Sr. Christine


In 8th grade my teacher asked for someone to represent our classroom patron saint, Edith Stein, a Carmelite nun and martyr, for the school All Saints Day celebration.  This was my second semester in Catholic school so I was happy to volunteer.  My mom and I designed and sewed a Carmelite habit for the occasion. Standing in the foyer before the school Mass, dressed in my costume, an elderly lady approached me and told me that the habit looked good on me.  She then asked if I had ever considered becoming a nun.  The idea had occurred to me since I was a lifelong admirer of St. Therese of Lisieux, the widely loved Carmelite.  I stammered, “Y-yes” and the lady assured me that she would pray for my vocation.  


The idea stayed with me through Catholic high school, public college, and graduate school.  Even though I amassed a large quantity of vocational materials and I scoured the web for information on nuns and religious life, I went through my education assuming I would find a normal career at the end.  In the mean time I frequented Mass during the week, did an adoration hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament when I could, learned to pray the Liturgy of the Hours on my own, and got involved in campus ministry at St. Thomas More, the university parish.  There I especially came to appreciate the importance of community and the Mystical Body of Christ through being faithful to weekly college student nights, working on volunteer projects, attending and staffing retreats, going to Washington for March for Life in 2008, visiting Australia for World Youth Day 2008 and making a mission trip to Mexico in 2009.  These experiences sustained my faith during my undergraduate years at the University of Oklahoma, stayed with me through graduate school at Indiana University, and remain a source of grace and good memories for life.


I began to go on vocation retreats and visits to religious communities starting in the second semester of my junior year of college. I became more certain that God was calling me to be a religious, but the hard part was figuring out where.  I visited both active and contemplative communities, and found I was more drawn to the contemplative life of hidden prayer and sacrifice, despite having much admiration for the active congregations.  After attending the Monastic Experience Weekend here at the Carmel of Terre Haute, the Carmelite nuns were the ones I kept returning to visit.  After graduating from Indiana University with my Master of Library Science in December 2011, I made a six-week live-in at the monastery. I was attracted to the community for their balanced life of prayer, work, and recreation, and their loving relationships with each other, besides the Carmelite spirituality really resonated with me.  I made my application to enter in March 2012 after praying a novena to St. Joseph.  I was accepted and entered the Carmel of St. Joseph in Terre Haute, Indiana, June 3rd, 2012, Feast of the Holy Trinity.  A year later as a postulant, I made another novena to St. Joseph to decide whether to go ahead and ask to receive the habit. I was accepted, and received the habit June 2nd, 2013, Feast of Corpus Christi.