"All must be Friends, all must be loved, all must be held dear, all must be helped." St. Teresa of Jesus

Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace
Lafayette, Louisiana

The Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace, was founded from New Orleans in Lafayette, Louisiana on 1936 at the request of its first Bishop, Jules B. Jeanmard. He wanted a contemplative community to support his new Diocese which at that time was chiefly mission territory. In 1956 the Community moved from the original small house to the present permanent Monastery. It is dedicated to Mary, Mother of Grace. Papal enclosure is kept.

The ideal of the Community is to BE Mary in the heart of the Church. She is the embodiment of union with God in faith, hope and love, prayer and self-denial. God sees Mary’s love and prayer lived today in the heart of the cloistered Carmelite who is “capable of true love and a fountain of living water in the midst of a thirsting world.” (Pope Benedict).

The vocation is a call to a life of deep and personal friendship with Jesus. This was the desire of Teresa of Jesus when she initiated the reform of Carmel. “He has so many enemies and so few friends, I desired these few to be good ones.” “Prayer is an intimate sharing between friends,” she taught. Jesus becomes the heart and soul of the contemplative who learns to live in His Presence, to think and to love like Him. St. Teresa saw Carmel as a fortress where the Church and her leaders were protected and guided by the power of prayer and sacrifice. St. John of the Cross assisted St. Teresa in the reform of Carmel and in guiding its spirit. His sublime writings, leading to the heights of mystical union, are a certain path to travel and greatly influenced St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower. All three saints have been named Doctors of the Church.

The day consists of simple household duties filled with love and prayer (cooking, sewing, cleaning, answering mail, art work and other reflections of Mary’s life at Nazareth). There are also times for formal praise (The Divine Office - the Prayer of the Church) as well as intimate hours of adoration and communion with Our Lord hidden in the Blessed Sacrament and within our own hearts.

And organic garden supplies much of the food for the table, which is simple but nourishing. The community bakes its own whole wheat bread. We also support ourselves by art work, certificates, Mass cards and special event cards/

Our two Extern Sisters receive the constant stream of visitors and give counselling and comfort when needed. We do not offer retreats for religious or lay people.

Applicants should be at least eighteen years. We do not accept women over thirty. Applicants may contact:

Carmel of Mary, Mother of Grace
1250 Carmel Drive
Lafayette, Louisiana 70501 - 5299
Email: srmj@lafayettecarmel.com (vocation inquiries only)
Web page: http://www.lafayettecarmelites.org/