Valparaiso NE Carmelites?


#1

I was just wondering if anyone knew if the Carmelites in Valparaiso NE wear wedding dressing when they make their profession. I forgot to ask when I was there, and I haven’t been able to find anything online. Does anyone know?


#2

They don’t wear the wedding dresses when they make their professions-they wear them when they’re clothed in the Carmelite habit and enter the novitiate. Big difference!

I’ve never been to the Valparaiso Carmel myself; I’m only saying this from reading about the lives of Carmelite Saints such as St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. I’ve seen photos of the latter in her wedding dress the day she took the habit in 1901.

When Carmelite nuns make their profession, it’s a private ceremony done within the enclosure-no family members are present.


#3

No they dont not even before they enter or when they take the Holy veil.


#4

[quote="barb_finnegan, post:2, topic:229074"]
When Carmelite nuns make their profession, it's a private ceremony done within the enclosure-no family members are present.

[/quote]

I've always wondered about this as it's in their Constitutions, but I've never heard of any Carmel actually doing it this way, even very traditional ones. Perhaps this was changed, even for them. For one instance, there was actually once on youtube a Solemn Profession of a nun at Valparaiso (which was taken down, thanks be to God .. they want/need to stay hidden) But anyway, it was a big event with the Bishop and her family was present and everything. I have heard of other solemn professions at the various traditional Carmels throughout our country that were like this also .. with the bishop and many people in attendance.

This is seriously something I want to ask about next time I visit Carmel .. it is interesting. St. Therese definitely made her profession in private .. in the chapter room I believe it was. So I wonder when/why this changed and if there are still Carmels that do it this way .. or if it's possibly a difference between French and Spanish customs.

About wedding dresses, I'm not sure about Valparaiso/Elysburg .. but it sounds like carmelitegirl knows they don't. I know a number of other traditional Carmels used to and don't anymore either. The only two I know for sure that still do (that are both under the 1990 Constitutions) are Dallas, TX and Littleton, CO. And yes, they wear them for the reception of the habit/investiture.

p.s. one more - this Carmel in Australia :thumbsup: picasaweb.google.com/ballinacatholic/NewCarmelite

flowerofcarmel.com/


#5

That's true-I never thought that the customs observed at ceremonies of Clothing and Profession would differ from Carmel to Carmel. I had forgotten that they are autonomous.

I didn't know that there was a YouTube video of a Profession in Valparaiso. Good thing it was taken down out of respect for the nuns and their privacy.

When I was younger (mid-teens to mid-twenties) I thought about becoming a Carmelite nun. Once I asked the nuns of the monastery I was looking into if there was any chance of me being able to come for a clothing ceremony. They wrote back to say that it was not done that way anymore.

The only public ceremony was the Final Profession and Taking of the Veil. I was able to attend that ceremony in 1974. I even had a part in the Offertory procession with two other young women who were thinking of entering. I had to carry a large bronze pitcher and basin for the washing of the hands at Mass. Somehow my index finger got caught in the fingers of the Bishop of Albany [the previous one, not the current one], and I had to gently pull my hand away. I didn't say anything, but the look on my face said to him, 'Bishop, please give me my finger back!' :) :o

I also visited in the speak room afterwards with the Mother Prioress, the newly-professed and her family. They were from out-of-state (Connectcut, I think), and the brother-in-law broke everyone up by trying in a teasing way to poke his fingers through the grille to touch Reverend Mother's hand. She smiled gently and in an embarassed tone said, 'No...no.'


#6

My daughter is at Valparaiso. All the ceremonies take place in the nun's chapel, which is behind a very formidable grill to the right of the altar, roughly equivalent to being the right transept in a cruciform church. The postulant entering, the novice receiving the habit, and the nun making profession kneel at the window in the grill which permits the nuns to receive Holy Communion. There she answers whatever questions the celebrant may put to her, and makes whatever public professions the ceremony requires. Apart from that the rest of the ceremony takes place entirely within their chapel, out of the public's sight, or that of the family either for that matter. A wedding dress is not part of any of the ceremonies.


