About The Nuns


The Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is a papally enclosed Discalced Carmelite community in the farmlands of Elysburg, Pennsylvania. In communion with the Roman Catholic Church and approved by their diocesan bishop, the Most Rev. Ronald Gainer of the Harrisburg Diocese, the cloistered nuns live lives of solitude, prayer and sacrifice. Their monastery is at full capacity — and their numbers continue to grow.

  • Papally enclosed
  • In full communion with the Harrisburg Diocese and the Roman Catholic Church
  • Uses the Extraordinary Form in the Holy Mass and Divine Office
  • Observes the traditions of the Carmelite order stretching back to St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila

The primary mission of the Carmelite Order is to pray and offer oblation for the Church and the world. The use of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Divine Office sets this monastery apart and their observance of the Rule and Constitutions is part of an unbroken tradition stretching back from Mexico to Spain to Mount Carmel itself in the Holy Land.

Just like St. Teresa of Avila and St. Thérèse the Little Flower, the nuns practice all the traditional and recognizable aspects of Carmelite and monastic life: the full habit, mental prayer, fasting (the nuns observe a meatless diet), enclosure (walls, grills), austerity, personal and communal pursuit of virtue, and union with God.

“A day does not go by when I don’t thank God for the presence of the Carmelite community in our diocese – a true powerhouse of prayer. I thank God for their presence and I thank God for this sign of newness and growth for the Carmelite community.”

                                                                                                                 —Most Reverand Ronald Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg