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The Prophetic Element of the Carmelite Charism

Every Christian shares in the threefold dignity of Christ - priest, prophet and king. We Carmelites have had a particular prophetic thrust from the very beginnings of our Order coming from the Elijan aspect of our spirituality. The figure of Elijah the contemplative has had a great impact on our spirituality.

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A Contemplative Community in the Midst of the People

We are the brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. Our Order began because the Latin hermits on Mount Carmel wanted to form themselves into a community of brothers. They had been together long enough

Carmel in the World

During my visits to the Carmelite Family throughout the world, I have come across many different customs and ways of understanding what it means to be a Carmelite but everywhere I have found the same Carmelite values. These values are well expressed in the Constitutions of the friars:

Planning for the Future

The General Chapter 1995 seems a distant memory now but it will continue to affect us for many years to come. The final document from that Chapter contains many of the insights which emerged during the meeting. Also the Constitutions which we approved at the Chapter are the fruit of many years of reflection within the Order as a whole. They describe very well what our vocation is and they encourage us to live it in ever greater depth.

Leadership and Responsibility

The role of the Prior, at local, Provincial and General level in our Rule and tradition is one of service. He leads the community first of all by his own example and his task is to make sure that the community is organised in such a way that the brothers can live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and serve him with

Freedom Under Authority

"For freedom you have been set free. Do not submit again to the yoke of slavery." (Gal. 5,1). The desire to be free is not a modern invention. It has always existed in the hearts of men and women. The mission of Jesus was to set people free, to give them the freedom of the children of God.

The Fundamental Elements of Carmelite Spirituality

Throughout the centuries various ways of following Christ have been tried and tested. Some of these ways have endured to our present day and still have the power to attract many people and help them to live a deeper life of allegiance to Jesus Christ. One of these ways is the Carmelite way.

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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."