Around 20 years ago, a Carmelite convent was founded just outside the city of Florida, in the south of Uruguay. Today there are 12 Carmelite sisters here, living a life of perpetual prayer in accordance with the Rule of their foundress, the great saint, mystic and Doctor of the Church, Teresa of Avila.
This thriving community continues to attract young women, drawn by the atmosphere of holiness and the life of prayer. Sister Maria Belén received the habit only recently. „It was a simple and very moving ceremony, during which I made the commitment, with a heart overflowing with joy, to strive to unite myself more and more each day with Christ“, she tells us. Maria comes from a devout Catholic family; her uncle was a priest, and she herself used to give catechetical instruction and play an active part in the life of her parish. „I believed that what I was giving the Lord in this way was more than enough“, says Sister Maria. But then her uncle was killed in a road accident, and in her grief and pain she sensed more and more that God was calling her, that he „wanted her for himself“, as she puts it.
She began to seek the right way of doing this. Through reading the „Story of a Soul“ by Saint Therese of Lisieux, she came to the Carmel. „When I got to know the Carmel in April 2017, I knew from the first moment that this would be my home. I pray to God to strengthen me with his grace, that I may give myself each day in still greater freedom and generosity. I know that I can only travel this way if I am led by his hand. In union with Saint Teresa of Avila I say, ‚Let us go together, Lord, for wherever you go, I must go also‘.“
But now the convent has become too small to accommodate any more young women. And so the sisters want to build on another wing with five additional cells. But they do not have the money to do so, and so they have turned with confidence to ACN. We do not want any of these young women, who desire to give their lives totally to God, to have to be turned away for lack of resources, and so we are proposing to help with a contribution of 70,000 Euros.