Extern sisters are religious engaged in the external service of the monastery in order to allow the cloistered nuns to maintain an entirely contemplative way of life. They are called by God to a special vocation of generous service to the community and are in a particular way, guardians of the enclosure. By their simple, loving hospitality and their self-giving spirit to the external requirements of the monastery, extern sisters are a beautiful witness to the life of the contemplative Carmelite nuns and an extension to their vocation to be love at the heart of the Church. By the profession of public simple vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, extern sisters consecrate themselves totally to the Lord and join the family of the Teresian Carmel, whose charism they share, by means of incorporation into the monastery in whose service they pledge themselves ~ Cf. Constitutions No. 182
Extern sisters wear the same habit as the nuns and profess the same Rule and Constitutions, but by reason of their proper office, they are not bound to observe the law of papal enclosure and have, in addition, their own statutes. The most common duties of an extern sister are the sacristy work and various tasks within the church, namely cleaning, preparing the sanctuary for Mass, welcoming the people who arrive at the monastery and attending to their needs, gardening, grocery shopping for the nuns and other various hospitable services, which allow the enclosed nuns to engage in their life of contemplative prayer more intensely.
"Faith in action is love, and love in action is service"
~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta ~