|Contemplative Carmelite communities from Spain (left) and Southwest England (right) doing "everyday" things.|
Two different blogs recently captured the lives of Carmelite sisters with stunning photographs. Carmelites are monastic, contemplative, and apostolic in character. One of the Carmelite communities featured is the Convento de Santa Teresa in Spain. Photographer/writer Lori Needlman shares of her experience: "The monjas (nuns), about ten or so, flashed smiles and passed their hands through the bars to be held by us. In utter chaos, each monja asked questions, laughed, and smiled. They were excited to have us visit on the day of my nephew's communion! This informal dance kept on for some time. I stood back observing and feeling lucky to be able to meet the monjas. This hidden part of Spanish culture is not something you can see as a tourist."
The Everyday Lives of Nuns, a photo blog by David Rosenburg, features a series called “Sisters of Sclerder” by Ibolya Feher. Rosenburg writes, "It’s one thing to decide to create a photographic series about an enclosed contemplative monastery; it’s another to make it happen. Determined to create a series about a world that seems almost otherworldly, Ibolya Feher went the modern route and did a Google search to find the monastery closest to her home in Southwest England. That turned out to be the Sisters of the Carmelite order, who live in Sclerder Abbey, about a three-hour train ride away. The Carmelite order is one of the oldest contemplative orders in which the sisters live and work primarily in silence and rarely allow outsider visitors."
A short list of Carmelite communities to peruse:
Carmelites (O.Carm)-Congregation of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm (O.Carm)
Carmelite Friars (O.Carm.) [St. Elias Province]
Association of British Carmels
Carmelite Monastery, Notting Hill Carmel, UK
Ware Carmel, UK
Discalced Carmelite Friars (O.C.D.) Washington Province