December 31, 2000


Officially can be found at:


1. There shall be a National Secretariat consisting of the Provincial Delegates and Secular representatives of each jurisdiction. It shall be a collaborative body.

2. The Secular representatives should be appointed by the Provincial Delegate of each jurisdiction. The term of office will be determined by the Provincial Delegate.

3. There shall also be a secretary appointed by the Secretariat who will be present, though without the right to vote, at the Secretariat's meeting and will record the proceedings.

4. A National Congress shall be held every ten years. Each jurisdiction shall normally hold a Regional Congress every three years.

5. Each jurisdiction shall have a Central Office to assist the Provincial Delegate in his duties.


1. A number of people interested in becoming Secular Carmelites may come together for that purpose with the consent and supervision of the Provincial Delegate.

2. These people may be known as a study group with the purpose of discerning the vocation to which they are called.

3. A number of Isolated Secular Carmelites interested in establishing a Community may form a recognized Group upon the appointment of a Spiritual Assistant (cf. Rule, Articles 20, 21,22) and Master of Formation by the Father Provincial or his Delegate.

4. The Spiritual Assistant of the Community must always be a priest or deacon (except when Father General grants permission for a non-cleric religious to be appointed as Assistant). When a non-cleric religious serves as a Spiritual Assistant, all matters which require clerical jurisdiction according to The RULE, must be referred to the Provincial or his Delegate.

5. With the appointment of a Spiritual Assistant and Director of Formation, this study group assumes the status of a recognized Secular Order Group (cf. Articles 20-22), under the supervision of the Provincial Delegate.

6. For the Canonical Establishment of a Community, it is necessary that there be a least ten members, of whom two have made their Definitive Promise.

7. A charter for Canonical Establishment must be obtained in writing from the Father General of the Order, normally through the Provincial or his Delegate.

8. Consent in writing must also be obtained from the Ordinary (Bishop) of the diocese, unless the Community is erected in association with a foundation of our Friars.


1. Any member of the Church, lay person or cleric, may be admitted to the Secular Order in accordance with the provisions of Article 10 of the Rule.

2. A candidate for admission to Formation in the Secular Order must be at least 18 years of age.

3. Sufficient contact is normally understood to entail the aspirant's attendance at six consecutive meetings of the Community.

IV. PERIOD OF FORMATION (Cf. Rule, Article 10)

1. At entrance into Formation, a Candidate normally retains his/her baptismal name. A title of devotion may be added to one's baptismal name if desired.

2. There are two periods of Formation:
     a. The two years before the Temporary Promise.
     b. The three years before the Definitive Promise.

3. Either of the two periods of Formation may be extended if it is determined (normally by the Council) to be in the best interest of the candidate.
     a. The first period of Formation (before the Temporary Promise) may be extended for one more year.
     b. The second period of Formation (before the Definitive Promise) may be extended up to three more years.

V. THE SECULAR ORDER HABIT (Cf. Rule, Art 7, pt 2)

1. The large Ceremonial Brown Scapular shall continue to be given as the habit of the Secular Order at the time of admission to Formation.

2. A smaller brown scapular is worn for everyday use. (Cf. Art. 7).

3. If a member wishes to be buried with the ceremonial scapular, worn externally, prior arrangements should be made with the member's family or closest associates.


1. The Community elections shall be held every three years in the spring prior to the Provincial elections of the Friars.

2. Elections of the Community President and three Councillors shall be conducted in accordance with recognized parliamentary procedures (for example, Roberts' Rules of Order) with the following particular provisions:
a. A nominating committee of at least three professed members may be appointed by the Council and the names of the committee members shall be announced to the members at a meeting approximately one month in advance of the meeting when the election is to take place.
b. The nominating committee shall, if possible, select two or three qualified nominees for each office who have consented to serve if elected.

c. The report of the nominating committee (list of nominees) shall be presented to the members at their next meeting when the election will take place.

d. Only professed members are eligible to vote.

e. Nominations may be made from the floor and write-in votes shall be valid (cf. Article 25 regarding nominees for President).

f. Only professed members may serve as members of the Council.

