emmaberry

Convents And Family Visits Per Year

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Hello,

I am reading My Beloved: The Story of a Carmelite Nun and I have a renewed love for Carmel. My parents' first concern with my vocation is, "And how often will we get to see you???" In my limited experience with contemplative communities, it seems sisters are allowed to visit with 'outsiders' 3 times a year for cloistered nuns, and 4 times a year for non-cloistered sisters. I know we have members of PM who are SUPER knowledgeable about Carmelites in the US. I would love to know how many times per year different contemplative convents (Carmelites and others!) allow family to visit. Thanks!
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The Carmelites in Port Tobacco, MD can have their family visit them once a month if so desired. I don't know about the others! :)

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The Benedictines of Mary allow for twice yearly visits, as do the nuns of the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
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At St. Cecilia's Abbey they get two visits a year from family, the family visit for a few days I believe. If the sister's family is from very far then they visit once a year for a week, such as in the case of the Novice Mistress who is from the States.

I was told what it was at Notting Hill Carmel (FaithCececila's community) but I cannot for the life of me remember. It may have been they got visits once a month but I'm not 100% sure.
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I'm not sure if it's the same for female communities, but in my experience male communities differ quite a bit. Some let your family visit you once a month and you get a ten day vacation, some don't let you leave but allow your parents to visit from time to time, and some don't allow either. It might be best to simply ask the Monastery you're looking into. Edited by FuturePriest387

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Thanks for all the replies! I have asked the monasteries I have contacted, but many cloistered communities don't use email, and I don't want to use 20 stamps just to satisfy my curiosity. :)
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The majority of contemplative communities that I know of allow a visit or a phone call once a month. Even Kirk Edge carmel which is under the 1990's constitution allows a phone call once a month where family can't visit regularly.Though I believe visits are restricted during the novitiate.
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[img]http://stanthonyshrine.org/PoorClares/images/parlor_sm.jpg[/img]
It varies a lot by community, I think. There is a Poor Clares (OSC) monastery around the corner from my house (yes, around the corner. And there's a Carmel a 15-minute bus ride away. You may all be jealous.) This is what they say:

"They say once you go through that door your family never sees you again. Is that true?" Sounds like you've been taken in by Hollywood's weird versions of life in a monastery. The custom here is a family visit each month for the first year. Not bad, huh? From then on, visits are something like every three months, with a birthday and Christmas visit thrown in. Furthermore, no one who comes to see you is ever turned away. Bonds with our loved ones tend to become even closer than when we were with them, and our visits are happily anticipated reunions. Nuns need the nurturing love of their families, too.
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[quote name='krissylou' timestamp='1338585538' post='2439642']
[img]http://stanthonyshrine.org/PoorClares/images/parlor_sm.jpg[/img]
It varies a lot by community, I think. There is a Poor Clares (OSC) monastery around the corner from my house (yes, around the corner. And there's a Carmel a 15-minute bus ride away. You may all be jealous.) This is what they say:

"They say once you go through that door your family never sees you again. Is that true?" Sounds like you've been taken in by Hollywood's weird versions of life in a monastery. The custom here is a family visit each month for the first year. Not bad, huh? From then on, visits are something like every three months, with a birthday and Christmas visit thrown in. Furthermore, no one who comes to see you is ever turned away. Bonds with our loved ones tend to become even closer than when we were with them, and our visits are happily anticipated reunions. Nuns need the nurturing love of their families, too.
[/quote]

Jeez, women communities are so much more convenient. Most of the male communities I know of really smell of elderberries about family visits. The Franciscan Brothers Minor only let your family visit every three months. Despite being Friars they don't even get vacations! The Little Brothers of Saint Francis let you visit your family once a week every three years. These are the more extreme cases, of course. Some are nice like the Franciscan Brothers of Peace where your family may visit once a month and you get a ten day vacation, but the majority aren't so nice. I'm not sure about the Monasteries I've looked into. Perhaps Monasteries are simply by rule way better about this than Friars and Sisters are?

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[quote name='krissylou' timestamp='1338585538' post='2439642']
[img]http://stanthonyshrine.org/PoorClares/images/parlor_sm.jpg[/img]
It varies a lot by community, I think. There is a Poor Clares (OSC) monastery around the corner from my house (yes, around the corner. And there's a Carmel a 15-minute bus ride away. You may all be jealous.) This is what they say:

"They say once you go through that door your family never sees you again. Is that true?" Sounds like you've been taken in by Hollywood's weird versions of life in a monastery. The custom here is a family visit each month for the first year. Not bad, huh? From then on, visits are something like every three months, with a birthday and Christmas visit thrown in. Furthermore, no one who comes to see you is ever turned away. Bonds with our loved ones tend to become even closer than when we were with them, and our visits are happily anticipated reunions. Nuns need the nurturing love of their families, too.
[/quote]

Wow-I am jealous. What are the titles of these convents? Sorry, I promise I am not trying to sneakily find out where you live, I'd just like to look up that Carmel and Poor Clare convent.

