Our Charism and Mission Statements
The Carmelite Community of Apostolic Hermits is a community of vowed men and women, Roman Catholic in practice and ecumenical in outreach, with roots in the Carmelite contemplative tradition. Taking seriously God’s command, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46), and Christ’s declaration “I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10), we aspire to create a vital environment characterized by solitude, simplicity and beauty, where community thrives, love is nurtured, prayer flourishes, and the whole person can be transformed.
Our primary mission is prayer. We offer our lives as witness to the gospel and in intercession for the world. In that spirit, we maintain retreat centers, publish, preach, teach and engage in ecumenical outreach to help create a contemplative atmosphere where, by grace, God’s presence in our lives may be realized.
The Carmelite Community of Apostolic Hermits became an Institute of Consecrated Life of Diocesan Right in the diocese of Killala, Ireland in 2014. We were formerly known as the Spiritual Life Institute, a community that was founded in Sedona, Arizona in 1960.
Our community charism requires a reconciliation of opposites: solitude and community, contemplative and apostolic, masculine and feminine, manual labor and creative intellectual work. These opposites are all united in our goal, which is transformation in Christ. We want to be able to say like St. Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) It is a challenging vocation. Carmelites use the metaphors of crossing the desert, climbing the mountain, and going through the dark night to describe the journey towards that goal.
We will always be a small community, so each person carries a large responsibility for keeping Holy Hill alive both spiritually and physically. Our life demands good psychological and physical health, a good sense of humor, and a taste for adventure. Because we are less structured than most religious communities, applicants will need self-discipline to use time well.
If you are interested in exploring our community life, come to Holy Hill as a work retreatant.