#7

[quote="lmgilbert, post:6, topic:229074"]
My daughter is at Valparaiso. All the ceremonies take place in the nun's chapel, which is behind a very formidable grill to the right of the altar, roughly equivalent to being the right transept in a cruciform church. The postulant entering, the novice receiving the habit, and the nun making profession kneel at the window in the grill which permits the nuns to receive Holy Communion. There she answers whatever questions the celebrant may put to her, and makes whatever public professions the ceremony requires. Apart from that the rest of the ceremony takes place entirely within their chapel, out of the public's sight, or that of the family either for that matter. A wedding dress is not part of any of the ceremonies.

[/quote]

Thanks for letting me know:) Since your daughter entered, maybe you would know the answer to another question- did your daughter bring anything with her when she entered as a postulant? (I keep meaning to ask M. Teresa, but I always forget to put it in the letter)
I've always wondered, bc the nuns can't own anything personally, but it seems like they would bring things like a toothbrush etc, but like I said, I keep forgetting to ask! :rolleyes:


#8

[quote="PhilomenaJohn2, post:7, topic:229074"]
Thanks for letting me know:) Since your daughter entered, maybe you would know the answer to another question- did your daughter bring anything with her when she entered as a postulant? (I keep meaning to ask M. Teresa, but I always forget to put it in the letter)
I've always wondered, bc the nuns can't own anything personally, but it seems like they would bring things like a toothbrush etc, but like I said, I keep forgetting to ask! :rolleyes:

[/quote]

Well, I'm not the person the question is directed to, but as my sister is a Carmelite, I can give an answer from her experience. I don't know exactly what she brought, but she had a few things in a little tote bag. The only items that I know for sure were in there were a pair of organist's shoes. She needed those!


#9

"Thanks for letting me know Since your daughter entered, maybe you would know the answer to another question- did your daughter bring anything with her when she entered as a postulant? (I keep meaning to ask M. Teresa, but I always forget to put it in the letter)
I've always wondered, bc the nuns can't own anything personally, but it seems like they would bring things like a toothbrush etc, but like I said, I keep forgetting to ask! "

if you send Mother a letter asking permission to enter, and if she gives you permission, she will also send along a list of the things you should bring and some of the things you might consider doing before entering, such as studying a little Spanish-since the house has somewhat of a Spanish culture about it, a little Latin. One fairly expensive item they ask you to bring is a Liber Usualis (roughly $90 or so as I recall), My wife says to tell you that it is all personal stuff that you would be required to bring. They've got the sheets and towels, blankets, etc. There is no dowry, btw.


#10

[quote="The_Curt_Jester, post:8, topic:229074"]
. The only items that I know for sure were in there were a pair of organist's shoes. She needed those!

[/quote]

I'll bet! Those sandals that they normally wear are prob not the best for organ-playing:D


#11

[quote="lmgilbert, post:9, topic:229074"]
"Thanks for letting me know Since your daughter entered, maybe you would know the answer to another question- did your daughter bring anything with her when she entered as a postulant? (I keep meaning to ask M. Teresa, but I always forget to put it in the letter)
I've always wondered, bc the nuns can't own anything personally, but it seems like they would bring things like a toothbrush etc, but like I said, I keep forgetting to ask! "

if you send Mother a letter asking permission to enter, and if she gives you permission, she will also send along a list of the things you should bring and some of the things you might consider doing before entering, such as studying a little Spanish-since the house has somewhat of a Spanish culture about it, a little Latin. One fairly expensive item they ask you to bring is a Liber Usualis (roughly $90 or so as I recall), My wife says to tell you that it is all personal stuff that you would be required to bring. They've got the sheets and towels, blankets, etc. There is no dowry, btw.

