Continuing Discernment and a Letter

Hi all,

A while back, I posted a thread regarding my discernment of a religious vocation; I am still praying about it often.My original post referenced a leaning towards the Dominican spirituality, but as my prayer life has deepened I feel more drawn to cloistered, contemplative orders. I am still planning on contacting the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, but am looking into Carmelite communities right now.

Could someone please explain to me the difference in Ancient Observance Carmelites and Discalced Carmelites? I understand the reform history, but I have been looking at orders and cannot tell exactly what makes them different.

The community I am considering is O. Carm. in Allentown, PA. I am trying to write them a letter right now, and will hopefully be in contact with them in a few weeks. Can anyone recommend any other Carmelite communities to consider, perhaps Discalced Carmelites? Is there anything you would recommend putting in my letter?

Thanks so much for your help!

I know no one has replied yet, but I have just sent an e-mail to the Carmel of St. Therese in Allentown. Hopefully this goes well.

I think this is great! I wrote to a religious community of Dominicans in Michigan and being that I live in Florida - I have no idea how to get there … I’m unemployed right now and have no idea when to be able to go to the next discernment retreat they have. The sister replied to my email saying, “I’m glad you’re interested in our order. We only have discernment retreats in the main monastery in Michigan. Basically, if it’s God’s Will, I’ll find a way to get there.” Do you have any ideas on how to get to Michigan from Florida that’s affordable and preferably around 50 dollars?

I would, if you are going to fly, use a site like Kayak to search for rates. I live in SC, and the orders I’m interested in are out of state, so I have no choice but to fly. I calculated the cost of a round-trip for two people (my mother and myself, or another family member), and that was only $300 with US Airways. For one person it would be cheaper; you can also find rates for other types of transport.

I would contact your friends and your parish. Try to set up a fundraiser to pull the money together, perhaps with a community garage sale or something like that. There’s and online service—I think its called Fundrazr or similar—to help you collect donations as well.

I go to school near Allentown and I have been to the Monastery a few times! There’s only about 6 nuns there now. I think they are all getting older. Definitely contact them though!

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