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Discalced Carmelite Nuns




Cloistered, Monastic

Contemplative Prayer for the good of the Church, our priests, and all souls.

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Mother Joseph 712-276-1680

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Sioux City, Iowa USA

Patron Saints/Famous Saints of the Community

St. Teresa of Jesus, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St. Mary (Mariam) of Jesus Crucified (the Little Arab), St. Teresa of the Andes, the Martyrs (16) of Compiegne, among many others.


Hidden union with Christ in God through silence, solitude and the support of cloistered community life. In silence and solitude, seek God in the Interior Castle of your soul. If you are interested in discerning a vocation to religious life, particularly that of contemplative prayer, give us a call and ask for Mother Joseph. She will try to answer your questions and assure you of our prayers for you in your journey towards ever deeper union with God.


Twelfth century hermits (some probably had been Crusaders) on Mt Carmel in the Holy Land following in the footsteps of St Elijah the prophet, gathered together to form a community and build a church dedicated to Our Lady, our patroness and mother. A Rule was written for them around the year 1210. These early Carmelites had to disperse and flee to Europe when the Muslim Saracens attacked their monastery; some were martyred. In 16th Spain, St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) learned about these early hermits and set out, at the direction of Jesus, to renew our Carmelite heritage by forming smaller communities with strict enclosure and two hours of daily prayer as well as two hours of daily recreation. These Discalced (reformed) Carmels spread to France, Belgium, Italy, and Mexico, and from these places to the United States and around the world. Our Carmel in Sioux City IA was founded (1962) from Bettendorf (Eldridge) IA Carmel, which was founded in 1911 from Baltimore MD Carmel, founded in 1790.

Prayer Life

Contemplative prayer is a very beautiful and wondrous activity, sublime, even when we sleep! God is at work in the soul, conforming her to Christ. That is the substance of our 2 hours of Mental Prayer, fed foremost by the Mass. We also pray the 7 "hours" of the Divine Office, which range from 10-25 minutes each. Outside of formal prayers times, we each seek to be recollected in Jesus, to be walking and working with Him and in Him and He in us.


There are many wonderful traditions in Carmel, many of which are to foster the recollection of each sister: keeping the hands folded under the scapular when possible; greeting one another with "Praised be Jesus Christ" and responding "Now and forever;" and wearing the traditional Carmelite brown habit, scapular, and toque. We also sew (habits, petticoats, nightgowns, sheets), garden (flowers & vegetables), take care of the sacristy, cook, clean, do laundry, answer prayer requests and other mail, pay bills, print novenas, distribute hosts to surrounding parishes, feed and brush our "guard" dog Sunny, decorate for special feast days and solemnities, smile and laugh a lot as well as commiserate with those who suffer or are in need, vote pro-life and pray for an end to abortion as well as for the needs of our country and the world.

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