Secular Carmelites are faithful members of the Catholic Church who are called by the Holy Spirit to “live in allegiance to Jesus Christ” . They seek evangelical perfection and union with God in the Order of the Teresian Carmel for his greater Glory and the good of his Church. In response to that call, members willingly submit to the “gentle yoke” (Mt. 12:30) of obligations and commitments contained in The Rule of St. Albert, our Constitutions and our Provincial Statutes.
Requirements for Membership
A person wishing to become a candidate for admission to the OCDS must be a Practicing Roman Catholic, who is in full communion with the Church, who is a registered member of a parish, and feels called by God to live more deeply his/her baptismal vocation as a member of the Discalced Carmelite Family according to the charism of the Order. A candidate must be between 18 and 69 years of age when seeking entry to the OCDS, must be able to provide a current official Church copy of their Baptismal Certificate and documentation showing proof of a valid marriage in the Catholic Church, where applicable. A person is admitted to formation through an existing the OCDS Community.
The OCDS member is called to the Family of Carmel to be deeply involved in the mission of the Church, to contribute to the transformation of the secular world. We do this by participating in the charism of the Order which is deeply grounded in personal and liturgical prayer. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Prophet Elijah are the Carmelite models for this way of Gospel living. Profession of promises as a member of the the OCDS is an intensified repetition of one’s baptismal promises. Being a member the OCDS is not just a devotion added to life; it is a way of life; it is a vocation. The call to Carmel, a call to seek God’s will in the ordinary circumstances of everyday life, roots the Secular Discalced Carmelite in a love of those with whom one lives and works, in the recognition of God’s presence in all circumstances, and in solidarity with God’s People everywhere.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the Prophet Elijah
Mary is Patroness, Sister, and Mother to all Carmelites. we live this relationship by imitating her virtues, listening to the Word of God in and through daily life. Secular Discalced Carmelites stand with Mary, cooperating with the mysterious will of God who desires salvation for all people. Elijah is an example of prophetic action, a life spent in service of God, a service that finds its source in a profound experience of God in prayer. Secular Discalced Carmelites see in the prophet of Carmel a model for a life spent testifying in deeds of love to God’s presence in the world.