come here primarily to be hermit monks. Our calling is to be like Mary
seated at our Savior's feet, attending to His words as the only thing necessary. Our call is not a preparation for the priesthood
or a step to something else; it is itself the highest calling to
a life of prayer.
The candidate, after having been in the Hermitage for
a few days, begins the time of Aspirancy that lasts from half a year
to one year.
This is the first contact that he has with the new way of
life he aspires to embrace. The goal at this stage is to acquire a
consciousness of the Divine call, to test his strength and aptitudes as
he progresses in the experience of the monastic spirit. During this time
he wears a brown monastic shirt without a hood with a short scapular for the community acts,
almost all of which he participates in.
Postulancy begins with the investiture of the brown tunic and a short
brown scapular, and lasts for one year. During this time, the Postulant
immerses himself in the Carmelite eremitical life and deepens himself in
the knowledge of his Catholic faith. He continues discerning in prayer
with greater clarity the call of the Lord for this way of life.
the beginning of the Novitiate the Postulant is invested in the full
Habit of the Carmelite Hermits, consisting of the brown tunic, the long
brown scapular, the belt with Rosary, the wooden novitiate cross and the white mantle. The Novice
also receives his new name in Religion from the Prior, by which he will
be called from that time forward. The Novitiate lasts for two years and
is a time for the Novice to make a strong foundation in his Carmelite
First Temporal Vows
the end of the Novitiate the Hermit makes his first temporary Profession
of Vows of Obedience, Chastity and Poverty for three years. The
Novitiate wooden cross is exchanged for the Profession Crucifix, and the
white Capuche is added to the White Mantle. During this time, the Hermit
deepens his spiritual life by performing all his tasks in the context of
his Vows to God, his obedience to his Superior and his place within the
Second Temporal Vows
Professed Hermit renews his commitment for another two years as he
continues towards total consecration to God for life. This is the last
formal stage of the Hermit's formation as he contemplates the decision
to give himself completely to God and to bind himself to the community
Solemn Profession of
public ceremony of Solemn Profession expresses a spiritual union and a
mystical death: the Hermit, by his taking of the Vows until death, turns
away from the glamour and empty show of the world, and opens his heart
to the advancing Kingdom of God, which has already taken root in his
soul. Through continual repentance and obedience, his life grows in the
grace of Christ, who died to the world in obedience to His Heavenly
Father for the life of the world. The Hermit, by his prayer and
spiritual death, also participates in the miraculous life-giving mission
of Christ, as he reforms his own life and intercedes in prayer for the
good of the Church and the salvation of souls. As he proceeds on his
spiritual journey, the Hermit tends towards the perfection of charity,
which is the goal of his Profession and of all monastic life.
life of prayer is nourished by the steadfast foundations of the eremitical
life: conversion of life, humility, solitude, silence, obedience
It is important that the candidate not only have a desire for solitude,
but for communal life as well. A candidate needs good physical and
mental health to sustain our way of life, since we perform a good amount
of manual labor. He must be free of
any chronic illness, any addictive behavior or any emotional and/or psychological pathology.
who express an interest in our life are invited to visit the hermitage
for the first time for a week. If interest is expressed once again, the
candidate visits for a one to two month live-in observership participating fully in
the daily schedule of the hermitage. After this visit if the
candidate is interested in joining the hermitage he applies to the prior
and starts his application papers. Those applying must not be younger
than 18 years of age, nor older than 40.
in our way of life may be considered on an individual basis, and men
between the ages of 40-50 may be considered as Oblates, depending on
their health and readiness to adapt to our way of life.
Our common practice
is to have the candidate take psychological testing before admittance
into the community.