Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - Main Site
Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - IRL

Cloistered, Contemplative
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Founded: December 8, 1952

Nestled at the foot of the scenic Wasatch Mountain Range in Salt Lake City, the Carmelite Nuns live joyfully their vocations of love, prayer and union with God. Although they are cloistered and their only apostolate is prayer, in the spirit of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the nuns consider themselves to be missionaries. This perception is often a distinct part of the call to a vocation in this community, since the monastery is located in an area with very few Catholics. The Carmelite Nuns spend their days praying not only for souls in Utah, but all over the world.

In this monastery, the nuns strongly embrace of the vow of poverty. The monastery and cloistered grounds are humble, but simplicity is a cause of great joy for the nuns. Their frugal lifestyle allows them to focus on the contemplation of God without the temptation of material goods. To cut down on cost, they wash used sheets of tin foil, Saran Wrap, and plastic bags to be reused as many times as the material will allow. What food they do not grow in their garden or orchard is brought to them by the Good Samaritans who live in the area.  The nuns must often beg for what they do not have, which is a source of great humility for them.

The nuns all wear the traditional full habit, sewn themselves, and they live behind a grille. These Carmelites are each permitted call and write their immediate family once a month, and their families may also visit the monastery once a month. When a postulant becomes a novice, she is clothed in the habit and given a new name, oftentimes of her own choosing. The postulants, novices, and temporarily professed sisters all wear the white veil, but after taking the solemn/perpetual vows, the nuns then wear the black veil.

In between frequent periods of both communal and individual, mental prayer, the nuns go to work cleaning the monastery or working in their gardens. They bring in income by baking altar breads for the diocese, sewing habits for porcelain nun dolls, making candy and fudge, and planning for their annual fair. This fair is planned and organized entirely from within the enclosure, and the nuns, except for the extern nun, do not attend it. Many of the goods that the nuns make are sold at this fair, in addition to donated raffle items, which bring in the majority of the financial support for the nun’s livelihood. (On a side note, the candy that the nuns make is some of the most delicious I have ever tasted, and it can be purchased on their website, along with the beautiful nun dolls, and various holy cards and bookmarks.) In addition to the periods of work and prayer, the sisters enjoy two hours of recreation a day during which they are permitted to speak with one another as they make rosaries or sew to further support their way of life.

The Carmelite Nuns are now the last remaining religious community in the entire state. Less than a decade ago, the Carmelites also feared that a lack of vocations would force them to permanently close the monastery, thus finalizing the demise of religious life in all of Utah. In more recent years, however, the community welcomed several new vocations from out of state, causing the community to flourish once again.  The community currently is home to nuns aged 25 to 85 who have come from all over America, and even from outside of America.

Schedule taken from the nun’s main website:
5:25 a.m.: Signal to Rise
5:45 a.m.: Office and Mental Prayer
7:30 a.m.: Mass
8:30 a.m.: Breakfast, then visit to Blessed Sacrament, then work
11:15 a.m.: Office, Examine, dinner (lunch), then recreation
1:30 p.m.: Work, then visit to Blessed Sacrament
                                                     2:00 p.m.: Office and Spiritual Reading
                                                     2:45 p.m.: Prayers for dying, then work
                                                     4:25 p.m.: Office and Mental Prayer
                                                     6:00 p.m.: Supper and Recreation
                                                     8:00 p.m.: Office and Free Time (Strict Silence)
                                                     10:00 p.m.: Retire

Spirituality:  Carmelite; St Thérèse of Lisieux

Devotions: Recitation of the seven parts of the Divine Office, Mass, mental prayer, spiritual reading, rosary, fasting, first Friday Eucharistic adoration, some Gregorian chant, grand silence, Carmelite Saints, and a special devotion to Our Blessed Mother.

Ages upon entrance: 20-40 (exceptions may be made)

The community welcomes vocations for both choir nuns and externs. If a young woman is interested in entering the community but is not sure if she is called to become a choir nun or an extern, the community will discern this with her.

Apostolate: Prayer in the spirit of St Thérèse of Lisieux (spiritual missionaries)

# of professed nuns:  Current number in community: 10 professed, 1 novice

Mother Maureen Goodwin.
5714 Holladay Blvd
Salt Lake City, UT 84121

Email:  DCN_ImmaculateHeart

Occasionally the above email address does not work, so if you have sent an email and do not get a response, perhaps the nuns never got it. In that case, please try again by emailing MotherMaureen. Mother checks it less often than the email address given above, but at least you can be assured that she will eventually get it.

While they make candy and other goods to support themselves, I thought it quite interesting that they make Carmelite Nun Dolls!

YouTube video is a good look at their daily life:
May God bless your discernment, and may He reward you for responding so openly to His great love!  Written by Kathleen, a very good friend of these nuns!  I appreciate her too.



Comments are closed.

    Ages upon Entrance

    Belated >35
    Extern 18/37
    Extern 20/40
    Extern > 35
    Extern >40