How to become a Secular Carmelite
Is God calling you?
Lay practicing Catholics or diocesan clergy may join the Secular Carmelites, according to the Statutes.*
Are these some things you might like?
- Have a deeper spiritual life
- Practice contemplative prayer
- Participate in community life
- Accept tasks within the community, if possible
- Benefit from community prayers for all eternity
- Have a deep feeling of peace
Persons admitted to the Secular Order should not "belong to an association in which promises, vows or other permanent commitments are undertaken or to any group whose activity and purposes are in contradiction with the teaching of the Catholic Church, or if his or her family duties and other commitments collide with the obligations of a Secular Carmelite"*
*Statutes of the Kraków Province of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (2017), #11, p. 4.
Exterior Requirements of the Rule
- Attend daily Mass, if possible
- Mental, not rote, prayer for half an hour daily
- Attend all community meetings
- Wear the scapular
- Do spiritual reading
- Remembrance in prayer of all deceased Carmelites
- Divine Office: Morning and Evening prayer
- Daily examination of conscience
- Frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Daily devotion to Our Lady, usually the Rosary
- To the degree possible, abstinence from meat on solemnities of five feast days,* Wednesdays and Saturdays, together with the whole Order, along with reduction of bodily nourishment in support of the needy**
- Pay annual dues of $24.00. Checks addressed to SECULAR ORDER OF DISCALCED CARMELITES.
- Also, see http://www.helpfellowship.org/secular_carmelite_info.htm for further information
*Feasts of Teresian Carmel: Solemnity of St. Joseph, i.e., March 18; Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, i.e., July 15; Solemnity of St. Teresa of Jesus, i.e., October 14; Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM, i.e., December 7; and the Solemnity of St. John of the Cross, i.e., December 13. Statutes (2017), #59, p. 13.
**Statutes (2017), #59, p. 13.
Note: These acts are positive and do not carry pain of sin.
Steps toward Definitive Promises
- As "aspirant," individual becomes interested in the Secular Order
- Interview with Director of Formation and Council
- As "postulant," individual attends six meetings (six months)
- Admission to Community by Council
- Initial Formation: 6-12 months (official Formation continues until Definitive Promises)
- As "novice," with Council's approval, investiture by priest with Solemn Scapular, then two-three years of Formation
- First Promises (with Council's approval) then three years of Formation
- Definitive Promises with Council's approval (continual Formation lasts for member's entire life)
- Members also have the option of making vows one year after Definitive Promises.*
*Statutes of the Kraków Province of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (2017), #36-47, pp. 9-10; Constitutions of the Secular Order of the Teresian Carmel (2013), pp. 7-8.