The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Alhambra, California, are one of the fastest growing religious orders in the United States and fortunate for them, many of those entering in the past few years have had musical talent! Thus, they were pleased to recently announce the release of their seventh CD: “Lean Into the Wind.”
This latest CD, a combination of traditional chant and contemporary praise music, flows from their spirituality. “We come together three times a day and chant the Liturgy of the Hours,” says Sr. Timothy Marie “We spend four hours of prayer each day, but the Lord has called us to take our form of spirituality and take it into the world. We work in education, health care and retreats. We’re a blend — in the world, but not of the world.”
Almost 150 sisters serve the Lord in the community, in addition to 11 novices and postulants. The Carmelites were founded by Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament who arrived in the U.S. in 1927 after religious persecution drove her from Mexico. Their Motherhouse is in Alhambra, California, but they also serve God’s people in Florida, Colorado and Arizona.
“Lean Into the Wind” is their seventh recording. Sr. Timothy Marie says, “There’s a parable in the Bible in which God talks about people not using their talents, so we wanted to use our gift to the service of the people, making a spiritual difference.“ (For excerpts from the beautiful recordings, click here!)
Sr. Gianna Heinemann, a native of South Dakota, explains the “Lean Into the Wind” title: “It’s facing your fear, but it’s more than that. It’s like grabbing the Lord’s hand and just running into the wind. It’s that sense of going deep with the Lord and allowing him to lead you and to trust.” She first felt called to religious life at World Youth Day in Germany, “For the first time, I saw young religious sisters who were wearing the full habit,” she said, and was struck by their joy and love for the Lord. A visit with the sisters convinced her that this was home.
Sr. Gianna is a South Dakotan native, one of two South Dakotans whose voices you can hear on the CD. The other is Sr. Marie Estelle Klein who professed final vows in 2012 and hopes the CD will be a source of hope for people. “And we do pray for everyone. We see our charism as prayer. Each and every person in the world has a home in the hearts of Carmelite sisters.”