The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life through Healthcare, Education and Retreats 

The way of life of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the Gospel, the Church, and the spirituality of Carmel as lived out through the charism of our foundress, Venerable Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament. In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its foundation in a long history and living tradition.

The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa’s doctrine. Thus, our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service of the Church as we promote a deeper spiritual life among God’s people through education, healthcare, and spiritual retreats.

We are called by God to be a presence inflamed within our world, witnessing to God’s love through prayer, joyful witness and loving service. Our mission is a God-given mission which overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. It is a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service in the fields of healthcare, education and spiritual retreats. Mother Luisita, our foundress, used this analogy to describe our mission, “the soul of each Carmelite raises herself to Christ, Who is her heaven, while her shadow falls in charity upon earth doing good to all people.”

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Contemplative Tradition of Carmel
Blended with Works of the Apostolate

As Carmelites, prayer is the foundation of everything that we do.  Every aspect of our lives is dedictaed to developing that union with Christ from which all our apostolic activity must flow.

Union with God, of itself, is the most fruitful of all apostolates according to St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross.  Whatever work is entrusted to us flows from, and is part of, our union with God.

The specific charism of Mother Luisita, which led to the foundation of our Institute, blends contemplation and apostolic works in loving service of the Church.

As we live and develop the charism left to us by Mother Luisita, a variety of apostolates has emerged in our Institute.

"Even as a cypress tree raises its branches to heaven and casts its shadow upon the earth, so the soul of each Carmelite raises itself to Christ, Who is her heaven, while her shadow falls in charity upon earth doing good to all people."

"Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!  You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.

In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely lovely things which you created.  You were with

me, but I was not with you.  Created thngs kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all.

You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.  You flashed, you shone and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me. I drew in breath and now I pant for you.  I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.  You touched me, and I burned in your presence."

                                -St Augustine