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:

“At the Feet of Our Lady: School of Marian Virtue”


Handmaidens in California

Upcoming Events

“Blessed Is She” & Game Night

Potluck dinner, conference, games and Rosary

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: Our Lady is the perfect disciple and our model of faith. She believed that “nothing is impossible with God” when the Heavenly Father chose her to be the Mother of His Son. In our own lives, we can feel overwhelmed by that which God is asking of us. We can look to Mary who is our Mother and our guide.

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!

“Word Pondered & Lived”

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 & Main Chapel

Topic: God’s will for us is His invitation to love. Many times in Our Lady’s life she did not always understand the will of God. Her response was to ponder in her heart what she heard or the situation at hand and then move out of herself to serve another. She was able to discern His will for her at every moment in the silence of her heart and go forward in perfect charity.

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:

  • Patient Perseverance: Our Lady’s life was filled with both joy and suffering. She teaches us how to patiently persevere in our trials with faith and fortitude. She knew that God was with her at every moment and that her suffering was part of the bigger plan of salvation of souls.
  • Magnify the Lord: In the Magnificat, Our Lady proclaims that “the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name.” She recognizes that it is with His grace that He can accomplish more than she could ever do on her own. She allows Him to work in and through her for His glory. As we prepare our hearts for His coming, let us allow Our Lady to teach us true humility.

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

“Cause of Our Joy”

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: Our Lady radiated joy and peace to everyone she encountered. She was deeply rooted in the truth that she was first and foremost the beloved daughter of the Heavenly Father. And each person she encountered experienced His love through her.

“Surrendered to His Will”

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: As we enter into the holy season of Lent, let us allow Our Lady to show us how to grow in a trustful surrender in accepting and carrying out the will of God in our own life. She knew that His will for her was His love for her. And her obedient heart responded from her love for God. She can show us how to accept and surrender to the will of God in times of both joy and suffering.

“An Undivided Heart”

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: Our Lady’s purity of heart enabled her to remain always in the presence of God. She was able to see the Hand of God in her life – in the people and the situations that she encountered. And she was sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to respond with joy and peace.

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!