carmelitesSecular Order of Discalced Edith SteinCarmelites
of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel
and St. Teresa of Jesus in Oklahoma City

What is the Discalced Carmelite Secular Order?
Discalced Carmelite Seculars are practicing members of the Catholic Church who, under the protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and inspired by St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross, make the commitment to the Discalced Carmelite Order to seek the face of God for the sake of the Church and the world.

Discalced Carmelite Seculars are members of the Carmelite Family of the 16th century Teresa of Avilareform of St. Teresa of Jesus (also known as St. Teresa of Avila). St. Teresa's followers wore sandales rather than shoes, a practice which distinguished them from Carmelites of the Ancient Observance. These followers are present in the modern world as Friars, enclosed Nuns, and Seculars.

Who are we?
Discalced Carmelite Seculars come from all walks of life, from every level of educaiton and from every type of work. They are Catholic laypersons over the age of 18 (married or unmarried) or ordained diocesan priests or deacons.

john of the crossThere are more than 45,000 Discalced Carmelite Seculars worldwide and more than 6,000 in the United States. They gather in canonically erected communities or recognized study groups under the guidance and leadership of the order.

What is the foundation of Carmelite life?
The following principles of the Rule of St. Albert, written for the hermits on Mount Carmel in the 13th century, guide Carmelite life today:
  • Living in allegiance to Jesus Christ,
  • Being diligent in meditating on the law of the Lord,
  • Giving time to spiritual reading,
  • Participating in the liturgy of the Church, both the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours,Little
  • Arming themselves with the practice of the virtues,
  • Seeking interior silence and solitude,
  • Using prudent discretion in all that they do.

(From "Constitutions of the Secular ORder of the Teresian Carmel," 2003.)

What is required of Discalced Carmelite Seculars?

The Secular's obligations can be summarized by the "6 Ms":

  • Meditation. A suggestion is 30 minutes each day.
  • Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and if possible, Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.
  • Mass, daily if possible.
  • Mary. Every day, Seculars express devotion to MAry. Their primary devotion is to imitate Mary in "reflecting on all these things in her heart" (Luke 2:19).
  • Meetings. Seculars are called to communities whose members have made a commitment to one another. Meetings consist of formation, information, and fellowship.
  • Mission. Seculars share in the Carmelite mission of knowing God so God can be known.
For more information, contact Barbara Basgall at bbasgall (AT) cox (DOT) net.