Community Life

“Saint Teresa taught a community lifestyle which is that of a small family in which all are evangelically equal, relations are openly sincere, joys and sorrows are shared, and the members are committed to one another as sisters for their entire lives.  ‘All must be friends, all must love one another, all must be cherished, and all must help one another’ (The Way of Perfection 4,7) to create a joyful atmosphere that sets everyone at ease, an atmosphere that accords with’ the sisterly style of life and recreation that [they] have in common’. (The Foundations 13,5)

Constitutions #88


“So that the sisters may joyfully and spontaneously communicate with one another, recreation will be held in common, according to the mind of Holy Mother, twice a day—after dinner and after supper.  All the religious will faithfully take part in it.  They will charitably collaborate with mutual respect and affability in building up the community.”

Constitutions #94

Common Table

“The common table is the symbol of family unity.  The sisters’ food is both a gift of Providence and the fruit of their labors.  The religious will joyfully take their meals together with gratitude to God Who is the giver of gifts and Who blesses the work of their hands.…During meals, in keeping with the Rule, the sisters will listen to a reading from the Bible, or other useful readings [We also listen to recorded conferences during meals.], unless the Prioress, on certain festive occasions, should dispense from the usual silence.” (Const. #93) 

 “Equally, they will faithfully observe the norm of the Rule, restored by Holy Mother, by abstaining from meat…”

Constitutions #50