The following comes from an Apr. 8 posting on Hometown-Pasadena.com.
We were introduced the other day to Sister Timothy of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles who make their home in Alhambra. We admit we were caught off guard when told that they are releasing their new CD Lean Into the Wind.
And the answer to both is “yes.”
A little background:
The foundress of the Carmelite Sisters was born Maria Luisa de la Pena in Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco Mexico in 1866. She was the first of her mother’s fourteen children to survive. At the age of fifteen, she married Doctor Pascual Rojas who was twice her age. Once they realized they could not have children, they turned their focus on helping the poor by building the Hospital of the Sacred Heart. After Dr. Rojas died, Maria Luisa chose to “serve as a religious.” Eight years later, in 1903, she entered the Cloistered Carmelites and “became immersed in the spirituality of Carmel.”
Obeying the desires of the Archbishop, Maria Luisa worked at hospitals, opened a school and orphanage, and in 1921 established the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart. To “unite the spirit of Carmel to the active apostolate” was her particular charism, which is defined as “a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church, communicated through a particular person who gathers disciples around him or her and with whom he or she translates a bold vision into action.” (SantaMaria)
In 1927, Mother Luisita left Mexico for America to escape religious persecution. She fled in disguise and arrived as a homeless refugee. Eventually, her work became established in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
In the Year of the Great Jubilee (2000), after extensive study of her life and writings, the Church declared that Mother Luisita lived a life of heroic virtue and her cause toward sainthood is in progress. (Carmelite Sisters)
We spoke with Sister Timothy Marie….
Sr. TM: God touched my heart, my deepest soul during my teenage years. Some people call it a calling. I received mine in junior high. Each sister on the CD has her own personal and very compelling story.
Our music is for everybody. Our genre is definitely spiritual. The lyrics on this CD are written by us, the music is ours, too, and when we sing, we make it a prayer.
I actually wasn’t a part of the CD, I’m a writer and work in communications for our community, but on the website Lean Into the Wind are some reflections of our sisters who composed and sing the music. This is our seventh CD and in my opinion our best!
….We are a small community of Catholic Sisters here in Alhambra, California. We want to sing to you. To lift up your heavy hearts. To give you hope. If we had a bottle, we could write our message on a paper and toss it out into the ocean and say, “OK, dear God, bounce this little bottle over the waves so it will land someplace where people need to be reminded of you, where people need to restore their hope.”
Lean Into the Wind is our song-bottle that we may sing to the world.
To read the entire story, click here.
“The Priests” have a couple of wonderful inspirational DVDs as well.
My father, was a physician to many of these wonderful Carmelite nuns. When my siblings and I made our First Holy Communion, several of these wonderful sisters came to the events. They have always been inspirational. Over thirty five years ago I believe 60 Minutes did a program on these nuns, contrasting them with liberal ones. The Carmelite Sister remarked that they were gaining vocations, while the liberal sister said no one was entering her congregation. I recall a liberal priest who often fought with the Carmelite sisters at the school because he thought they were too conservative and pious. I know for a fact that many pastors wish they could have the Carmelite sisters teach at their schools. I know that by their holy example they are leading souls to Christ, as the way they live is an actual grace.
I have been on retreat at their retreat house in Alhambra.
What a BEAUTIFUL experience it was, I remember it like it was yesterday, and it was in 1998!
And you can always even walk down to the parish Church St. Therese the Little Flower, and adoration I believe is 24 hours!!!
They have mother and daughter retreats. We enjoyed those retreats.
God bless these nuns always.