If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go together. (African Proverb)

 

 

Explorers of the Mystery of God
What keeps these women from eight different countries and two continents together?
The fundamental and deep desire for God. Desire for God does not have a “color”, a “culture” but it is embedded in the human person, the human heart. This is the first common ground for these eight seekers of God.
With a “common guide” - the Primitive Rule of Carmel -, they live a common life in prayer and searching for God; they gather together during the day to pray the psalms (the Liturgy of the Hours) through which they “knock at the heart of God” for the needs of all humanity. With this “social prayer” they are in solidarity and communion with people of all walks of life.  As Pope Francis said: “Your vocation, the monastic vocation is going onto the battlefield, it is fighting, it is knocking at the heart of the Lord”

(from: Contemplate, n. 66)


Silence is another element of the common life of these seekers:  St. Albert, writing the formula of life for the first hermits on Mount Carmel, wrote:  “Silence is the way to foster holiness”. (Isaiah).  Silence takes us to our own deepest inner self where we can meet ourselves and God.

Our life together

Our life together is punctuated with times for prayer, work, simple meals taken together, reading and study, weekly community meetings and two periods of recreation each day. Visitors are welcome to join us for the Eucharist, and the Divine Office, especially for Lauds (Morning Prayer) and Vespers (Evening Prayer).
As contemplatives we respond to God’s call to seek Him with all our heart, to give Him our whole loving attention, to adore Him and to bring the needs of the Church and the world before Him in unceasing prayer. Opening ourselves to God’s love is a way to true fulfilment amid the challenges and sufferings of life.


Our presence in South Africa       


Carmelites felt drawn to Africa from Europe as long ago as 1584 but were only able to found communities in the last 100 years.  Now there are Carmels in all parts of Africa. Here in South Africa three Carmels have been founded: at Benoni, diocese of Johannesburg; at Retreat, Cape Town and in Mafikeng, diocese of Kimberley. The Carmel of Benoni was originally founded in Rivonia (north of Johannesburg) by eight sisters, including two South Africans, from Darlington Carmel, England in September, 1931. The Carmel was dedicated to St. Thèrèse of the Child Jesus. In 1952 the community made a foundation in Wynberg, in the Cape (presently in Retreat), and in 1965 helped with the foundation of the Carmel of Lubumbashi in Congo. The Carmel relocated to the East Rand in 1992 and in 1995, building began on a new monastery at Benoni. On 5th October, 1996, the Chapel was consecrated and the new Carmel officially opened.