Community is a very special gift that helps us grow as we go forward. Each finds her place and I admire each one for the gift they are.
Hello! I am Sr. Aletha Maher, living Carmelite life for 55 years. Before that I graduated with a nursing diploma from St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing and loved every moment of it. As time went on I became very interested in religious life. A Sister of Charity in the nursing school introduced me to St.Thérèse. Riding on the subway and reading St.Thérèse, a new world seemed to open to me. My heart began learning a different way of praying and God seemed closer than ever.
After graduation, I worked in another hospital, enjoyed going out with a boyfriend, but the newness in my heart remained and I decided to go for spiritual direction. I wondered at first if I was looking for a “lark”. This can’t really be for me, Lord, or is it? Would You be inviting ME to religious life??!! Me!?? I met with my director regularly and in December 1959, I KNEW it—I wanted it very much and I think God was inviting me…
I entered the monastery in the Bronx in 1960—just before Vatican II would bring in a whole new way of living Church. Those early years taught me about prayer, silence, solitude, community, getting to know the Sisters through what we called “recreation” and learning the discipline of the daily life, reading the works of the Carmelite Saints and much more. It was just what I needed to get a grasp on the life of prayer in community and in solitude.
After Vatican II brought its new theology the Spirit moved me into a new openness. Living with the Sisters, and each one with different and rich understandings with great openness to the Spirit, I felt myself going forward and learning so much more.
Community is a very special gift that helps us grow as we go forward. Each finds her place and I admire each one for the gift they are. Christ is much alive and we become more sensitive to the beauty and gifts of the other.