The Order of Carmelites

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Carmelite Procession in celebration of the arrival of the first Carmelites to the U.S. in 1864.

The Carmelites are a religious Order of Roman Catholic Priests and Brothers, who follow an 800 year-old tradition of spirituality. Their official title is, "The Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel."

Following the Old Testament prophet Elijah, they seek to live in God's presence and call people to a deeper faith in God's faithful presence and the establishment of the justice of God's reign.

Following Mary, the Mother of God, they seek to be open and open others to God's saving and freeing presence in all the people and experiences of their lives, and echo her "yes" to the movement of God's Spirit.

Carmelites follow Jesus Christ by living the evangelical vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. They work in 26 nations and are especially expanding in third world countries among the poor and underdeveloped. 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. They are 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. They minister with those who have much and those who have almost nothing. Like Elijah, they continue to ask others to make a choice — for God, life, growth, and wholeness — until the reign of God is established.

Visit our photo gallery of Carmelites serving God's people in many locations; In the United States, the Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary consists of 275 men living and serving in 17 states from Massachusetts to California, from Illinois to Florida. Carmelites of this Province also live and serve in Ontario, Canada; Torreon, Mexico and two dioceses in Peru.

All Carmelites in ministry seek to announce God's presence within the human experience and denounce whatever injustice limits God's presence among His children.