[/quote]

Thanks for getting back to me- I did wonder about the dowry bc the old Carmelite stories mention it, but it probably went the way of the "serving sisters" Thank you for the heads up about the Spanish. I've studied some Italian, but they're not quite the same:rolleyes:


#12

[quote="PhilomenaJohn2, post:11, topic:229074"]
Thanks for getting back to me- I did wonder about the dowry bc the old Carmelite stories mention it, but it probably went the way of the "serving sisters" Thank you for the heads up about the Spanish. I've studied some Italian, but they're not quite the same:rolleyes:

[/quote]

PhilomenaJohn2,

As you are aware, if you enter you will be singing all the offices and assisting at Mass in Latin. Italian is a lot like Latin, but there are many many differences. I'd strongly encourage anyone entering to get as much Latin as possible, because once you enter there is virtually no time for study. It is a very busy, intense life. You don't want to be in the position of singing and reading without understanding for many hours every day. Of course, you will pick up a lot, but still...

My daughter writes,
"I just finished my fifteen minutes of Latin review. Did I ever tell you that I try to study a little Latin? For the last year and half or two [four other nuns and I] have met relatively regularly to work our way through Wheelock's Latin and were supposed to have been doing five to ten minutes of Latin review daily. Ha! A couple of months ago , I looked at the most recent page of my "notes." The top date on the page was February something 2010, and every other line there was anew date with "For next time do Chapter 18 (or 19 or 20)" written next to it, ending with a date in November 2010 when I gave up pretending I was going to do any Latin. Happily we have discovered a new book...called Latin by the Natural Method....

So you can see it is a struggle, and this for a gal who was fluent in French, taught ESL in Spain, was an A student all the way through.... Once you're in, the emphasis is on prayer, not study.


#13

[quote="lmgilbert, post:12, topic:229074"]
PhilomenaJohn2,

As you are aware, if you enter you will be singing all the offices and assisting at Mass in Latin. Italian is a lot like Latin, but there are many many differences. I'd strongly encourage anyone entering to get as much Latin as possible, because once you enter there is virtually no time for study. It is a very busy, intense life. You don't want to be in the position of singing and reading without understanding for many hours every day. Of course, you will pick up a lot, but still...

My daughter writes,
"I just finished my fifteen minutes of Latin review. Did I ever tell you that I try to study a little Latin? For the last year and half or two [four other nuns and I] have met relatively regularly to work our way through Wheelock's Latin and were supposed to have been doing five to ten minutes of Latin review daily. Ha! A couple of months ago , I looked at the most recent page of my "notes." The top date on the page was February something 2010, and every other line there was anew date with "For next time do Chapter 18 (or 19 or 20)" written next to it, ending with a date in November 2010 when I gave up pretending I was going to do any Latin. Happily we have discovered a new book...called Latin by the Natural Method....

So you can see it is a struggle, and this for a gal who was fluent in French, taught ESL in Spain, was an A student all the way through.... Once you're in, the emphasis is on prayer, not study.

[/quote]

Thanks for the heads up! IDK if there's a Rosetta Stone for Latin, but there must be something since people still need to learn it even though it "died" ages ago:rolleyes:
When I went to my first Latin Mass, I thought I could "figure it out" bc I've sung a lot of different Masses by various old composers, but the sheer amount of Latin was a little overwhelming, so clearly, there's still some work to do:o
Thank you for being so helpful- I am hoping to enter the Valaparaiso Carmel someday, and it's been wonderful to be able to talk to others who are familiar with it. BC I live in Iowa right now, I can only communicate with Mother via snail mail, and I haven't had a chance to visit since January. I haven't formally applied yet bc I have to pay my student loans back and I'm still in school, and I know I can't enter with debt. That said, I've been praying to St. Joseph about this, and I'm confident that if the Lord wants me to enter, He'll open a door somehow:)


#14

[quote="PhilomenaJohn2, post:13, topic:229074"]
Thanks for the heads up! IDK if there's a Rosetta Stone for Latin, but there must be something since people still need to learn it even though it "died" ages ago:rolleyes:
When I went to my first Latin Mass, I thought I could "figure it out" bc I've sung a lot of different Masses by various old composers, but the sheer amount of Latin was a little overwhelming, so clearly, there's still some work to do:o
Thank you for being so helpful- I am hoping to enter the Valaparaiso Carmel someday, and it's been wonderful to be able to talk to others who are familiar with it. BC I live in Iowa right now, I can only communicate with Mother via snail mail, and I haven't had a chance to visit since January. I haven't formally applied yet bc I have to pay my student loans back and I'm still in school, and I know I can't enter with debt. That said, I've been praying to St. Joseph about this, and I'm confident that if the Lord wants me to enter, He'll open a door somehow:)

