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Daily work in the monastery
Come with us on a tour around our monastery...


Lighting candle
Carmelite community life flows from our morning
Eucharist together, so one of the first tasks of the day is to prepare the altar and sacred vessels for Holy Mass. This work is done by the Sacristan. After Mass, she clears the altar, purifies and puts away the vessels, attends to candles, vestments and does other jobs in the chapel. She is also responsible for the flowers decorating the chapel, and the cleaning of the chapel. Special seasons of the Church year can be a particuarly busy time in the sacristy, especially during the ceremonies of the Easter Triduum. But this work is done with great love and the joy of serving the Lord so closely.
Sacristan washing chalice Working on flowers Sacristan counting hosts

The Bread of Life:

Baking altarbreads

Manual work has always been an essential part of monastic life. It helps create a balance and serves to earn a living. We support ourselves mainly by altarbread making, supplying many parishes in Dublin and throughout Ireland, even a few in Africa. Most of the Sisters in the community are involved in this work - from making up the initial batter of flour and water to baking the sheets of breads, cutting out the hosts or packing up the finished breads for collection or postage.

Packing hosts

Weighing flour Packing room of our Altarbread department Stacking humid air

Serving the needs of the community in the Kitchen, Laundry and Cleaning:

The Carmelite Rule gives special emphasis to the meals held in common by the community, so the work of preparing the meals has an important place in the daily routine. St Teresa reminded her nuns that Jesus walks among the pots and pans! It can be tiring and demanding work, but we always appreciate the efforts made by the Sisters on duty in the kitchen, and whilst we try to keep a simple and healthy diet, we do enjoy a good variety of different foods!  

Stirring pot on stove Taking bread from oven sweeping corridors
Hanging out washing!
The simplicity of our monastery makes cleaning relatively straightforward, but the work still has to be done regularly and in a large building it does take time!! Laundry is done regularly too, and again because of the simplicity of our clothing, it is not too labour intensive.

Outdoor duties:

We try to supply our kitchen with some fresh fruit and vegetables and we also like to keep some colourful flowers in bloom throughout the year! In the garden, we are filled with reverance and wonder at the mystery of growth and the changing of the seasons. Whether it is weeding, pruning, planting, fruit-picking or sweeping up leaves, our outdoor duties put us in closer contact with our Creator.

Planting leeksPlanting flowers

Caring for the sick and elderly:
This is a very important duty which is carried out with great love mainly by the
 Sister assigned as "Infirmarian". However, all the Community play their part in helping our sick and elderly members, as we remember the words of St. Teresa: "All must be loved, all must be cherished". Caring for the sick brings great joy to the giver, and is always regarded by us as a wonderful privilege.

Formation of Junior Sisters:
A class in the novitiate

The task of guiding new members to become integrated into the life of the monastery is an important work that builds up our community for the future.  This role is carried out mainly by the Novice Mistress, with the assistance of other Sisters in community.  The postulants, novices and junior professed sisters attend regular classes and are encouraged to study subjects relevant to the Carmelite monastic life.

Office work:
work in the office
Of course, every household has bills to pay, maintainance to be carried out, service contracts to meet, and as a charitable organisation we also have legislation to comply with. Office work can be a hidden and unrecognised duty, but those involved know there is a lot of computer work and paperwork to be done each day. Our Altarbread department creates its own accounting work also.  The Prioress has the responsibility of responding to the many letters we receive, and maintaining this website also creates some office-based work!!

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