Carmelite Way of Life: Focus and
With thousands of their Discalced Carmelite sisters worldwide,
the nuns of Kilmacud Carmel continue to live the cloistered
contemplative life as envisioned by St. Teresa of Avila. They
witness to the transcendence of God through a life of
unceasing prayer and sacrifice. The heart of Carmelite life is
the experience of a personal relationship with the living God,
present and close, who makes himself known as a Friend.
Prayer is their apostolate, permeating every aspect of the
nuns’ lives. Prayer is the raison d’etre of their lives. Their
prayer is essentially ecclesial, for the wellbeing of the Church
and the good of all humanity. Nothing human fails to find an
echo in their hearts. They make their own the joys and hopes,
the griefs and anxieties of all their sisters and brothers the
world over, especially the poorest. Through their important
‘Apostolate of Listening’ and ‘Apostolate of the Pen,’ they offer
comfort and encouragement to all who call or contact them for
prayers. They gather each day as a community to celebrate
the Eucharist and their praise and thanksgiving continues
seven times throughout the day in the Prayer of the Church.
They devote at least 2 hours every day to personal meditation
Called to be ‘hermits in community’, their focus is on silent
solitary prayer, and, like Mary, attentive listening to God’s word,
balanced by warm sisterly relations in community. The balance
between these two elements is fundamental to the Teresian
Carmel and it is the tension between them that enriches and
purifies them reciprocally.
The Teresian charism has a strong community dimension, also
characterised by friendship; “all must be friends, all must love
one another, all must be cherished, and all must help one
another”, (Constitutions 88). The nuns meet twice daily for
recreation to upbuild relationships and to share their joy. The
Teresian Community has a value in itself. It counteracts the
growing individualism of today’s society and speaks to the
yearning to belong that the superficial virtual relationships of
the social media fail to satisfy. Teresa saw her small
communities as ‘little Colleges of Christ’, whose way of being is
transformed by the presence of the Lord in their midst.
Teresa promoted the dignity of the person; the incomparable
magnificence of the human person deriving from the fact that
we were all created by God and chosen by him as his dwelling
place. Her insights and conviction speak to our modern world
where sadly the human person is often degraded and
exploited. The nuns themselves must have a profound
experience of their interiority and union with God, which
transforms them into the image of Christ. This in turn impels
them to recognise the presence of his Spirit in the situations of
the world and the signs of God in history.
The nuns endeavour to live by Gospel values. Their daily
hidden life is simple; they pray work, study, and recreate within
the monastery and its grounds. They try to live a counter-
cultural lifestyle and witness to stability and life-long
commitment in the fast-changing affluent consumer society of
the 21st century. They engage in remunerative altar bread
work to support themselves and to show solidarity with the
The Carmelite Community is inserted into the Parish of St.
Laurence O’Toole, Kilmacud, and is valued for their place in
the local community by the Catholic Church and the Church of
The Community is aware of the problems of ecology and their
responsibility in safeguarding the environment. They do their
best to re-duce, re-use, re-cycle. They very much welcomed
Laudato Si (On Care of our Common Home), written by Pope
Francis in 2015, and his Apostolic Constitution, Vultum Dei
Querere on Women’s Contemplative Life of 2016, followed by
Cor Orans from CICLSAL (2018).
OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
The aims of the Carmelite community are to be of service to
the Church and the world by living their contemplative vocation
following the charism of St. Teresa of Avila. They strive to
witness to the transcendence of God through a life of prayer
and sacrifice. They contribute to the good of society in the
spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.
The Corona virus pandemic has impacted on some of our
activities over the past eighteen months. For the safety of all
and obeying the various restrictions we could not open our
Chapel for public worship nor have groups doing Bible study in
In the coming months as things continue to improve, we hope
to return to our normal services and activities. Thank you for
your patience and understanding.
We engage in a tradition of contemplative prayer to
which we dedicate our whole lives and we encourage others to
develop prayer in their lives.
