“... You will see that the majority of these houses have been founded not so much by man as by the mighty hand of God, and that, if we do not stand in His way, His Majesty loves to further the work He is doing.” (FOUNDATIONS)

Silent Country
(“... and I shall love him and show myself to him ...”) (JOHN 14:21)

Silent Country!
Wonderful land
wherein desire drinks and days are made radiant by your rays;
You Silent Country,
land quickened and lightning-lit by life knowing no diminishment; land
where Eden blooms again and pain purges away sorrow's alloy from joy; till
one thing necessary remains:
Silent Country and still!
Where times observes a Sabbath rest in
timeless zest,
freed from her fleeting confinements and relentless quests; Silent Country,
true homeland of the soul.
Haven into which my heart retires in the twinkling of an eye: and no one
knows the place to which I go nor holds nor hinders me from entering you,
Secret Country of gladness,
Exile's home!
Silent Country and true! Dwelling place of all good things
wherein I walk with my King
and commune in you Kingdom come. Land of my heart, land of my Lord,
and land where praise is native tongue, where all is asked,
and all is done.
The door is opened! Enter in and sup with Him:
(no leave is needed) --
Silent Country, home of the Word where all is spoken in
Jesus!    Jesus!    Jesus!
Sister Pauline Mary of Jesus, OCD

“I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or a very clear crystal in which there are many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many Mansions.” (INTERIOR CASTLE)

OUNDED in 1965, from the Carmelite Monastery of   Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, the  Carmelite  Monastery  of  the  Mother of God  took root in
Marinwood, a northern suburb of San Rafael. We are blessed in the beauty of the terrain with surrounding hills and an enclosure of lush wooded areas for solitary prayer and contemplation. Through this brochure, it is our desire to share with you the joys of our Carmelite contemplative vocation. We strive to be, after the example of St. Teresa of Avila, the reformer of our Order, close friends of Jesus Christ and of his Mother, Mary, Queen and Beauty of Carmel. St. Therese of the Child Jesus sums up eloquently our aspirations, “In the heart of the Church, my Mother, I shall be love.”
Our primitive sources are the hermits of Mount Carmel who, as former crusaders of hte thirteenth century, formed the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, who in 1209 were given the Carmelite Rule. This Rule enjoined contemplative solitary prayer and a deep Marian devotion. To complement this solitude was a community life rooted in the evangelical charity commanded by Christ. The prophet Elias was the model and inspiration of the primitive Carmelite community which found in him the prophetic charism of a life of prayer and of “zeal for Lord of hosts.”
St. Teresa of Avila, in the sixteenth century, reformed the already existing Carmelite monasteries of nuns, founded by Blessed John Soreth on the European continent a century earlier. Through the rhythms of solitary prayer and the community exercises of the Divine Office, quiet manual labor, recreation and meals in “...a common refectory.” we strive to live out our Profession in a spirit of poverty and simplicity, in imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has called us to follow him. Our community desires to live out this Carmelite charism and each Sister has a deep love for the Church and her apostolic mission. We have been blessed by a new foundation which some of our sisters recently made in Finland. We have a special love for the Russian people and hope one day to make a foundation in Russia when our own numbers increase: “All things are possible with God!”
As we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of our foundation, we give thanks to God, who has called us to this Archdiocese of San Francisco, to live our life of prayer and sacrifice for the whole Church. We want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of our friends, relatives, and benefactors who have made our life possible through their continuous support.

“As far as I can understand, the door of entry into this castle is prayer and meditation....” (INTERIOR CASTLE)

“May it please His Majesty, my sisters and daughters, to bring us all to meet where we may praise Him...” (INTERIOR CASTLE)

“...You have a rule which commands us to pray without ceasing.” (WAY OF PERFECTION)

“There may come a day when my glory will sing to Him...in silence and hope will be my strength” (SOLILOQUIES)

“O strong love of God! I really think nothing seems impossible to one who loves!” (CONCEPTIONS OF THE LOVE OF GOD)

“...I shall make a song of praise with perpetual sighs to my Savior and my God.” (SOLILOQUIES)

“Oh, my daughters, how well God recompenses us, and what a Lord and Spouse you have—nothing happens to you without his seeing and knowing it. Even in the smallest things, then, do not fail to do what you can for love of Him...He will look only at the love with which you do it.” (CONCEPTIONS OF THE LOVE OF GOD)

“It is easier to keep silence if one is alone, and getting used to solitude is a great help to prayer...prayer must be the foundation on which this house is built.” (WAY OF PERFECTION)

“This Lord of ours is the one through whom all blessings come to us. In beholding His life, we find that He is the best example. What more can we desire than to have such a good friend at our side, who will not abandon us...” (LIFE)

“It is a striking thing that Our Lord should be so much pleased at whatever service is done to His Mother: great is His mercy. May He be praised and blessed for everything, who thus rewards the lowliness of our works with eternal life and glory, and, little as there is of worth in them, makes them great.” (FOUNDATIONS)

“We are His, sisters; may He do with us as He wills and lead us along whatever way He pleases.” (INTERIOR CASTLE)

“There is nothing, however annoying, that cannot easily be borne by those who love each other...” (WAY OF PERFECTION)
“May it please Our Lord, sisters, that we may live as true daughters of the Virgin and hold fast to our profession, so that Our Lord may give us the grace which He has promised us. Amen.” (FOUNDATIONS)

“In how many ways we can think of God!” (CONCEPTIONS OF THE LOVE OF GOD)

“....It shouldn't be thought that this abandonment to God in necessities means I don't try to procure them, but I mean I don't do so with a concern that makes me worry....” (SPIRITUAL TESTIMONIES)

“Their faces were joyous and they were laughing...” (FOUNDATIONS)

“Go cheerfully about in any services you are doing...” (WAY OF PERFECTION)

“For our own part, sisters, we will do what we can and the Lord will accept it all.” (CONCEPTIONS OF THE LOVE OF GOD)

“In what can we better employ ourselves than in making a dwelling place for our Spouse within the soul?” (CONCEPTIONS OF THE LOVE OF GOD)

“So let us strive, daughters, to become true Carmelites, for our days' work will soon be over.” (FOUNDATIONS)

“I often marvelled to think

of the great goodness of God,

and my soul delighted in

seeing His amazing magnificence and mercy

May He be blessed by all,

for I have seen clearly

that He does not fail to repay,

even in this life, every good desire.”



We wish to thank all of our dear friends who made the publication of this brochure possible. We especially want to thank Mr. Eric Welch for so generously sharing his time and talent in producing all of the photos.

We also want to thank Mrs. John Tacci and Mrs. Teresa Pierano for their generous financial assistance.

All quotations are taken from The Complete Works of St. Teresa, trans. and ed. by E. Allison Peers, Sheed and Ward, N.Y., 1944.

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