[/quote]

PhilomenaJohn2,

There is a book by Dom Matthew Britt, O.S.B. called "A Dictionary of the Psalter-Containing the vocabulary of the Psalms, Hymns, Canticles, and miscellareous prayers of the Breviary Psalter", published by Benziger Brothers in 1923. This book is available through Lulu.com. It's about 300 pp.in length, and would make excellent bedtime reading until that glorious day when you enter. Mother Agnes is very enamoured of that book, of that I am quite sure. That would give you all the vocabulary you need, practically. As you saw in my daughter's letter, they were working their way through Wheelock's grammar, and I am pretty sure that is THE grammar with which to familarize yourself. Wheelock's vocabularly, however, would probably be about battles, the Roman culture of the time, and so forth.

As for Spanish, knowing this is far less important than the Latin, and working your way through Pimsleur Spanish or Rosetta Stone would probably be more than enough. There are some Spanish sayings emblazoned on some of the walls, and Mother Teresa is known as Nuestra Madre, but the nuns don't speak Spanish to one another or anything like that.

Although you're in school, I hope you won't continue to accumulate more debt in order to stay there. Why would you?

Elsewhere I have read of parishes which have thrown fundraisers for young women who wanted to enter religious life, but who were prevented by their student loans. And from the reaction of our home parish to my daughter's entering Carmel, I can well believe it. People were inspired by it and thrilled by it, and I am sure would have come to our aid if we had indicated a need. You might talk with your pastor about that, or with the local Serra Club, or with the womens's club of the parish if tthere is one, or the Knights of Columbus. Also, it may be that the vocations director of your diocese has some ideas or some connections that could help you. Regarding all of the above, there is nothing to be lost by asking. Also, a good confessor once told me that St. Nicholas is the go-to man for financial help. And if I should win the lottery I shall put ads in all the Iowa papers looking for you :)


#15

[quote="PhilomenaJohn2, post:13, topic:229074"]
Thanks for the heads up! IDK if there's a Rosetta Stone for Latin, but there must be something since people still need to learn it even though it "died" ages ago:rolleyes:
When I went to my first Latin Mass, I thought I could "figure it out" bc I've sung a lot of different Masses by various old composers, but the sheer amount of Latin was a little overwhelming, so clearly, there's still some work to do:o
Thank you for being so helpful- I am hoping to enter the Valaparaiso Carmel someday, and it's been wonderful to be able to talk to others who are familiar with it. BC I live in Iowa right now, I can only communicate with Mother via snail mail, and I haven't had a chance to visit since January. I haven't formally applied yet bc I have to pay my student loans back and I'm still in school, and I know I can't enter with debt. That said, I've been praying to St. Joseph about this, and I'm confident that if the Lord wants me to enter, He'll open a door somehow:)

[/quote]

If you're interested in finding a way to pay back your student loans quickly so you can enter, I suggest applying for the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations or the Laboure Society or both. I have known several people who thought they wouldn't be able to enter when they wanted to because of excessive debt and both of these helped. :)


#16

[quote="lmgilbert, post:14, topic:229074"]
PhilomenaJohn2,

There is a book by Dom Matthew Britt, O.S.B. called "A Dictionary of the Psalter-Containing the vocabulary of the Psalms, Hymns, Canticles, and miscellareous prayers of the Breviary Psalter", published by Benziger Brothers in 1923. This book is available through Lulu.com. It's about 300 pp.in length, and would make excellent bedtime reading until that glorious day when you enter. Mother Agnes is very enamoured of that book, of that I am quite sure. That would give you all the vocabulary you need, practically. As you saw in my daughter's letter, they were working their way through Wheelock's grammar, and I am pretty sure that is THE grammar with which to familarize yourself. Wheelock's vocabularly, however, would probably be about battles, the Roman culture of the time, and so forth.

