Who are the Discalced Carmelite Seculars?
Discalced Carmelite Seculars come from all walks of life, from every level of education and from every type of work. We are Catholic laypersons over the age of 18 (married or unmarried) or ordained diocesan priests or deacons.
There are more than 45,000 Discalced Carmelite Seculars worldwide and more than 6,000 in the United States. We gather in canonically erected communities or recognized Study Groups under the guidance and leadership of the 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.
How was the Order of Discalced Carmelite Seculars formed?
Discalced Carmelites Seculars are members of the Carmelite family of the 16th century reform of St. Teresa of Jesus. Discalced means unshod.
St. Teresa’s followers wore sandals 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. The Discalced Carmelite 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.” (Constitutions of the Secular Order of the Teresian Carmel,” 2003)