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Okay, ask and you shall receive!

(Both of these websites are updated approximately once in a million years.)

http://stanthonyshrine.org/PoorClares/

http://www.carmelitesofboston.org/
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[quote name='FuturePriest387' timestamp='1338597907' post='2439742']
Jeez, women communities are so much more convenient. Most of the male communities I know of really smell of elderberries about family visits. The Franciscan Brothers Minor only let your family visit every three months. Despite being Friars they don't even get vacations! The Little Brothers of Saint Francis let you visit your family once a week every three years. These are the more extreme cases, of course. Some are nice like the Franciscan Brothers of Peace where your family may visit once a month and you get a ten day vacation, but the majority aren't so nice. I'm not sure about the Monasteries I've looked into. Perhaps Monasteries are simply by rule way better about this than Friars and Sisters are?
[/quote]

Every three months is loads!

I can't imagine having my family visit that often, I do actually prefer that St. C's only allows twice a year.
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[quote name='EmilyAnn' timestamp='1338637952' post='2439866']
Every three months is loads!

I can't imagine having my family visit that often, I do actually prefer that St. C's only allows twice a year.
[/quote]

Oh, it's loads all right. :P

I do suppose it is quite a bit. I'm just usually looking for once a month with a vacation when I look into communities like I am used to, and when I see once every three months without vacation I think "I'm not a cloistered Nun, you know!". I suppose I should be more grateful, though. At least I'll see them more than once a year if I join them. I'm not sure how long the visits last, but I can imagine it's not only for one day.

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[quote name='FuturePriest387' timestamp='1338658818' post='2439944']
Oh, it's loads all right. :P

I do suppose it is quite a bit. I'm just usually looking for once a month with a vacation when I look into communities like I am used to, and when I see once every three months without vacation I think "I'm not a cloistered Nun, you know!". I suppose I should be more grateful, though. At least I'll see them more than once a year if I join them. I'm not sure how long the visits last, but I can imagine it's not only for one day.
[/quote]

I'm not sure you should chose a community based on your vacation time. :stubborn:
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[quote name='EmilyAnn' timestamp='1338670204' post='2440031']
I'm not sure you should chose a community based on your vacation time. :stubborn:
[/quote]

I'm not. I never said I did. I simply said I was disappointed and then agreed it was better than others. Besides, chances are I'm going with the Diocesan Priesthood anyway. Edited by FuturePriest387

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[quote name='FuturePriest387' timestamp='1338658818' post='2439944']
Oh, it's loads all right. :P

I do suppose it is quite a bit. I'm just usually looking for once a month with a vacation when I look into communities like I am used to, and when I see once every three months without vacation I think "I'm not a cloistered Nun, you know!". I suppose I should be more grateful, though. At least I'll see them more than once a year if I join them. I'm not sure how long the visits last, but I can imagine it's not only for one day.
[/quote]

I know what you mean, and I AM going to be a cloistered nun! :P

I am not sure how old you are, but I am 19, and I have a feeling this is a consequence of young vocations (ie the attachment to families, concern over amount of visits, etc)

Forgive me if your 40 :hehe:

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[quote name='emmaberry' timestamp='1338696028' post='2440136']
I know what you mean, and I AM going to be a cloistered nun! :P

I am not sure how old you are, but I am 19, and I have a feeling this is a consequence of young vocations (ie the attachment to families, concern over amount of visits, etc)

Forgive me if your 40 :hehe:
[/quote]

Ha. Well, I am fifteen. I honestly don't think every three months is that bad, it's just not what communities usually do so I was a bit surprised. And it's not like I can never visit home, despite not having vacations. If the Friars ever go in the area some family or friends live they always make sure I get time to visit them somehow, so it's a pretty good deal.

And congratulations, by the way. When are you entering? And what community, if you don't mind my asking?

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FuturePriest: Oh--I am not set to enter anywhere right now! I am hoping to find the right Poor Clare convent this summer, although God is probably laughing at my little "plans"!

That's great that your discerning the priesthood at 15! My brother is 12 and I hope he's like you when he's 15, and not the guitar hero playing little rascal he is now! KIDDING :hehe: Edited by emmaberry

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The Carmelites I know allow family to visit one hour a month.

The non-cloistered community I'm discerning with allows family to visit one weekend a year.

No home visits for either. It really varies.

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Thank you Tally Marx! That is just the kind of information I am looking for. Which Carmel are you speaking of?

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