As for Spanish, knowing this is far less important than the Latin, and working your way through Pimsleur Spanish or Rosetta Stone would probably be more than enough. There are some Spanish sayings emblazoned on some of the walls, and Mother Teresa is known as Nuestra Madre, but the nuns don't speak Spanish to one another or anything like that.

Although you're in school, I hope you won't continue to accumulate more debt in order to stay there. Why would you?

Elsewhere I have read of parishes which have thrown fundraisers for young women who wanted to enter religious life, but who were prevented by their student loans. And from the reaction of our home parish to my daughter's entering Carmel, I can well believe it. People were inspired by it and thrilled by it, and I am sure would have come to our aid if we had indicated a need. You might talk with your pastor about that, or with the local Serra Club, or with the womens's club of the parish if tthere is one, or the Knights of Columbus. Also, it may be that the vocations director of your diocese has some ideas or some connections that could help you. Regarding all of the above, there is nothing to be lost by asking. Also, a good confessor once told me that St. Nicholas is the go-to man for financial help. And if I should win the lottery I shall put ads in all the Iowa papers looking for you :)

[/quote]

Thank you again! I am in my last semester, so it was a sunk cost at this point:rolleyes: It seemed prudent to graduate for several reasons- not the least of which are the parents! But mainly, I knew that with my degree, I could have access to jobs which would let me pay everything back within a year or two, whereas without it, it would take much longer. I'm def open to Divine Intervention, but I didn't want to presume a miracle when perhaps He wanted to test my persistance or something like that. (I think He made Edith Stein wait 12 years before she was allowed to enter)
I've asked for St. Joseph's help, and he must be busy bc more and more people at my church have been approaching me about my vocation. (I think I got adopted by a couple of Franciscan sisters here, and they've been storming heaven with prayers:D) I'll have to add St. Nicholas to my prayers, but that makes a lot of sense!

Your daughter is blessed to have such a supportive family! How long has she been in Valparaiso? (And how did she find out about it? I'm in Iowa now, but my family lives in Omaha)


#17

[quote="DaughterOfMary6, post:15, topic:229074"]
If you're interested in finding a way to pay back your student loans quickly so you can enter, I suggest applying for the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations or the Laboure Society or both. I have known several people who thought they wouldn't be able to enter when they wanted to because of excessive debt and both of these helped. :)

[/quote]

Do you know if you have to already be accepted to the order before you can apply? I've wondered if it was possible to apply to an order on the condition of paying back loans, but I haven't heard for certain.


#18

[quote="PhilomenaJohn2, post:17, topic:229074"]
Do you know if you have to already be accepted to the order before you can apply? I've wondered if it was possible to apply to an order on the condition of paying back loans, but I haven't heard for certain.

[/quote]

Yes, I believe that's how it works. You can apply on that condition. At least I've heard it works that way for the young men and women who apply for loans from the Laboure Society or Mater Ecclesiae Fund. I'm sure it depends on the community, but it seems to be a norm. Here are some of their vocation stories, labouresociety.org/current/ - fundforvocations.org/ They've already been accepted and are just waiting to pay back their loans to enter.


#19

[quote="LaudemGloriae, post:18, topic:229074"]
Yes, I believe that's how it works. You can apply on that condition. At least I've heard it works that way for the young men and women who apply for loans from the Laboure Society or Mater Ecclesiae Fund. I'm sure it depends on the community, but it seems to be a norm. Here are some of their vocation stories, labouresociety.org/current/ - fundforvocations.org/ They've already been accepted and are just waiting to pay back their loans to enter.

