Six Sisters of Bethlehem living in Jocotepec are trying to establish a monastery that could be the largest of its kind in the state of Jalisco.
The Catholic sisters are focusing their attention on raising funds to build the Monasterio Santa Maria del Tepeyac at a site located five kilometers up a mountain road in Viñedos Lake – a subdivision of San Martin – a 30-minute drive from Jocotepec. So far, the only thing that has been completed is the winding road that weaves up through the rugged terrain to the hilltop site.
Since arriving in Jocotepec, Sister Marcella and the five other sisters have been busy visiting various lakeside churches to speak about the project and their monastic life.
“A significant part of our monastery will be hermitages for lay people who want to stay in the monastery for a few days in silence,” says Sister Marcella. “God will lead them into the desert, where they’ll be able to pray, read their books in silence, and experience the beauty that surrounds them. It will be a place for those who wish to renew their spiritual life and spend time with God in silence and solitude.”
If the sisters can raise the needed funds, construction of the monastery may be completed in one to two years. A group of architects from Guadalajara is in charge of the project.
To help gather funds, some of the sisters paint icons, which are offered up for sale during their visits around lakeside. Sans signatures, these beautifully painted icons are never identified.
“Everything in our life is hidden,” says Sister Marcella.