Discerning Carmel

I would like to find a Carmelite order that accepts women older than 35. So far, the ones I’ve found in my internet searches all have a 35 year cut-off and i’ll be 44 next month. My priest has told me about the one in Valparaiso, Neb but I’ll have to wait for snail mail on that one as they don’t have email or a web presence.

Thank you in advance,

Dear Michelle,

Praised be Jesus Christ! Hi! First, since you are writing Valparaiso it sounds like you are looking for a more traditional Carmel. I have a friend who wrote them when she was 46 and she got a “no” They are pretty strict on their age limit and they have so many vocations on top of it. But you could always try. Also you could try the foundation they’ve made in Elysburg, PA (especially if you’re looking for a Carmel with the Latin Mass) Here’s a site of some volunteers at that Carmel, friendsofcarmeljmj.org/ My guess is that they will be strict on their age limit too, but I do know they were open to someone (in her 30’s) with some health issues while other Carmels were saying no to her.

Okay, but so I thought I would post here a thread I started way back on Phatmass about the 2 different sets of Constitutions for the Discalced Carmelite Nuns, phatmass.com/phorum/topic/58540-the-discalced-carmelite-nuns-1990-1991-constitutions/ (both Valparaiso & Elysburg are under the 1990s)

Some 1990 Carmels I know that definitely accept older vocations:

Jefferson City, MO
Erie, PA (a recent thread about them on PM)
Dallas, TX
Wichita, KS <-- a new site

And here’s a little photo album of Carmels I made they you might find helpful - picasaweb.google.com/ocdnuns God bless & I will keep you in prayer!

p.s. this is just a technicality but when saying “Carmelite order” … that means either the Discalced Carmelite Order as a whole or the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance - the original Carmelite Order. The Discalced Carmelite Order is the one under the reform of St. Teresa. So there are two Carmelite Orders. And then within the Orders are individual communities/monasteries/or Carmels.

So you’re looking for a community/monastery/Carmel that accepts older vocations, rather than an “order” Sorry I hope I’m not being silly trying to differentiate all these terms, lol. Anyway, so yeah :thumbsup:

Traditional, yes. I’ve recently had an experience that made me very aware of pursuing traditional rather than assuming it.

My priest told me about a woman from a previous parish of his that was accepted at Valparaiso at 53 or 54. I don’t know anything else though, so perhaps it was a very special case. Which I would assume that if God wants someone in a particular religious community, it will happen regardless of guidelines and rules. :slight_smile:

thank you so much for all the links, I look forward to purusing them all!!

Thanks for that, I knew when I wrote “order” that it was wrong, but I was too lazy to delete and think about what the correct word was. :blush: I’m still so new with the terms of art, they don’t flow naturally. i’m always open to being informed and/or corrected!

Wow, that is great!!! And I talked to one of my friends last night and she gave me three more (all 1990) for you to look into. The first one she recommended was Buffalo, NY. It says on their site that 35 is their limit, but they will make exceptions and they are an excellent community!

Second, there is Kirk Edge Carmel in the UK if you are willing to go outside the US/or rather if it is God’s will (they have an American postulant at present) Finally she said Louisville, KY.

No you’re fine with writing order anyway. And I totally understand about being lazy, haha! I think it’s just something of a pet peeve of mine, that I have to get over :o I’m usually not so techinical, but when it comes to Carmel I can be, haha :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you for being so open to God’s Will. Unfortunately, not many Religious Communities let you in after thirty-five to forty. First, I want you to know your worth in the eyes of God. Read this great article by Father David Mary, Superior of the Franciscan Brothers Minor: franciscanbrothersminor.com/FBM/Discernment_Part_X_-_Age_Discrimination.html
I’m not sure how many Carmelites will take you. If you can’t find any cloistered Community, look into the Franciscan Sisters Minor. They have no age limit at all, meaning you can join when you’re seventy. They mostly pray and live in Community, but occasionally go out and do stuff. They basically live the life of Cloistered Nuns but with the convenience of being Franciscans, so they can leave their property whenever they like. They don’t use the internet, just like the Friars, so they don’t have a website. However, their contact information can be found on the Friars’ website: franciscanbrothersminor.com/FBM/Our_Sisters.html

These carmelites will accept women up to 50 with exceptions made…


Check out the Carmel memebers of the CCA, the Carmelite Communities Associated:


Seem feel that these Carmels are “lax”. However, if you check out their horaria, you will find that they observe the two hours of solitary prayer, silence and hermit-like aspects of the Carmelite rule.

The Kirk Edge Carmel in the UK is very strict.

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