[/quote]

Thank you so much! I just wanted to share that you answered a prayer in a special way!
I just concluded my novena to St. Joseph, and I had specifically asked what I should do next for my vocation. I just checked back here and saw your post about the Labouree society (and I had tried to find their site before but never succeeded) I went to it, and still wasn't sure if that was the right step, but as soon as I closed the screen, the phone rang. Sr. Teresa (a Fransican) called me and told me that a good friend of hers had just told her about the Laboure society, and she had been planning to give me the information either tomorrow or Monday, but she felt like she should call me tonight to let me know! I can take a hint! :newidea:
So thank you again!


#20

[quote="PhilomenaJohn2, post:16, topic:229074"]
Thank you again! I am in my last semester, so it was a sunk cost at this point:rolleyes: It seemed prudent to graduate for several reasons- not the least of which are the parents! But mainly, I knew that with my degree, I could have access to jobs which would let me pay everything back within a year or two, whereas without it, it would take much longer. I'm def open to Divine Intervention, but I didn't want to presume a miracle when perhaps He wanted to test my persistance or something like that. (I think He made Edith Stein wait 12 years before she was allowed to enter)
I've asked for St. Joseph's help, and he must be busy bc more and more people at my church have been approaching me about my vocation. (I think I got adopted by a couple of Franciscan sisters here, and they've been storming heaven with prayers:D) I'll have to add St. Nicholas to my prayers, but that makes a lot of sense!

Your daughter is blessed to have such a supportive family! How long has she been in Valparaiso? (And how did she find out about it? I'm in Iowa now, but my family lives in Omaha)

[/quote]

First of all, what you say about finishing your degree at this point makes perfect sense.

Are your parents supportive of your vocation, PhilomenaJohn2? When our daughter graduated from the University of Dallas in 2001, we told her she could live at home without paying us room and board if she would use that opportunity to pay down her student loans. Neither she nor we had any idea of her vocation at that point, but we would have financed her education if we could. Since we could not, this was one way to make it up to her. And as a very pleasant side benefit of this offer, we had her living at home with us for the next six years, which were glorious. She taught at her old middle school/highschool for those years, but we were on her case to pursue higher studies of some sort, since she had the brains for it.

At one point I had told her that the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius are geared toward choosing a state in life, so when she saw that the Miles Christi Fathers were offering an abbreviated version of the Exercises at a local Jesuit Retreat House, she took the opportunity. In the meantime, she had been accepted at the John Paul Institue in Washington D.C. for graduate studies, with a full ride. So when the retreat master asked her in conference why she was doing this, she didn't really have a good reason other than mom and dad thought it was a good idea. He asked her if she had ever considered becoming a nun.. She had. He ssuggested that she look into Valparaiso. First she checked out the Cistercians in Dubuque. She made a trip out to Valparaiso in the Fall of 2006, but there was something about that long wall that runs along the driveway that she found very offputting, that and the Latin. For a long time she was interested in the Poor Clares. Finally in winter of 2007 she drove out to Valparaiso again from Chicago, and when she came back home she wrote and asked to be admitted. She entered in early August of 2007, and made simple profession in June of 2009She is very happy there.

As for being supportive, from our standpoint this is simply glorious. So many graces have come to us, and so many more are implied, that it would be very short-sighted of us to be anything but grateful. What more could we want than to go to Heaven and find our daughter there? If by the grace of God she perseveres, that is where we will find her. On the other hand, how dumb it would be to resist the Holy Spirit, to place obstacles in the way of Jesus Christ taking her as His bride. At 67 yrs of age I have seen several instances where people have done this, and it has not brought blessings down on their heads, one could safely say. Not at all. For my sins I have experienced enough chastisements, and am not in the market for any more, believe me.

No, there are definitely graces and blessings that come from supporting vocations, and because we are avid for these, we do what we can. Naturally we would pray for you, too, PhilomenaJohn2 but honestly that probably won't happen unless we have a name that we believe is your real first name, and not a nom de plume.

Since you are in Iowa, have you ever been out to New Melleray, the Cistercian monastery 12 miles southwest of Dubuque? That's worth a visit, but if you can't get there, you might look at their website. There they have a place where you can make a prayer request. Ask them to remember you in their prayers and Masses that you will be able to enter contemplative life. They know the value of such a life, and will surely remember you.


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