† What is Carmel?


Mother of Tenderness  The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, steeped in the contemplative tradition of the Church, has its own roots embedded in the soil of the Near East where on Mt. Carmel a small group of hermits, inspired by the life of the prophet Elias and guided by Mary the Mother of God, came together under the Rule given to them by St. Albert of Jerusalem in 1204. This Rule required that “each one remain in one’s cell or near it, while meditating day and night on the law of the Lord and keeping vigil in prayer.” The women’s branch of the Order began in 1452 and a century later St. Teresa of Avila initiated her reform which spread throughout the world and became known as the Discalced Carmelites.

  To those among whom we live, Carmel is a prophetic presence in the Church pointing beyond ourselves to the mystery of God’s all-encompassing love. Our apostolate is prayer and praise of God with and for the Church and our brothers and sisters everywhere. Friends and neighbors call or write requesting our prayer for a special intention, family need or simply to to share their own heart’s longing for God.

Sister in white mantle  To paraphrase our sister, St. Therese of Lisieux, contemplative prayer is Love at the heart of the Church. This love reaches out to the furthest corners of the world carrying with it the message of God’s unfathomable care and concern for everyone.

  We are women on a journey, the most joyful journey of all; the search for God in the depths of our being. Our life of prayer is both a witness and a challenge. The Lord calls all who seek Him in sincerity to meet Him within the depths of one’s heart and in the silence of prayer.