Our Vocation Story

 

Sr. Bernadette of the Immaculate Conception

“Indeed I have been taken possession of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12).  The story of my vocation is the story of God’s search for me and his Divine Providence which led me here to Carmel.  After high school graduation, I moved from my hometown of Eunice, Louisiana to Lafayette in order to attend college at UL.  I moved in with my aunt, who lovingly told me that if I wanted to live with her I must go to church on Sundays, which I was not accustomed to.  God was seeking me out in the mysterious plan of Divine Providence.  I did start attending church at Wisdom, the UL campus Catholic student community, although I did so out of obligation at first.  Then came a great awakening in my faith: not only did I attend Sunday Mass but began to love it! I began to meet new friends and fell in love with Jesus, with Whom I began to spend many hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.  Once while I was making a holy hour, the Lord spoke to my heart: “You are going to be a nun.”  “What’s a nun?” I said to myself.  I went home and researched on the internet to see, and here began my vocational journey. I continued my discernment over the next few years and enrolled in the RCIA program, since I had never made my Confirmation. It was a time of grace for me as I learned more about the faith.  In March of 2008 at the Easter Vigil I received the Sacrament of Confirmation and witnessed the many friends I met in RCIA come into the Church which was such a powerful experience. “Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him.  Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith as you were taught.  And be filled with thanksgiving” (Col. 2: 6-7). I had worked as manager of a store and decided to change jobs, becoming a bank teller—another manifestation of Divine Providence. I had been looking for an early Mass to attend since I had moved across town and a friend directed me to the Carmelite Monastery.  I attended Mass each morning (which I loved) and afterward went to pray at St. Edmond’s private Adoration Chapel before going to work.  One morning a man, whom I met up with frequently at prayer at St. Edmond’s, approached me and asked, “Have you ever thought of being a nun?”  “Yes,” I replied, “but I don’t know how to go about it.”  He just so happened to be one of our Carmelite Guild Men who knew the monastery very well.  “I know just what to do,” he told me.  Immediately, he contacted Sr. Aimee who in turn set up a meeting with Mother and the Novice Mistress. I entered Carmel on May 16, 2010 and remained with the Community for three years.  Due to health problems I had to leave for some time and re-entered Carmel as and Extern Sister on November 20, 2016.  My vocation is such a great grace from God.  I have found my true home and have become one in this beloved family of Lafayette Carmel. Jesus began by seeking me out, and now I spend my life of prayer seeking Him, seeking His Face and dedicating my life for the sake of His Body, the Church!  

 

Sr. Lucia of the Immaculate Heart

I was born in Harlingen, Texas and was blessed with a family that was very active in the faith and in our parish.  I was a “normal” girl growing up: singing in the choir at Mass, active in the drama club . . . a typical extrovert.  At the age of 17 I began to feel the call to religious life, but my reaction to this was, “I’ll think about that later.”  I continued to be active in the parish after I graduated from high school, teaching catechism to high schoolers and helping with every function I could.

When I was 22, I decided to move to San Antonio for work.  I began attending Mass at Little Flower Basilica, which is run by our Carmelite Fathers.  One day, about six months after I moved there, one of them said to me, “You should be a Carmelite nun!”  I emphatically said “NO!” because I didn’t think I would be happy in the cloister.  He let it go, but the seed had been planted, and over the next two years I fell head over heels in love with our Carmelite spirituality, thanks to the teaching and example of the friars. 

In 2014, I was searching and wondering about God’s plan for my life.  I wasn’t unhappy, but I felt like something was missing.  One of my friends made a novena to Our Lady with me, asking for light and guidance.  By the end of the novena, the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, I knew I had to give religious life a try.  Try I did but nothing seemed to “fit,” so I decided to take a break during Lent 2015. 

On Holy Thursday, I knelt before the altar of repose and begged Jesus for light.  “I know You want me to be a nun, but I don’t know where.  Tell me what You want me to do!”  Almost immediately after that, the same Father I’d said “NO” to two years ago beckoned me over, and he asked me again if I’d thought any more of becoming a Carmelite.  My excited response was “YES!”  He then introduced me to this Community of Mary, Mother of Grace in Lafayette, Louisiana. 

I entered Carmel in April 2016 and I received the habit on May 13, 2017.  I am so happy here.  Our Holy Mother St. Teresa said it best: “This house is a heaven, if one can be had on this earth.”

 

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Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace
Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace Front View of the Monastery St. Michael the Archangel Receive our Prayer Chapel Tower Community Cemetery To our beloved Sisters who have gone before us. . . Sacred Heart Statue