About the Secular Carmelites

Secular Discalced Carmelites are lay people who

Listen

like Elijah, to the still, small voice of God in the silence of their hearts.

Believe

like St John of the Cross that God seeks them even more than they seek Him.

Witness

like Elijah, to the presence of the Living God in every aspect of their daily lives.

Ponder

like Mary, on the Word of God, treasuring it in their hearts.

Pray

like St Teresa of Avila, with the conviction that we “have no need of wings to go in search of God but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon him present within”

Our Promises

We are called to commit ourselves to this way of life:

  • by taking promises to live in the spirit of the counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience and of the Beatitudes
  • by forming small communities which meet monthly for prayer, formation and mutual support
  • by sharing in the ministry of the Discalced Carmelite Order through our own contemplative prayer and through helping to lead others towards such prayer
Prayer is no more than frequent, friendly conversation with One whom we know loves us.
St Teresa of Avila
In the measure you desire him, you will find Him.
St Teresa of Avila

From the Constitutions of the Secular Order of the Teresian Carmel - Preface

All are called to share, in charity, the holiness which belongs to God alone: “You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).

Following Christ is the way to attain perfection, open to all by baptism. Through Baptism, we take part in the triple mission of Jesus: kingly, priestly and prophetic. The first is a commitment to transforming the world according to God’s design. By the priestly mission, the baptized person offers self and the whole of creation to the Father with Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit. And as prophet, the baptized person announces God’s plan for human kind and denounces all that is contrary to it (Lumen Gentium 31-35).

The great Teresian Carmelite family is present in the world in many forms. The nucleus of this family is the Order of Discalced Carmelites: the friars, the enclosed nuns, the seculars. It is the one Order with the same charism. The Order is nourished by the long tradition of Carmel, expressed in the Rule of Saint Albert and the doctrine of the Carmelite Doctors of the Church and the Order’s other saints.

 

Our Communities

In the Nottingham Diocese there are two closely linked but autonomous communities:

  • The St Edith Stein Community, meeting in Derby on the first Saturday of the month, drawing members from Derbyshire, Burton-upon-Trent & Leicestershire
  • The St Elizabeth of the Trinity Community, meeting in Nottingham on the second Saturday of the month. This draws in members from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire & Lincolnshire.

Our Nottingham community also leads 3 Reading Groups to help people deepen their spiritual life by exploring the CarmeliteSaints and their writings;  meeting monthly, two in the day-time and one in the evening.

We also lead courses on prayer, days of prayer & reflection and an annual retreat that offers opportunity for individual guidance.