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Carmelite Nuns Move From New York to Florida in Pursuit of ‘Silence and Solitude’

A religious community of 14 Discalced Carmelite nuns has moved from a busy street in Buffalo, New York, where their order has lived for more than a century, to the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, in pursuit of “silence and solitude.”

“Prayerful greetings from sunny Florida!” a February message on the religious community’s website said.

“But it truly became ‘home’ when Jesus himself came to dwell among us in his Eucharistic presence after the first Mass in our lovely little chapel,” the message said.

The Discalced Carmelite nuns are a cloistered community dedicated to contemplation and prayer. The sisters take their example from St. Teresa of Avila, the foundress of the Discalced Carmelite order.

The Buffalo monastery is less than a half mile away from a busy recreational park and is down the street from a busy intersection, Buffalo News reported.

The Discalced Carmelite Monastery of the Little Flower of Jesus was originally established in Buffalo just over 100 years ago when the suburban neighborhood was “a quiet area,” the community said on its website in October.

“Now, however, we no longer have the silence and solitude which are requisite for a cloistered community,” the announcement said.

Buffalo News reporter was granted rare access inside the walls of the monastery in 1997 and wrote that “individual pasts don’t matter within the walls of the monastery. What matters is eternity. In return for the privilege of spending their days talking to God, the sisters live an austere life.”

The reporter noted that the sisters, 22 of them at the time, had “no worldly possessions” because of their vows of poverty and chastity.

“Carmelites wear a heavy, brown wool habit that dates back 435 years. Their accessories are rope sandals; a white toque, a hood-like garment that covers all of the head except the face; and a black veil,” he wrote.

He noted that sisters sleep on “straw mattresses” and engage in much prayer and penance, “kneeling on a hard floor in a chapel without pews or chairs to support tired backs or to rest aging knees.”

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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