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CARMEL OF THE DIVINE HEART OF JESUS offers a challenge to young women desirous of proving to God that they really love Him. A young lady begins her life in Carmel at the Provincial House, the American cradle for Carmelite Sisters D.C.J. in Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Applicants between the ages of eighteen and thirty, who possess good health, common sense, a cheerful disposition and submissive will to serve God in whatever capacity the Superiors judge best, are admitted to the postulancy. A college education is desirable, but it is not essential. The Congregation trains its members for the specific work. Upon her arrival (there is no fixed date of entrance), she becomes a candidate. After she is adjusted to convent life she will be received into the community as a postulant. For the next six to nine months the postulant learns the ABC’s of spiritual life and is initiated into the various works of the Congregation.

On July 2nd during the ceremony of Initiation into the novitiate, she is clothed with the brown habit and scapular, and the white novice veil, thus she becomes a member of the illustrious family of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.

The novice, during the next two years, learns more than she ever dreamed possible about the interior life. From her study of the Rule, the Constitutions and the Vows, she acquires a deeper appreciation of her vocation and is imbued with the spirit of Carmel. She takes part in all the community exercises, helps in the household tasks and thoroughly enjoys recreations periods which may include, rosary or scapular making, work on some favorite hobby or art work, or perhaps just enjoy sports—volleyball and roller blades are among some of the favorites for the young novice today. At the completion of the novitiate, the novice exchanges the white veil for the black and makes her First Profession of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Christ is hers and she is His! And as she reflects on the momentous step she has just taken, the I.N.R.I. of her profession crucifix has for her an added significance: I’ll Never Regret It.

The professed Sister, besides striving for personal sanctification, aims to see, to serve and to love God in the children, youth and the aged entrusted to her care. She does this directly, in the capacity of a housemother, nurse, child-care/social worker or indirectly, by performing secretarial or domestic work. Throughout the five year period of temporary vows, the young religious continue to receive spiritual guidance and is encouraged to develop her natural abilities. Six months prior to her Final Profession, a Sister receives a more intense training to prepare herself for perpetual vows, when she becomes a Carmelite of the Divine Heart of Jesus forever.

Throughout the day the Sisters, novices and postulants assemble in their chapels for the recitation of the Liturgy of Hours, meditation, rosary, holy hours and private prayer. In all Communities the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for Adoration one day each week.

If you, dear reader, hear the gentle voice of Christ calling you to Carmel, and are willing to accept the challenge, then email: simmaculatao@gmail.com.