Handmaidens (California) is a faith formation group for single women between the ages of 18 and 35, dedicated to cultivating a deeper relationship with our Lord, as well as a greater understanding and appreciation of the dignity of their vocation as women. Formation and living holiness in the world is supported and nurtured through adoration, prayer and conferences given by the Carmelite Sisters and chosen laity.


This years theme is:

“For Greater Things You Were Born”
Spiritual gems from Venerable Mother Luisita


Handmaidens in California

Upcoming Events

Movie & Game Night

(Potluck dinner, conference, “For Greater Glory” movie/ game night)

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Evening Prayer at Sacred Heart Retreat House; the rest of the evening will be spent at St. Joseph Campus (Sacred Heart and Nazareth Rooms)

Topic: This year marks Venerable Mother Luisita 150th anniversary of birth! Her life is no ordinary story. It is a story filled with that complete trust in God which makes life a daring adventure, the kind of adventure one encounters when one dares to love God above all things and to place one’s life completely in His hands. As we prepare to spend this year gleaning insights from her wisdom and experience, we will learn more about her life and the challenging circumstances which God used to help her grow in union with Him.

Bake-a-Thon

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location: Sacred Heart Retreat House

11:30 Mass with the sisters and the weekend retreatants

12:30 Lunch picnic style- bring your own sack lunch

1:00 – 3:30 Boutique Bake-a-thon

4:00 – 5:00 Adoration and Evening Prayer with the Sisters

Come help us take over the Sacred Heart Retreat House kitchen and prepare for our annual Boutique. Donning hair nets and aprons, we’ll make fudge, mix soups and bake lots of sweet treats. A beautiful Sunday Holy Hour will conclude the afternoon. Don’t miss out on this fun afternoon!

“God, Your Soul and Eternity”

(Evening Prayer at St. Joseph Chapel, Potluck dinner, Conference, Adoration, Dessert, and Discussion)

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Santa Teresita- Madonna Hall and Main Chapel

Topic: “God, Your Soul and Eternity” Mother Luisita invites each of us to maintain the proper perspective on life’s joys and sorrows. She asks: “What about your soul? Is it taking little steps toward heaven or is it flying there?’ She encourages us to “be very united with Our Lord so that your prayer may be continual, and at the same time, full of confidence in God.”

Handmaidens’ Day of Prayer

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: St. Joseph Campus / Sacred Heart Retreat House

10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Handmaidens’ Day of Prayer (SJC)

Conference topics:

Finding Peace: Full of maternal solicitude for her daughters, Mother Lusitia offers us tender counsel about how to maintain peace of soul when we are faced with struggles. She says, “If there is any tempest going on in your soul, don’t pay any attention to it. You know very well where it is all coming from, so don’t be afraid. Run to Our Lord and full of confidence in Him ask Him to help you. Invoke our Blessed Mother praying to her with fervor.”

Trusting in God’s Providence: Mother Luisita’s life gives witness to extraordinary faith and trust in God. In the midst of severe religious persecution she courageously tells us: “How good our God is, always watching over His children! We should rest entirely in His hands, understanding that His eyes are always upon us, that He will see to it that we lack nothing and grant us anything that we need, if it is for our own good. Let Our Lord do with you whatever He wants. Let Him mold your soul in whatever way is pleasing to Him.”

4:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Las Posadas (SJC); Dinner and Christmas Caroling in the neighborhood (SHRH) Cost: $25 for the Day of Prayer

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“Your Prayer Life”

(Evening Prayer, Potluck dinner, Conference, Adoration, Dessert, and Discussion)

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Santa Teresita- Main Chapel and Villa

Topic: “Your Prayer Life” Are you looking for some advice on how to deepen your prayer life? Mother Luisita shares very practical insights on how to cooperate with God’s grace. She teaches us: “Your prayer should be continual by uplifting your soul to God. May His love be the driving force urging you on in everything you do. My child, reminding yourself of God’s presence within you will lead you into contemplation.”

“Carrying Your Cross”

(Visiting the residents, Evening Prayer, Potluck dinner, Conference, Adoration, Dessert, and Discussion)

Time: 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Marycrest Manor, Culver City

Topic: “Carrying Your Cross” As we enter into the holy season of Lent, Mother Luisita invites us to become very united to Jesus through our acceptance of suffering. She says, “According to the love that God has for us and the place He’s destined in heaven for us, He provides us with the means to beautify our souls. Oh, my child, let us love the cross! Let’s embrace it and see it as the proof of the love of a crucified God. Our Lord Himself will be your reward.”

“Growing in Holiness”

(Evening Prayer, Potluck dinner, Conference, Adoration, Dessert, and Discussion)

Time: 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Evening Prayer at Sacred Heart Retreat House; the rest of the evening will be spent at St. Joseph Campus (Sacred Heart and Nazareth Rooms)

Topic: “Growing in Holiness” Throughout her letters, Mother Luisita repeatedly challenges us: “Be what you are supposed to be- a saint!” She encourages us to have magnanimous souls and to strive for holiness for God’s greater honor and glory and the salvation of souls. She prays, “May we all acquire solid virtue through the ordinary duties of daily life. Without being puffed-up in any way, let us be humble and observant. Rejoice in being little, humble and simple. Oh, yes, my child. May Divine Love consume your soul. After all, that’s the reason why we are in the world. All the rest is nothing more than a puff of smoke!”

Beach Trip

Time: 3:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Location: Meet at Sacred Heart Retreat House to carpool OR meet us at Point Vincente Interpretive Center- 31501 Palos Verdes Dr W, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Activity: Join many of our sisters as well as our Come and See guests for a beautiful evening at the beach! Dinner, Evening prayer, wonderful company, great music and breathtaking scenery!