Discerning your Vocation
Postulant in cloisterIf you are discerning a possible vocation to Carmel, remember that every Carmelite Sister has been through the same experience. It can be exciting and daunting at the same time! We understand your desires, hopes, anxieties and fears and we are here to help you.

A call to Carmel is a gift from God and it means that some spark of our Carmelite charism - or "spirit" - lights up inside you. You will feel some sense of identity, as if you had a streak of Carmelite DNA! The call of God to become a Carmelite contains an enabling grace to help you at each stage of the journey. Each person's story is unique (you can read the story of our Sr. Mary Fionnuala here).  

Tips for the discernment process:

  • Gather as much information as you need by writing to or meeting with Carmelite Sisters or Priests. 
  • Do not rush yourself, but do not delay too long either as this will make it more difficult. You will never be 100% sure, but when you feel a strong sense of God's call, then try to respond fully and trust that God will show you if it is the right decision.
  • Try to find a Spiritual Director or Priest to talk with and help you by meeting regularly.
  • Take quiet time for prayer each day, and if possible attend Mass and listen carefully to the readings, especially the Gospel. God can speak very powerfully through the Liturgy.
  • Be open to God's call in all sorts of unusual ways - in nature, through friends or family or in the simplest of daily occurences. After a while, you will recognise a "pattern" that seems to be directing your life to the place God wants you.
  • After some time of contact with the Community, remember that you have the option of trying a "live-in" experience with no strings attached to help you in your discernment process.
Walking in garden
Questions to ask yourself:
  • Do you have sufficient physical and psychological health for a demanding enclosed life?
  • Do you esteem your womanhood - have you a real acceptance of your sexuality, enabling you to make a free choice of consecrated celibacy?
  • Do you have the basic human qualities needed for community living?
  • Do you have a strong desire to venture your life in order to love Christ and make Him loved?
  • Do you have a love for a life of prayer and for God's word in Scripture?
  • Do you have a passion to intercede for the Church and the world?
  • Do you have a capacity for solitude and silence as well as the ability to live in community?

Address and email for vocation enquiries:
Sr. Mary Noeleen
Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph
Upper Kilmacud Road
Co. Dublin

Email:      vocations  [at]  kilmacudcarmel  [dot]  ie

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