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The community of the Carmelite Sisters of Mary

May 30, 2011

Located on 80 acres in the mountain wilderness of northeastern Washington State, about 35 miles north of the city of Spokane. This area is known as the “Appalachia of the West”. Though many of the people are poor, the area is rich in beauty, natural resources, lakes and recreational areas. Our physical setting includes a large main house called “Regina” with a chapel, library, laundry facility, business office, guestrooms, a community kitchen, dining room and living room. Clustered around this larger house and “St. Teresa’s Well”, are five smaller hermitages: Hallel, St. John of the Cross, St. Joseph, St. Therese, and Elijah’s cave. There are many nature trails, and a variety of wildlife,– birds, deer, elk moose, ermine, etc. but no poisonous snakes or poison ivy! The Sisters have as part of their charism a concern for the earth and its life forms, and received the “2003 Wildlife Farm of the Year” Award.
Our county is one of the most un-churched areas of the U.S., and as such, it is in need of the presence and prayers of Carmelites. There is only one priest in the county, who must travel to five churches to say mass. Due to this there is no daily mass in the county. However, the Carmelite Sisters have the Blessed Sacrament reserved in their hermitages, and come together during the week for communion service and scripture reflection. They attend Sunday and Holy Day liturgies at one or another of the parish churches that are nearby.
Spiritual direction, giving retreats, sharing our Contemplative and mystical tradition and prayer are works proper to Carmelites. The apostolic dimension and meaning of our contemplative life and prayer is for the transformation of the consciousness and lives of all humanity to that of Christ’s, so as to make the Kingdom of God—God’s Reality—present among all peoples with whom we share the earth.
Canon 603 allows for each hermit to structure her life as the Spirit leads her, and so the daily horarium of each Sister is her individual response to God. Carmelites are required to give two-hours a day to contemplative prayer, an hour to spiritual reading, to attend Eucharist and participate in saying the Divine Office. Work, recreation, community meetings and faith sharing are also part of the life. READ MORE

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