Vocation Story

Sister Marie Richard Carmel, O.Carm

I grew up in a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, where my parents made many a personal sacrifice to pay the tuition necessary for my sister and I to attend Catholic schools. Dad belonged to the Knights of Columbus and he and my Mom had their wedding reception in the former Knights of Columbus building located at Grand Army Plaza. Later, the building was to become for a time, the Madonna Residence, a nursing home for the elderly, served by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, where I volunteered from the summer of my 15th year until I entered the Order, two months after my 18th birthday. I had thought about religious life from a very young age, attracted by the dedication and joy of the Sisters who taught me during my formative years. When I met the Carmelites, I knew instinctively that I wanted to embrace their particular way of consecrated life, according to the Charism of their Foundress, Venerable Angeline Teresa, O.Carm. My parents supported and encouraged my decision, considering it an honor that a child of theirs was called by God to religious life. For me, living in imitation of Jesus Christ is the shortest path to holiness. Professing vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity, and embracing a life of prayer in Community and in Apostolic service to the elderly, in the Carmelite tradition, is a radical way of living in the world and witnessing to God's tremendous love. The Lord continues to call men and women to follow Him as Priests, Brothers and Sisters - they need only to respond YES with courage, trust and an open heart.

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Sister Marie Richard Carmel, O.Carm