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TERRE HAUTE—The first years of our foundation resembled the journey with Jesus up Mount Tabor. The climb was steep as we labored to build our monastery, answering a call to be alone with the Lord in prayer and sacrifice at the heart of his Church.
Yet, at the same time, we were always in his company—for Jesus, who summoned us up the mountain, climbed it at our side as he once climbed with Peter, James and John.
With the marvelous help of his Providence and the loving assistance of many friends whom he inspired to support us, the goal was reached at last.
Peter’s dream of erecting three tents on the mountain to honor Jesus and his prophets was realized on the hill of St. Joseph Monastery in Terre Haute on Oct. 7, 1947, the feast of the Holy Rosary.
We rejoiced in all that God had done for us.
A colonial style house served as our temporary monastery while our new monastery was slowly built in those first 25 years of our foundation. The cornerstone laid on Feb. 19, 1970, read, “Carmel of St. Joseph—the Gift of Friends” and “Lord, it is good for us to be here!”
The monastery seems to be frozen at the moment of the Apostles’ first passing glimpse into the Lord’s glory on Mount Tabor, but behind the walls, as the years marched on, our community has been called forward into other stages of the journey. We have tried to follow the Lord faithfully into the dusty life of the plain, into our unique encounters with the full range of his human experience.
With all our brothers and sisters in the mystery of the Church, we have found one reality to be constant. On the mountain, as in the valley, in light as in the darkness, on Tabor as on Calvary, the reality is a person: Jesus.
Our cloistered life is rooted in silence, solitude, generous work, reliance on God alone, unceasing prayer for the needs of the Church, a spirit of joy, sisterly love and cooperation in community as we continue to build our foundation in love from shared experiences of the passing years together.
(For more information about the Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of St. Joseph in Terre Haute, log on to www.heartsawake.org.) †