“Daddy, go back!”
Kalyn Meche, from the Lafayette area, met the sisters of the Monastery of Mary, Mother of Grace Carmelite community when she was about ten years old. Her family was driving by the monastery when she saw one of the extern Sisters — those who work outside the walls of the community — in the yard. "Daddy, go back. I'd like to talk to that Sister!" From then on, there was a desire and love for Carmel that never left her. She kept in contact with the community, made days of recollection at the monastery and received encouragement and advice from her spiritual director. After going through many trials and difficulties, Kalyn entered the monastery in October 2010 at the age of 18.
Her first months were not easy, but she remained firm in her determination to be a Carmelite. On September 30 of this year, Kalyn received the Habit of Our Lady and became Sister Maria Faustina of Merciful Love. The date was significant for her in that it is the date of St. Therese's death and the birthday of Mother Theresa Margaret, Foundress of the community in south Louisiana. Sister has always had a great devotion to St. Faustina and St. Therese. She loves their spirit of total abandonment and trust and endeavors to incorporate these childlike virtues in her own life. Her desire of many, many years has been fulfilled. She said, "All I want now is to be a true Carmelite and a loving Bride of Jesus."
Dying Mother's Blessing
Brittlyn Sonnier, likewise 18 when she entered and also from southern Louisiana, came to know of the community through one of its Veritas retreats. She had struggled against a vocation for a few months, but after the retreat and coming to see the sisters, she knew that Jesus was calling her to Carmel. When asked what she expected to find in Carmel, her reply was, "I really don't know. All I know is that Jesus wants me there." She entered the community in October 2010.
Brittlyn's mother was dying of cancer and her concern was whether or not she should enter as planned or if it would be better to stay and help her father care for the other four younger children. Being a family of deep faith, her father told her to go to Carmel if she felt God calling her. Her brothers and twin sisters also encouraged her. She then asked her mother, for whom she was caring in the hospital. True to her conviction of Brittlyn's vocation, Monique gave her eldest daughter her blessing and encouraged her in her desire to give herself entirely to Our Lord.
This is indeed the niche God has chosen for Brittlyn. She has imbibed the spirit of the community’s Holy Mother Foundress from the start and has her deep spirit of prayer and generosity. On October 15, 2011 Brittlyn received the habit and became Sister Teresa of Jesus.
Find out more about the Lafayette Discalced Carmelites. Email the sisters and ask for their new flyout brochure, “I Have Chosen this Place to Dwell,” at http://lafayettecarmelites.org/
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The Discalced Carmelites of Lafayette, LA are a cloistered Catholic community of women who follow a call to a life of deep and personal friendship with Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Mary.