www.christchurchcarmel.org.nz.Christchurch Carmel, New Zealand
Christchurch Carmel was founded in February 1933, when seven sisters from Sydney Carmel sailed across the sea to begin the first contemplative monastery in New Zealand. They purchased an old homestead near Halswell on the outskirts of Christchurch and began to build a monastery and establish the normal prayerful rhythm of Carmelite life. The following year the first New Zealand postulant entered. Growth was slow to begin with, but steady, with many young women entering in the 1940s and 1950s. By the end of the 1950s there were enough sisters to make a foundation, and in 1959 seven sisters left to fly to Samoa and begin a Carmel in Apia.
Since then, life has changed in our Carmel, with vocations not being so numerous, but generous women are still responding to God’s call and our life of prayer continues. In the past few decades the entrance of women from different cultural backgrounds has greatly enhanced our community and enriched us with the experience of the diversity in the Church and in society.
At the heart of community life is the abiding Eucharistic presence of Christ, which fosters union with him and sustains our prayer for the Church. Our day revolves around times of prayer, both silent and liturgical, and work; times together in community and in solitude. The sisters’ talents are employed in many different ways. Our Carmel has a small farm and orchard, a large vegetable garden and beautiful flower gardens, which many of the sisters tend. Our main remunerative work is the production of Altar Breads for many parishes in our diocese. Other major works include the restoration of statues and various other forms of artwork – making cards and banners, and painting candles for Baptisms and Weddings.
If you think that God may be calling you to share in our life of prayer, please contact us.