Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

of Mount Carmel  

 

As the Lord of hosts lives, whom I serve..."        1 Kings 18:15

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Candidate Information

 

Candidates

Candidates come here primarily to be hermit monks. Our calling is to be like Mary seated at our Savior's feet, attending to His words as the only thing necessary. Our call is not a preparation for the priesthood nor a step to something else; it is itself the highest calling to a life of prayer.

Men who express an interest in our life are invited to visit the hermitage for the first time for a weekend. If interest is expressed once again, the candidate visits for a one month live-in observership participating fully in the daily schedule of the hermitage. After this visit if the candidate is interested in joining the hermitage he applies to the Prior and starts his application papers. Those applying must not be younger than 18 years of age, nor older than 35. Our common practice is to have the candidate undergo a complete physical exam and take psychological testing before admittance into the community.

Our life of prayer is nourished by the steadfast foundations of the eremitical life:  conversion of life, humility, solitude, silence, obedience and simplicity.   It is important that the candidate not only have a desire for solitude, but for communal life as well.  A candidate needs good physical and mental health to sustain our way of life, since we perform a good amount of manual labor.  He must be free of any chronic illness,  any addictive behavior or any emotional and/or psychological pathology.  

Aspirancy

The candidate, having been formally accepted into the community, begins the time of Aspirancy that lasts from a half a year to one year. 

This is the first contact that he has with the new way of life he aspires to embrace. The goal at this stage is to acquire a consciousness of the Divine call, to test his strength and aptitudes as he progresses in the experience of the monastic spirit. One very important aspect of this period in the Hermit's formation is to form gradually in himself a separation from people and activities of the outside world, and surrender himself in following the Lord Jesus with a great spirit of detachment and generosity in following his call to the eremitical life.

During this time he wears a brown monastic shirt without a hood with a short scapular for the community acts, almost all of which he participates in. 

Postulancy

The Postulancy begins with the investiture of the brown tunic and a short brown scapular, and lasts for one year. During this time, the Postulant immerses himself in the Carmelite eremitical life and deepens himself in the knowledge of his Catholic faith. He continues discerning in prayer with greater clarity the call of the Lord for this way of life. 

Novitiate

At the beginning of the Novitiate the Postulant is invested in the full Habit of the Carmelite Hermits, consisting of the brown tunic, the long brown scapular, the belt with Rosary, the wooden novitiate cross and the white mantle. The Novice also receives his new name in Religion from the Prior, by which he will be called from that time forward. The Novitiate lasts for two years and is a time for the Novice to make a strong foundation in his Carmelite eremitical life.

First Temporal Vows

At the end of the Novitiate the Hermit makes his first temporary Profession of Vows of Obedience, Chastity and Poverty for three years. The Novitiate wooden cross is exchanged for the Profession Crucifix, and the white Capuche is added to the White Mantle. During this time, the Hermit deepens his spiritual life by performing all his tasks in the context of his Vows to God, his obedience to his Superior and his place within the Religious Community. This is the last formal stage of the Hermit's formation as he contemplates the decision to give himself completely to God and to bind himself to the community until death. 

Solemn Profession of Vows

The public ceremony of Solemn Profession expresses a spiritual union and a mystical death: the Hermit, by his taking of the Vows until death, turns away from the glamour and empty show of the world, and opens his heart to the advancing Kingdom of God, which has already taken root in his soul. Through continual repentance and obedience, his life grows in the grace of Christ, who died to the world in obedience to His Heavenly Father for the life of the world. The Hermit, by his prayer and spiritual death, also participates in the miraculous life-giving mission of Christ, as he reforms his own life and intercedes in prayer for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls. As he proceeds on his spiritual journey, the Hermit tends towards the perfection of charity, which is the goal of his Profession and of all monastic life.

 

As one cannot imagine Carmel without Our Lady, who is the "Lady of the Place" according to the early Hermits on Mount Carmel, candidates should foster in themselves devotion to our Heavenly Mother whom we know loves us. Daily prayer of the Rosary and consecration to Our Lady through the wearing of the Brown Scapular is recommended for all candidates. Doing this, a candidate should awaken in himself a desire to wear the Holy Carmelite Habit and to emulate Our Lady's virtues of humility, prayer of the heart and hiddenness.

 

 

Vocations Weekend 

at Mt. Carmel

 

Experience the daily life of a Carmelite Hermit. Live the monastic lifestyle for a weekend to see if God is calling you to the hidden life of prayer and praise as a Carmelite Hermit. 

Fri. - Sun. p.m.

Men ages 18 to 35

  • June 4-6

  • July 23-25

  • For other possible dates, please contact the Hermitage for individual arrangements.

Bring Bible, Rosary, Alarm Clock, 
Work Clothes, and Sunday Mass Clothes

No short-sleeve shirts or short pants allowed.

Click here for Vocations Weekend Application

For more information write to:

Mt. Carmel Hermitage

P.O. Box 337

Christoval, Texas 76935-0337

or to email us:

stellamaris@carmelitehermits.org

 

 

 

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