Almost 20 years ago, a Carmelite convent was founded just outside of Florida, a city in southern Uruguay. Twelve Carmelite sisters live there today, practicing perpetual prayer in accordance with the rule of their foundress, St. Teresa of Avila. The community continues to attract young women, who are interested in its atmosphere of holiness and the life of prayer.
Sister Maria Belén received her habit only recently. She tells ACN, “It was a simple and very moving ceremony, during which I made the commitment, [my] heart overflowing with joy, to strive to unite myself more and more each day with Christ.”
Maria comes from a devout Catholic family. She used to participate in her parish and give catechetical instruction; her uncle was a priest. “I believed that what I was giving the Lord in this way was more than enough,” she says. But when her uncle was killed in an accident, she sensed in her grief and pain that God was calling her: that He “wanted her for Himself,” as she puts it.
Maria wondered how she might do this, but then she read The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux and arrived at the Carmel in Uruguay. “When I got to know the Carmel in April 2017, I knew from the first moment that this would be my home,” she recalls.
She continues: “I pray that God will strengthen me with His grace, that I may give myself each day [with] still greater freedom and generosity. I know that I can only travel this way if I am led by His hand. In union with St. Teresa of Avila, I say, ‘Let us go together, Lord, for wherever you go, I must go also.'”
Due to its popularity, the convent cannot accommodate any more women. The Sisters want to build an additional wing with five rooms, and since they do not have the money to do so, they have turned to ACN for help.
We do not want anyone turned away for lack of resources, so we propose a contribution of $78,800.
Will you help fund the extension of this Uruguay convent, so that more women can embrace a life of prayer and service?
We are sure they will remember you in their prayers.
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