About Us

A Brief History of Our Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Wichita Diocese
Bishop Eugene Gerber had been praying for a contemplative order of nuns for the Diocese of Wichita. When the bishop of Gallup, New Mexico could no longer guarantee a chaplain to celebrate daily Mass, Bishop Thomas Olmsted invited the seven nuns to our diocese. They settled into a temporary home in rural Clearwater KS on January 24, 2001, enclosed as The Monastery of Divine Mercy and Our Lady of Guadalupe with Mother Mary of the Angels as their foundress. Unfortunately, when heavy rains came, the chapel and living area flooded frequently. A severe mold problem developed causing illness among the nuns and necessitated relocation.

A Look at the Discalced Carmelite Nuns’ Mission: To Honor Our Lady
Mother Rose Marie OCD, and all our Nuns say, Thank you for all you do to honor Our Lady. Since Carmel began with this purpose, your support honor Our Blessed Mother. In gratitude to our friends and benefactors for their love, prayers and donations, a novena of prayers and Masses will be offered for them in our chapel in preparation for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and other Solemnities throughout the year.
Today, these eight humble Carmelite nuns are completely dedicated to a life of prayer and loving self-sacrifice through obedience and labor behind the walls of their Papal Enclosure. These nuns follow the updated and Vatican-approved Constitutions (a guide for monastic observance) of St. Teresa of Avila that includes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Our five fully professed nuns, two young novices, and a postulant live a cloistered life: a life they freely chose in order to offer themselves as a form of prayer for others and to be united totally to God, living as brides of Christ.(The novices are form St. Anthony Parish of Wichita and Argentina. The postulant is from Venezuela). Mother Mary of the Angels,who died Nov. 2011, after 40 years in Carmel said, “We live with an indescribable happiness, make daily sacrifices, and are here for the love of God and for the love of souls. Our mission is to pray for the Holy Church, the priests, and the world, and to be the heart of our Church…” Mother Ann Marie, who succeeded the Foundress, passed away on May 14, 2013 after 41 years in Carmel. “Our dear Mothers continue interceding along with Our Lady to Our Lord for all our Priest and benefactors.”
To help support themselves, they bake and sell granola in three-pound bags and maple almonds in One-pound bags. Both are priced at $20. Other items for sale include: embroidered tea towel (sets of three), handmade cards and religious items. This provides a modest income for the monastery.

The Nuns Describe their Carmelite Life
As Discalced Carmelite Cloistered Nuns, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, of silence and prayer pervades all of the activities of our monastic life. Many of these customs date back some 400 years to the reform started by St. Teresa of Avila herself. She wrote our Constitutions and in 1990 they were updated to the current Canon Law and approved personally by Blessed Pope John Paul II. These are the same Constitutions (a guide for our monastic observance), which have sanctified so many Carmelites for more than four centuries. Carmel is an enclosed garden but its fragrance permeates the entire world. The Saints produced within its cloisters have a universal personality whose depths no one, up to now, has been able to fathom. Whether it is St. Teresa of Avila who surprises us with her down-to-earth common sense and contagious joy: “God deliver us from long-faced saints!” or St. John of the Cross whose angelic doctrine lifts our minds swiftly to God or little St. Therese of Lisieux, who sets souls soaring on the wings of humble confidence and abandonment straight to the Merciful Heart of Jesus and who has claimed all the mission fields of the Church from the solitude of her Carmelite cell. Each of these saints (now proclaimed “Doctors of the Church”) as well as all the other Carmelite Saints, like St. Maravillas, St. Teresa Benedicta, St. Teresa of the Andes, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, Bro Lawrence and many who are martyrs all show that unique family resemblance that is the heritage of Carmel. Like a diamond with many hidden facets each sharing one center, they share one soul.

Carmelite Saints Speak about their Vocation 

The Carmelite monastic life, like all other branches of monastic life, is a place where one can dedicate oneself to a full time search for God. St. Therese of Lisieux said, “He whose presence is mightier than the heavens can contain! Our Beloved was mad to come down to earth, two adorable Persons of the Trinity, seeking sinners to make them His friends! We shall never be able to commit the follies for Him that He has committed for us, nor do our actions deserve the name of folly for they are in fact, most reasonable acts, far below what our love would like to accomplish. So that it is the world, which is stupid, not realizing what Jesus has done to save it. It is the world that is the all-devouring thing, seducing souls and leading them to fountains without water”. Nor are we the lazy ones, the thriftless ones. Jesus defended us in the person Magdelene, He was at table, Martha was waiting upon him, and his disciples. Mary never gave a though to her food but only to how she might give pleasure to the One she loved; so she took a vessel filled with perfume of great price and breaking the vessel poured it upon Jesus; head, and the entire house was filled with the odor of the ointment, but Apostles murmured against Magdalene. It is very much the same with us, the most fervent Christians. The priests consider that we are too extreme, that we ought to serve with Martha instead of consecrating to Jesus the vessels of our lives with the perfumes contained in them…but, after all, what matter that our vessels are broken, since Jesus is consoled, and since, in spite of itself, the world is forced to awareness of the perfumes that breathe forth, perfumes which serve to purify the poisoned air the world is ever breathing.

Our vocation, yours and mine, is not to go harvesting in the fields of ripe grain; Jesus does not say to us, “Lower your eyes, look at the fields, and go and reap them” our mission is still loftier. Here are Jesus’ words: “Lift up your eyes and see…See how in My Heavens there are empty places; it is for you to fill them…each one of you is My Moses praying on the mountains; ask me for laborers and I shall send them; I await only a prayer, a sigh from your heart!” Is not the apostolate prayer lifted higher, so to speak, that the apostolate of preaching? Our mission, as Carmelites, is to form those Gospel laborers, they will save millions of souls, whose mothers we shall be… if these were not the very words of our Jesus, who would dare to believe them? I find our lot most beautiful…What have priests that we need envy?”

Discalced Carmelite Nuns Description by Annie Calovich, The Wichita Eagle, Kansas
“Rising at 5 in the morning to pray, turning in at 11 at night to sleep on beds of a simple board with feet, the cloistered Carmelites follow a spiritual way of life that is probably the most austere and demanding of all the religious orders in the Catholic Church. No meat on their table, no socks on their sandaled feet, the nuns belong to a branch of the Carmelite order called ‘discalced’ — meaning barefoot. But here they are growing lemons and peppers in the winter, organically in a greenhouse where they also raise tilapia fish.