g. In order that the leadership qualities be developed in our Communities, the President's stay in office should be limited to two consecutive terms, after which postulation shall be required normally from the Provincial Delegate.

h. Voting is to be by secret ballot. A quorum* (for the purposes of an election by a Community shall be the voting members, present provided notice of the election was given at the previous meeting) of eligible voting members being present, a majority (a number greater than half the legal votes cast) shall be required for election.

i. Voting by letter or proxy shall be invalid.

j. If a majority is not reached by any nominee on the first ballot, the names of the two nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be placed on the second ballot. If there is a tie on the second ballot, there shall be a third and final ballot. In the event of a tie on the third ballot, seniority of profession shall be the determining factor of the election. If there is a tie on the profession date, then seniority by age shall determine the election.

3. The election of the Council shall proceed in the following manner:

a. The Spiritual Assistant shall invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the absence of the Spiritual Assistant, this shall be the duty of the President.

b. The President shall preside at Community elections and conduct them in accordance with subsection two above.

c. The three incumbent Councillors shall count and verify the votes, and the Secretary shall record them.

4. The Procedure for the election of the Secretary and Treasurer should be left to the discretion of the newly elected Council (cf. Article 23).


1. The Council shall meet regularly.

2. Recognized parliamentary procedure shall be observed by the Council in their actions to the extent that they apply with the following provisions:

a. A quorum for the purposes of a valid action requiring the vote of the Council shall be a least three Council members.

b. A majority of voting members present shall be required to carry an action.

c. The President shall cast an additional vote if necessary to break a tie.

d. Voting by letter or proxy is invalid


1. By choosing the Blessed Virgin Mary as the mother and Patroness of our Order, we place our whole spiritual life under her tutelage, and also propose to ourselves the mystery of her interior life and union with Christ as the example and ideal of interior consecration. The Secular Order recognizes the value of praying:

a. the Rosary

b. the Litany of Loretto

c. the Angelus

d. and other such devotions commended by the Church (cf. Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation, Marialis Cultus, Feb. 2, 1974).

2. The Secular Order highly recommends the Marian spirit embodied in the latest Vatican documentation on the scapular, (cf. Doc. of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments: "The Rite of the Blessing and Imposition of the Scapular of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel" (11/29/96 [Prot.2243/061 ] m#16,a and b).


As sons and daughters of St. Teresa, members should keep in mind that St. Joseph is the patron of the universal Church, and the special patron of our Order. He is the model of attentive service of Christ, of Mary, and of the Church, and is also the "master of prayer" proposed to us by St. Teresa (Life, 6, 6-8).


(Cf. Rule, Articles 6, 7, 8, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pastoral Statement, "Penitent-Discipline in the United States." Washington, D. C., 1966)

1. Fast and abstinence:

a. In addition to the days of fasting and abstinence proper to the Church in The United States and in response to the encouragement of our bishops "to prepare for each Church festival by a day of particular self-denial, penitential prayer and fasting" (cf. above) and to our Carmelite traditions, our members, unless excused by reason of illness, will fast on the vigils of the following feast days:

1. Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16)

2. Our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Jesus (Oct. 15)

3. Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross (December 14)

4. The Prophet Elijah (July 20)

5. St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (Oct. 1)

6. All Saints of the Order (Nov. 14)

b. For sufficient reason, the above special fast days may be anticipated.

2. Sacrament of Reconciliation:

The Rule teaches us to have a great esteem for the sacrament of penance (cf. Article 5). Each Carmelite is encouraged to participate diligently and frequently in the sacrament (Rite of Penance, n.7.b).

3. Examination of conscience:

a. The Carmelite will endeavor daily to make an examination of conscience.

b. When Night Prayer (Compline) is recited, the examination of conscience is ideally made at its beginning.


1. At the time of death:

a. The Community will have a Mass offered.

b. The Community will pray together:

1. Evening Prayer (Vespers) of the dead, with a particular reference to the deceased members as well as to all the deceased of the Order; or

2. The Rosary; or

3. Other suitable prayers.

c. Each member will, if possible, have Mass offered or participate in a Mass and receive Holy Communion for the deceased.

2. For the deceased members of the entire Order: The Carmelite should remember the deceased members of the Order in their daily prayers.

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