During the second week in December, it is always the time to bring out the boxes in which the statues of St. Joseph, Our Lady, and the traditional donkey are readied for their appearance in our annual Las Posadas. Various  areas are prepared to receive these holy pilgrims for the nine, consecutive nights of  Las Posadas.  Different groups of Sisters join together to welcome Mary and Joseph to spend the night at their prepared “inn” (Posadas means inn or place of lodging.) Las Posadas take place at our convent just as dusk is falling. We pray the rosary and then journey  in procession to the next site.  With lit candles in our hands and the chanting of Our Lady’s Litany on our lips, we move to the next site usually just as the sun is setting. It is actually quite beautiful. Most of the Sisters, when they attend this yearly devotion for the first time as postulants,  are enthralled with its beauty, the depth of its meaning and the stark contrast of the Carmelite’s nine-days before Christmas the rush of customers (not far away) moving through congested aisles and long check-out lines, often as not, pretty frazzled over it all.  And on Christmas Eve, in the deep silence of the night, we welcome the Christ Child at our Midnight (and sometimes earlier) Mass.