Individually and as a community we study and meditate
on (Lectio Divina), the Word of God in scripture and encourage
others to recognise the importance of the Word of God in their
We care for our own elderly and sick sisters within the
monastery and support them in their needs, employing
professional care when necessary.
We welcome new members and engage in their
formation and in the ongoing formation and training in liturgy,
scripture, and human development of all the community.
We offer support to our local church, clergy and
parishioners through prayer and sacrifice.
Flowing from our life of prayer, our chapel and grounds
offer an oasis of prayer and peace in a very busy suburb.
We welcome people to share in our daily Eucharist and
Prayer of the Church.
We engage in the upkeep of our chapel, making it an
intimate and welcoming place of worship.
From September to May we make our parlours available
for members of the interdenominational Bible Fellowship Study
Group for their weekly meetings.
In a spirit of ecumenism, every year we offer Evening
Prayer 18th-25th Jan. for the Unity of all Christians inviting
guest speakers from different faith traditions to address the
We are committed to praying for thousands of requests
sent in weekly by viewers worldwide to the Chapel of Intentions
on the popular Sacred Space website.
Through our community website and Facebook, we post
inspirational blogs, pictures, and articles to support viewers in
their spiritual searching. Through this medium we also share
events taking place in our community.
Through our ‘Apostolate of Listening’, we provide a
source of consolation, compassion and encouragement to
members of the public who call to our monastery or who
contact us by post or email.
We greatly support in prayer vulnerable groups like the
Travelling Community, prisoners and their families, traumatised
women and their families who spend time in the Women’s
Refuge, those trapped in substance abuse, expectant mothers,
the sick and the terminally ill, families affected by suicide, the
bereaved and persecuted Christians of our time.
We pray for and promote vocations to the priesthood and
religious life and accompany those who are discerning a
vocation to the Carmelite life. We support missionaries at
home and oversees.
We engage in altar bread baking and sale in an effort to
be self-supporting for the care of our members and as a
service to parishes and religious congregations mainly in the
Archdiocese of Dublin, but elsewhere in Ireland and on the
We share as generously as possible from our resources
with charities at home and abroad.
We keep ourselves informed about the life of the Church
and events in the world.
Achievements and Performance
We cared for the needs of our sisters especially the elderly and
sick sisters in the monastery.
We continue to be a deeply appreciated presence in this
Parish of St. Laurence O’Toole for the past 140 years, and a
public Mass centre since 1897.
While our lifestyle cannot be judged by human standards, we
believe it responds to the spiritual and temporal needs of
people today. We are aware of the powerful effects of a life of
prayer and the support and strength our ‘Apostolates of
Listening and of the Pen’, give to those who seek our help. We
receive very positive feedback from our contacts at the door or
through letters and emails.
People find great solace in our Chapel either by their
attendance at Mass, Evening Prayer, or visiting for personal
prayer. We have become increasingly aware of the importance
of our presence within our local community.
Our Evening Prayer 18th -25th January was attended by
increased numbers in 2019, with invited guest speakers from
various faith traditions. It is always strongly supported by
people from our Parish and our neighbouring St. Brigid’s C of I.
In 2020 we continued with a good attendance, but in 2021 we
offered a Zoom link to the public as we could not have a
congregation due to COVID-19 restrictions. We estimate over
70 people connected to the Zoom link during the week and
many more viewed the videos we uploaded to our YouTube
Large numbers of participants in the Bible Study Fellowship
Group met in our parlours weekly from Sept 2018- May 2019.
Due to the pandemic, we were not able to offer our parlours for
these meetings in 2020 and 2021.
The Community continue to be faithful to supporting with
prayer the thousands of online requests posted in weekly to
The Chapel of Intentions of Sacred Space.
We continue to update our own new community website and
Facebook, to promote our life and to offer inspiring literature
and reflections etc. to our viewers.
Revised: October 2021