Jesus and discern with certainty that Carmel is your true vocation.
While a woman discerning a vocation is certainly seeking, she is principally responding—responding to an invitation from our Lord. Carmel is a calling. Therefore, discernment is a time of seeking but also of surrender. One discerning a call to Carmel removes herself from the life she once knew and enters a new life, allowing herself to be formed and transformed. It is a long and beautiful journey that lays the foundation for a life of deep holiness for those who persevere in their love for Christ in the consecrated life.
Following a simple welcome ceremony as she enters the Enclosure Door, a postulant receives a short white veil and begins her first year of formation. Under the prayerful guidance of the Novice Mistress, she will live and learn the basic essentials of Carmelite spirituality and the monastic life. After a year, the postulant will receive the Carmelite habit and may choose a religious name.
A novice enters a period of more intensive spiritual, scriptural, and theological formation—a time of deepening faith. The novice assumes her place in the daily responsibilities, sharing in the joys and sacrifices of the community. If, at the end of two years, she remains convinced God is calling her to Carmel and she is approved by the community, she may request to make temporary vows for three years.
After a novice completes three years of temporary vows and continuing formation, the sister may then be admitted to take her Solemn Perpetual Vows, committing herself until death to live her consecration to God supported by her Carmelite sisters. At this ceremony she receives the black veil of the Carmelite nun and the wreath, signifying that she is the bride of Christ.
General Requirements for Admittance to the Savannah Carmel include:
Age 20 to 40 years old or on a case-by-case basis
Physically and psychologically healthy
Mature and teachable, with good common sense
Drawn to a life of prayer, silence, and solitude
Possesses the ability to live in community under a superior
Last but not least, demonstrates a firm determination and commitment to give oneself totally to God
Our Lady of Confidence Carmelite Monastery embraces vocations from all races and nationalities. If you feel you are being called to live this hidden life of love and prayer, we invite you to contact us either by phone or mail.
I am yours, I was born for you. What is your will with me?
0 Life! 0 Sunlight!
Shining in stainless purity! Since I am yours, yours only, what is your will with me?