Our life is in imitation of Mother Mary. By our life of prayer and work we are in close union with Jesus. The Mass is the center of our life. Spiritual reading nourishes our mind and soul by learning from people who have lived our life in Carmel especially our Saints.
They teach us by their lives about the beauty of love and friendship with God, how they overcome their difficulties in prayer, in work and living closely with the same sisters all their life which calls for a heroic practice of virtues day in and day out.
All the same we are a happy joyous community like St. Teresa of Avila wanted us to be. That feeling of joyfulness and peace permeates the prayerful atmosphere of this quite convent making it a haven of peace for people of all faiths who visit us.
Community life is also an important element in the life of a Carmelite; in itself it is a school of perfection. St. Teresa envisaged a family life style for her sisters where all love and care for one another, all are equal and governed by love as well. We have prayers, meals and recreations together. Work is also an important aspect of our lives and it is shared among all the sisters.
We were a houseful of 24 sisters earlier. The Lord was pleased to call several of our sisters to himself, some were lent to other Carmelite Monasteries when they were opening new houses of prayer. In recent years old age stole 5 sisters in a short space of time.
For 20 years we had no vocations that persevered. Now God has heard our prayers, struggles and cries and given us 4 young sisters, starting fresh on a new pathway destined to lead them into the solitude of Carmel to encounter the divine, face to face.
We are all Indian Sisters from different states of India. We have only 1 Irish Sister who was God sent to us in time of need. Ms. Marie Therese a volunteer for Mother Teresas homes, working in the home for the dying in Kalighat. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was a good friend of our Carmel, sent Marie Therese here to care for a sister dying of cancer. As soon as Marie Therese stepped into the cloister the Lord ravaged her heart. She joined us after the death of the sister.
Another sister fell in love with Carmel on reading a write up about Carmel in her local parish news bulletin. Still another who was a sports person decided to enter Carmel for a "Come and see", for the fun of it and the Lord seduced her as well. Each has their own, unique personal stories to recount.
We are the Teresian Carmelites, daughters of St. Teresa of Avila, a renowned reformer, mystic, writer, teacher and an ideal Mother. At the request of her sisters who asked her to teach them about prayer she wrote sublime books on her experience of prayer thereby teaching them and accompanying them on the way of perfection.
Carmel origin is from biblical times, inhaling the spirit of prophet Elijah, whose life was always seeking the face of God in solitude and silence which we as Carmelites try continually to do even today.
St. Teresa of Avila, our Mother, was a Spanish Mystic of the 16th century. She worked hard to restore the vitality of the Carmelite Order with the help of St. John of the Cross to bring about the reform of the Order. She strengthened, renewed and restored it to its primitive vitality.
St. Teresa had to pay a heavy price for the reform, and she had to undergo many persecutions, misunderstandings from the authorities and from within the Order and from the regions of her time at large. With her determined determination she crossed all hurdles for Christs sake. She was a dauntless woman with her two feet on the ground.
Cloistered nuns live a life of prayer and contemplation. It allows us the space and silence to have a deeper, richer relationship with God. Contemplation is deep and mysterious but not abstract.We live in silence, speaking when necessary.
We use our voices to sing, pray and recreate. Meals are eaten in silence while listening to the word of God or lives of the saints etc.Everyone is included in our prayers. Prayer requests come in from all sides: through e-mails, letters, phones and contact at the convent. Our petition box at the Turn is filled daily with requests for prayers. We answer e- mail and God answers Knee mails is a poster put up at the Convent.
Being situated in the heart of the city with no land available for cultivation, and the house was surrounded by a small garden, there was no outdoor activity or works, so in days gone by, we undertook sewing as our main source of income which included embroidery, stitching and lace making for church purposes. For the most part we live on alms and the people are generous towards us.We give people spiritual direction when they ask for it and we listen to their problems & offer advice as best we can.
In today's world people find it very hard to get someone to listen to their problems so that is a main part of our ministry. We also share with the poor whatever we have.
Our Chapel is open to all who want to speak and spend time with God. We make no distinction, after all, we are all Gods children. Our Chapel attracts many people for prayer of every race, color & creed. Its main attraction is the Infant Jesus - His presence and His devotions. Thursdays is a special day in his honour. In the evenings we have Holy hour from 5-6pm followed by Benediction. All through the year mass is at 6.30 am.
We have a prayer room within the house where the sisters go for a heart to heart with the Lord.
Cloistered nuns live a life of prayer and contemplation. It allows us the space and silence to have a deeper, richer relationship with God. Contemplation is deep and mysterious but not abstract.We live in silence, speaking when necessary. We use our voices to sing, pray and recreate.
Our day begins with a sweet voice of a sister calling us to pray.
5. 30am Mental prayer. (Meditation)
8.15am Breakfast and work
12.45am Midday prayer- (sext and none).
1.15pm Lunch, wash up, visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
2.30pm. Spiritual reading
3.30pm Work continues
5.00pm. Evening prayer followed by mental prayer.
6.30pm Office of readings.
7.00pm Supper, wash up etc.
9.00pm Night prayer- Compline
The works undertaken in the house are simple so as not to hinder contemplation. Ongoing formation continues with the senior sisters, while the novitiate provides formation to the young sisters. Outside help for formation is given as and when necessary. Those in formation are given extra curriculum activities and the opportunity to develop their talents and put them to good use in community. We do not keep a fixed time for their length of novitiate, professions etc. We respect the individual and the time is set according to their ability and disposition keeping in mind the demands set by canon law.