Carmelite Sisters

About the Author

Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life Among Families through Healthcare, Education and Retreats

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles strive to give striking witness as a vibrant, thriving community of dedicated women with an all-consuming mission. It is our God-given mission, a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service to the poor, the sick, the needy and the uneducated. Our loving service overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. We strive to reflect His life and hope and His promise to all that light has come into our world and darkness has not overcome it.

A look at the history of our community, with its motherhouse in Alhambra, California, reveals how its life-giving presence has come about. During the beginning decades of the 1900s just as the epic Mexican revolution was subsiding, a ruthless religious persecution was gaining momentum in Mexico. This horrible persecution accompanied the birth and humble beginnings of our community, a legacy that Mother Luisita, our foundress, and her two companions brought with them as religious refugees entering the Unites States in 1927.

Those seeds planted by Mother Luisita, now a candidate for sainthood, have taken deep root in the United States since those early days. People and places have changed throughout the years, yet the heart of our mission remains. As an autonomous religious institute since 1983 we continue to carry out our loving service in our healthcare facilities, retreat houses and schools which remain to this day centers of life and hope. Today we are moving forward together “Educating for Life with the Mind and Heart of Christ” in schools, being “At the Service of the Family for Life” through health and eldercare and “Fostering a Deeper Spiritual Life” through individual and group retreats. At the heart of our vocation is a passionate mission of loving service which facilitates our life-giving encounter with the living God.

The heritage of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the spirituality of Carmel, the Gospels, the Church, with our particular charism derived from our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its roots in a long history and living tradition. The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa's doctrine. Thus our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service to the Church.

Our ideal finds a living expression in the life and charism of our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whose spirit we faithfully preserve and foster.

Our life is characterized by: - A life of prayer and union with God - A deep love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist - Devotion to our Blessed Mother - Steadfast fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church - Praying for priests - Commitment to works of the apostolate in ecclesial service

Author Archive Page
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Ten Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

Dear Sister, Is there a best time to pray, given all the activities each day holds for me – working at my job and caring for and being with my family makes a very full day? Also, I’m not fully awake first thing in the morning and already mighty tired by the time I lay my head on the pillow. [...]

Photography © by the Carmelite SistersPhotography © by the Carmelite Sisters

To Begin Again

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103). Don’t you love the idea, the notion, the concept of a fresh start? I love to read about new beginnings. Or listen to life-changing stories and testimonies of people. They renew and energize us. They give us the opportunity to [...]

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There is Something About St. Patrick

There is something about St. Patrick that is breathtaking. No, it is not a shamrock, although the meaning behind the shamrock has something to do with it. If you would ask someone what St. Patrick’s Day is all about, they would probably say “shamrocks” or “Ireland” or “St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland forever.” I’m not saying those [...]

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How to Recognize and Rid Yourself of Attachments

Dear Sister, In your series on getting stuck in spiritual growth (which was very helpful by the way) you mentioned the idea of “attachments.” I think I understand this as I have read a bit of St. John of the Cross. However, I would be grateful if you could help me understand it a bit better and for any practical advice [...]

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Solitude and Carmelite Spirituality

“Solitude is not an empty space, a void; it is an encounter with the God who loves us…” Dear Sister, What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer? Dear Friend, The short answer to your question is solitude. Here is the longer answer… Since all prayer begins with adoration, the environment surrounding my prayer must [...]

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Discovering God in Silence

A prayerful, meditative silence is the mother of truth. Spirituality Series – Discovering God in Silence by Sister Mary Clare, O.C.D. Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles God cannot be found in noise and agitation. His true power and love are revealed in what is hardly perceptible, in the gentle breeze that requires stillness and quiet [...]

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Why is the Scapular so Important to Carmelites?

“The Scapular…a Sign of Mary’s Motherhood” Dear Sister, What is the scapular, and why is it so important to Carmelites? Dear Friend, Do you remember what Our Lady was wearing when she appeared to Bernadette? How about her appearance as Our Lady of La Salette? How did Juan Diego describe her or how did she appear on his tilma? It [...]

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How to Overcome Worry by Trusting God

Dear Sister, I worry a lot. I worry about myself and my family. People sometimes tell me that I worry far too much.  I can’t help it. As a child, I was trained to be responsible and was held accountable by my parents. Now that I am married, have a husband and children of my own, my worrying has increased [...]

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Contemplation for the Christmas Season

by Sister Timothy Marie, OCD Sometimes the early morning sky, just before the light of the new day dawns, is so still and quiet that I think I am at the threshold of heaven. The atmosphere itself is permeated in a prayerful stillness. The beauty of these moments absorbs my total being and resonates within my soul. Prayer is easy [...]

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Mary — Mother of God, Mother of Mine

In her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux noted this about mothers, “How delicate a mother’s heart really is, and how it shows its tenderness in a thousand little cares that no one else thinks about.” Many of us have fond memories of our mother – the times she dressed us, combed our hair, tied our [...]