A number of our Sisters participated in a Youth 2000 event at St. Christopher’s Parish in Red Hook, New York last April 12-13, 2012.  Sr. Maria Therese, our Vocation Director, was approached by a group of home schooled youths and parents attending this event from Albany, NY, requesting to visit Avila for a day.  This took place at St. Teresa's Motherhouse located in Germantown, NY on May 12, 2012.  Fourteen young people with their parents attended this day.  They experienced a presentation on the Congregation's Foundress Mother Angeline Teresa  by Sr. Maria Therese and some aspects of what  it is  like to be a Sister today.   They all joined the Sisters for lunch, relishing the kid friendly menu!   Sr. Matthew James gave the group a tour of the Motherhouse following lunch.  It turned out to be an enjoyable experience for them!   The day concluded with May Crowning of Mary and the recitation of a Scriptural Rosary in Chapel.   We thank Sr. Cyril Methodius who was an invaluable help and support with this program.   The day was lovely and really enjoyed by everyone.  The final aspect of this day was a snack with a Carmelite Quiz which won the day!   Thanks to all our Avila Sisters who made this day so special for everyone! 



Religious life is not just the pursuit of the holy and virtuous.  In fact, in reality, it is the pursuit of the holy and the virtuous in the midst of the ordinary.  This was the genius of Saint Therese- finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.  So looking at these pictures below it is no wonder that the everyday is the best preparation for becoming a real Sister in the real world!

Sr. Ambrose and Postulant Sr. Heather working on a vocation project.
What a fine mess!

Snickerdoodle cookies for baking!


Vocation Discernment Weekend

by Sr. Lois Ann, O.Carm

The Carmelite Sisters held a Vocation Discernment Retreat at St. Teresa's Motherhouse from  April 27 to April 29, 2012.
The weather was perfect and the Retreatants were able to enjoy our beautiful grounds and our cloister walk which overlooks the Hudson River with its views of the Cakskill mountains.  The Retreat opened with a lovely prayer service.  There was Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from after Mass until Evening Prayer.  The Retreatants visited our Heritage Room where items related to our Mother Foundress Mother Angeline Teresa are kept on display.  They also heard a presentation about her life by Sr. Maria Therese Healy, our Vocation Director. Saturday evening was filled with laughs, as Sisters, Postulants and Retreatants, played the "name game".  There was full participation during our Sunday Eucharistic celebration.  The Sisters joined together for a farewell lunch as the participants prepared to depart.
We hope that this short visit with us will produce much fruit and that each of these wonderful women hears God's Will for her.

by Sr. M.  Cyril Methodius, O.Carm

Discernment is a process whereby one thoughtfully assesses and seriously thinks about a certain aspect in one’s life.  It can be a relationship, a decision about the future, employment, education, etc.

When one discerns he/she is undertaking a task that is a similar process to a person who is contemplating a major decision in his or her life.  Time is spent thinking about all the aspects, information is gathered and an assessment of all the facts are reviewed and studied in regard to one’s personal choice, circumstances and freedom.

Religious discernment is a process that utilizes all the above for a deeper awareness of one’s  personal gifts and how God wants them to be manifested in His Church and in today’s world.   This usually begins with more time set apart for prayer, quiet reflection and listening to what God is saying to you, during these times of silence and solitude.  It allows Him an opportunity to spend time with one, filling those empty or restless ‘spaces’ in us with His presence.

I recently read a passage that seems to fit here.  “….I am not the Lord of my life.  My life is not entirely within my control. …I have to learn to be a shepherd – to ‘lead’ my life, shape it and deal effectively with so many things that I did not plan.”  Become a shepherd of your life; not the Lord of your life.



From Dublin to Carmel- A Vocation Story


My name is Sister Mary Josephine. I am one of the Sisters in temporary vows . The Lord has called me into the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm to grow into deeper love, knowledge and work for Him by praying, living and working daily in the care of His senior people, the elderly who need our care.

Could I have done this as a lay person? God knows that in my weakness I need the help of Community in my attempt to give my life totally to Him.