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The Basic Structure of the Order

Curia 2019

The Carmelite Order is included by the Church among the clerical institutes. It is composed of friars who profess the three solemn vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, and who share a common purpose: to live the consecrated life according to the spirit of the Order.

For the common good, and to provide better for the needs of the apostolate, Carmelites are exempt from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary and are subject to the Supreme Pontiff alone.

§1. Members are incorporated first into the Order as a whole, and subordinately, into a Province or General Commissariat. Membership is received through temporary profession, but only becomes final when members make their solemn profession, having completed the period of preparation.

§2. By virtue of profession, all the friars are equal with respect to rights and religious obligations, except for rights or obligations pertaining to specific offices or ministries.

Membership in the Order confers the right to receive from the Order all that is necessary for life.  Nevertheless, the brethren remain subject to the common law of work  and are expected to promote the development of the Order.

§1. The Order is structured into Provinces, General Commissariats, and houses under the direct jurisdiction of the Prior General.

§2. Whenever the life and activities of the Order so require, the General Chapter - and, outside the Chapter, the Prior General with the consent of his Council - may institute other entities (Delegations, Regions, etc.), and also define their rights as well as obligations concerning persons and things. Entities thus instituted by the Prior General and his Council shall be submitted for approval to the following General Chapter; in the absence of such approval, they shall cease to exist, and their members shall return to their respective Provinces or General Commissariats.


As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."