Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm

Author: Carmelites


HISTORY In September 1929, a Religious Community was founded in New York City by Mother M. Angeline Teresa under the guidance of Patrick Cardinal Hayes of New York: the Community known as the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.

Together with six other Sisters who were to be the first members of this Congregation, Mother Angeline Terersa began the great apostolate of caring for the elderly in a unique and different way. Not only were the physical and spiritual needs of the individual met, but of equal importance home-like residences were to be established where the dignity and independence of each elderly person would always be respected and maintained.

On September 29th, 1931, the first Home was opened in the Bronx.

ACTIVE LIFE As women of the Church inspired by Mother M. Angeline Teresa, the Sisters seek to respond with faith, courage and love to the healing ministry of Christ. Their philosophy is best expressed in the words of their Foundress: "Our apostolate is not only to staff and operate up-to- date homes for the aged, but as religious, it is to bring Christ to every person under our care. Bringing Christ means giving them His compassion, His interest, His loving care, His warmth morning, noon and night. It means inspiring the lay people who work with us, to give the same type of loving care."

The Sisters are involved in many areas of work in caring for the elderly. Some serve as administrators, social workers, nurses, resident advocates, pastoral care workers, business workers, and so forth.

Regardless of the specific job, though, each Sister is concerned with the total well-being of the resident and seeks to make the later years some of the richest in the individual's homeward journey to God.

SPIRITUAL LIFE As Carmelites, the Sisters endeavor to combine the active life with the contemplative. Early in their training they learn that the fruit of their active labors depends on a deep spiritual life and great faith and trust in God. Our Blessed Mother of Mt. Carmel is the principal Patroness of the Congregation, and the Sisters wear the brown habit of Carmel with the brown scapular which symbolizes the Order's special devotion to and love of Mary. Through the Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity, the Sisters consecrate their entire lives to Christ and seek to remain faithful Spouses, witnessing to His love in all that they do.

FORMATION Postulancy: eight months Become familiar with religious life as it is lived each day and be exposed to the work of the apostolate in direct care of the aged in one of the houses of the Congregation. Novitiate: two years A firm foundation in the spiritual life is established. The Rules and Constitutions of the Congregation are studied; and the three Vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity are com- pletely examined so as to make the Novice fully aware of all that her commitment to Christ entails. Juniorate: First profession of vows is made on completion of the novitiate. The vows are renewed each year until Final Profession is made, usually at the end of five years. The active apostolate among the elderly is begun at one of the houses of the Congregation.

NOTE: On January 21, 1984 Mother M. Angeline Teresa, the Foundress went to her Eternal Reward. She had the great consolation of seeing the Congregation grow beyond her expectations. At the present time the Sisters have 27 residences for the aged, and care for almost 6,000 elderly men and women each day.

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS Age: 19-35 Education: high school diploma or equivalent Health: good physical and mental health Attitude: sincere desire to serve Christ through the elderly

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Write to: Vocation Director St. Teresa's Motherhouse 600 Woods Road Germantown, NY 12526

Copyright, 1985, 1994, Society for Religious Vocations

The above religious community is a Sponsor of the Society for Religious Vocations and an Affiliate of the Institute on Religious Life. For a copy of the above information on this community, PROPERLY FORMATTED AND WITH PICTURES, please contact William Fairman (Clergy/Religious Forum) or write/call:

Mr. William D. Fairman Society for Religious Vocations 10016 South Komensky Avenue Oak Lawn, IL 60453 (708) 424-4550 (VOICE & FAX)