Author Archive: Carmelite Sisters
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
by Sister Benedicta Marie, O.C.D. Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles The principle of unity throughout scripture is the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost Sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus, describes this sanctifying – and therefore unifying – role of the Spirit of Father and Son: Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the [...]
Dear Sister, “Sometimes I struggle in understanding God or some of the teachings of the Church. Does this mean I’ve lost my faith? How does one lose faith? Can faith be restored if it has been lost?” Dear Friend, If understanding certain aspects of the Faith is a struggle you are certainly not alone. As [...]
Dear Sister, Growing up, I was taught that we needed to “pray, pray, pray” in order to save our souls. But recently, a friend told me that we need to do good works instead. Which is more important: prayer or good works? Dear Friend, I remember hearing it said many years ago in a Catholic [...]
Mornings are God’s masterpieces. A new day awakens, filled with potential. The night sky disappears into the heavens, while the sun slowly creeps up out of the distant horizon. Most of the time, I don’t see the sun rise. Dawn comes quite early according to any clock and Carmelite Sisters rise even before the sun [...]
Dear Sister, I don’t get much out of Mass. Do you have any suggestions? Dear Friend, I suppose you have already heard a couple phrases that have become aphorisms on this ‘issue’: “Don’t come to get – come to give” and “You will only get out what you are willing to put in”. While it [...]
Dear Sister, Do I really have to believe all the other things the Catholic Church teaches? Dear Friend, I do realize that the idea of ‘believing all that the Catholic Church teaches’ sounds excessive and even authoritarian to many ears, but it must be remembered that the Church has never asked – much less required [...]
My Golden Jubilee by Sister Timothy Marie, O.C.D. “When I see the sisters, with their years of toil etched into their faces, I can’t help but wonder the stories hidden behind each veil, each habit, each expressive face. Where did these sisters come from? Where were they born? Why did they enter the convent? And [...]
Going Deeper: A Boundless and Profound Beauty by Sister Francis Marie, O.C.D. It takes courage and perseverance to walk this journey, but it is filled with a peace the world cannot give and a boundless and profound beauty leading to eternal glory in Heaven. We were created to gaze upon endless, eternal beauty. All of [...]
Dear Sister, There is so much suffering in the world. Why does God allow people to suffer, especially good people? What is the relationship, if any, to faith and suffering? Dear Friend, There is indeed “so much” suffering in the world! I would recommend to you #302-314 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which deals with this [...]