Order of Carmelites

Living in God’s Presence

What we call “Carmel” is really a way of life in which we try to be aware of the Presence of God in the most ordinary, everyday things. We’re contemplative, but we live out our service in the world. We’re prayerful, but we’re also practical. We were founded 800 years ago on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land, but we have our feet firmly planted in today’s problems and concerns.

“Carmel learned to tell the story of the human heart as a love story. Thinking they were searching for something missing in their lives, Carmelites discovered they were being pursued by a loving presence whose desire for them gave them increased life, greater freedom, and a trustworthy relationship for their guidance.”
-The Carmelite Way*

Living in Community

Carmelites live together in community so that we can support one another in our desire to live up to what God wants of us. We share prayer times, meals, concerns, and, sometimes, work. We are brothers to one another and call each other to accountability for our way of life.

Living in Service to Others

Carmelite friars are pastors, teachers, and spiritual directors. But, we’re also lawyers, hospital chaplains, musicians and artists. There is no one ministry that defines a Carmelite. We pray for the freedom to respond to needs wherever we find them.

*The Carmelite Way, John Welch, O.Carm.
(Paulist Press: 1996)

No matter what we are engaged in, the Carmelite ministry is to help people find God’s presence in their lives and in the world. We help people find God in every aspect of life. The God of all life is everywhere and we find — and help others discover — God’s presence in every person, experience, and event.

You’ll find us in 19 states, from New Jersey to California, Illinois to Texas. We’re also in Ontario, Canada, Torreon, Mexico and Lima, Peru. We sponsor 33 parishes, six high schools: Joliet Catholic Academy (IL), Mount Carmel High School (IL), Carmel Mundelein (IL), Salpointe Catholic High School (AZ), Crespi Catholic (CA), and  three spiritual centers, and two shopping center chapels.

Diversity of Missions & Ministries

“I am moved by zeal for the Lord, the God of Hosts…”
– The Prophet Elijah

From college campuses to military chapels, and from high school teaching to psychotherapy, Carmelite friars live out our commitment in a wide variety of services. Whatever the job, we bring zeal for the Lord.

As Carmelites, we don’t focus on one ministry, such as teaching, or one way of service, such as pastoral work. Instead, we ask each friar to discern with the community where his talents can best be used for the needs of the world and the Church.

We’re AIDS ministers, college teachers, communications professionals, counselors, foreign missionaries, hospital chaplains, peace and justice coordinators, police and firefighter chaplains, prison ministers, retreat directors and spiritual directors.

We work in cities and rural areas, institutions and streets, colleges and migrant farms. We minister with those who have much and those who have almost nothing. Like Elijah, we continue to ask others to make a choice — for God, life, growth, and wholeness — until the reign of God is established.

The faith of those who journey with us inspires us and gives us hope for the journey.

We invite you to learn more about our service in your world. Visit www.carmelites.net for more information on the Order of Carmelites.

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