Holy Family Hermitage, Corran, Leap
Here in the South West of Ireland, in a little garden, (formally a Garden Centre), we are attempting to rekindle some of that fiery zeal and fervour of the early Carmelite Hermits on Mt Carmel and the holy Spanish Mystics, Doctors and Reformers, Sts. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross.
By means of our daily life of prayer and silence, in solitude and community, for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, we seek to participate in the life of the indwelling Holy Trinity. Gathering the faculties of the soul to employ them in the unceasing remembrance of God and the work of love, we attempt to fulfil the admonition of Sacred Scripture to pray always (Lk. 18:1 and 1 Thes. 5:17)
“All are to remain in their cells or near them, meditating day and night on the law of the Lord and being vigilant in prayers, unless otherwise lawfully occupied.” - Rule of St Albert
So as to maintain greater silence and recollection, the Nuns live in a Laura, (street of Cells) around a central chapel, following the original Carmelite rule.
“Moreover, taking account of the site you propose to occupy, all of you are to have separate cells; these are to be assigned by the prior himself with the agreement of the other brothers or the more mature of them.” - Rule of St Albert
Purpose of this Foundation
- To preserve the authentic religious life according to holy tradition as lived out in the original Rule of Saint Albert and customs of St. Teresa of Avila.
- To gather together courageous souls for the purpose of giving glory to God, making reparation to the Holy Face of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Role in Today’s Church : Powerhouse of Prayer
To be a contemplative nun means a total surrender of self to God. Christ tells us in the Gospels, “The kingdom of God is within you,” a beautiful invitation to enter into the recesses of our hearts and commune in a most loving and intimate way with Him who loves us best.
The Church of today has an urgent need for contemplative prayer, for unending praise, adoration and supplication on behalf of a weary world. When contemplative religious dedicate their lives to complete union with Christ, a powerhouse of prayer results. It is the Lord’s plan for humanity: communities of people, set apart from the world, who through solitary and hidden lives witness in a special way to Jesus in prayer. The close connection between the contemplative Carmelite and all other members of the Church - priests, religious and lay people - is a beautiful mystery of God; there is an intimate bond between them. Behind the cloister’s walls, behind the lines of the spiritual “battlefield,” the Carmelite sisters strive to supply heavenly “ammunition” to those doing combat in the world. This is the life of the cloister within today’s Church, to establish fortresses of Divine Love in the midst of the secular world.
Today the Church is in great crisis. The Holy Eucharist is profaned, many Catholics are abandoning the true faith, many religious orders are in decline, and heresy and dissent are everywhere. The Church needs religious sisters who yearn to spend their lives for the sanctification of souls, who seek the presence of the Lord in contemplative love and hiddenness of life. Why? Because our Lord takes our hiddenness, our sacrifices and our prayers and unites these pure offerings of love with His own redemptive sacrifice for the good of His Body, the Church. The silent emanation of love which pulsates from the heart of Carmel generates a superabundance of grace for humanity, through the mercy and goodness of God.
This is the powerhouse of prayer, as designed by God, to bring glory to His Church and to the world. It is the very heart of the Carmelite vocation.