Behind Closed Doors of Carmelite Monastery


On a hill in South Terre Haute sits the Carmelite Monastery.

Inside, lives an international community of 16 nuns.

Our camera was only allowed in certain areas, like this room, where two sisters shed light on their daily ritual, which starts at 5:30 a.m. and ends at 11 p.m.

In between, they eat, work have fun and practice the “grand silence.”

“Some sisters are more introverted.  Others are extroverted.  And, if they’re extroverted, it is quite a discipline that has to be acquired,” says Mother Ann Brackmann, Prioress at Carmelite Monastery.

But one thing the sisters are disciplined in is prayer, which they do six hours each day.
“I think each of us realizes we are very blessed and very fortunate to be called to Carmel. For me, I feel so blessed and fortunate to live in this particular– in my community here in Terre Haute,” explains Sister Mary Joseph Nguyen, Carmelite Monastery’s formation director.
The Carmel community is fairly self sufficient.

They do their on painting, printing and making rosaries, which they sell.

They also do their own cooking with produce grown on the property.

Their garden contains an array of vegetables, as well as berries and fruits– all pollinated by their bee hives.

Although nuns at the Carmelite Monastery remain mostly on the property, which encompasses 18 acres, they still manage to stay connected with the community.. in a high-tech way.   

You see, the sisters are computer savvy.

“We receive many e-mails daily with prayer requests, which are printed out and put in a notebook for the sisters to read,” explains Mother Ann.
They also surf the internet and watch television to stay informed on issues.

Then, these secluded nuns do what they do best– serve the public through the power of prayer.

For more information on the Carmelite Monastery and the gifts they sell, click here.


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