Cloister Outreach

A Carmelite Nun's Mom Speaks

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Fence

The following is the testimony of a Discalced Carmelite nun's mother of Gemma's aquaintance.

Our first child, a daughter, was born June 19, 1942.  She attended daily Mass, as the school children at that time attended before classes began.
 
Reading was one of her favorite pasttimes.  As she grew older, she became interested in the life of St. Therese, the Little Flower, and read everything she could find about the saint.  That should have given me a clue.
 
We thought that our daughter may have a vocation to the religious life.
 
We enrolled her at St. C. Academy, where at that time there was a boarding school for high school girls.  She continued to attend Mass daily.
 
When graduation time came, she told us she wanted to enter the convent.  We were so happy, assuming she meant to enter the Dominican Order.  When she said she wanted to be a Carmelite, I couldn't believe it.  My thoughts were of never seeing her face again, of her going far away where we couldn't get to visit her and that she would never be home again.
 
Our daughter sensed our anxiety, and spoke with the chaplain at St. C.'s.  He invited us to come talk with him.  During the conversation, the point he made calmed my fears.  He said that a vocation to Carmel is a very special calling, and "you can't make a Dominican out of a Carmelite, or a Carmelite out of a Dominican."
 
Our daughter entered Carmel on October 3, 1960.  The 40+ years she has been there have been such a joy and blessing for us.  No way would I ever change it if I had the chance.
 
We visit her twice a year and correspond often.  We feel a closeness to her that can't be matched with any of our other seven children.
 
God has been so good to us, and she is so happy.
 
Mrs. B.H.
Kentucky

Mrs. B.H.'s daughter learned carpentry before she entered Carmel.  After entering,  her daughter made a shadowbox of her cell (bedroom), which hangs on the wall at the foot of Mrs. B.H.'s bed.

Want to meet her daughter? Click here. Click "monastery"; then "meet us". She's in the far left frame.

"Do not rouse my love until it please to wake."  (Song of Songs)