Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites
Community of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Teresa of Jesus
Cincinnati, Ohio
Formation Outline
       Witnesses to the Experience of God
                    "Practicing Roman Catholics who are in full communion with the Church, may be admitted to the Secular Order provided they are:
          a)     at least 18 years of age,
          b)     able to provide a current official Church copy of their Baptismal Certificate,
          c)     able to provide some documentation showing proof of a valid marriage in the
                  Catholic Church, where applicable,
          d)     living the Catholic faith for a minimum of 18 months after Baptism before
                  being eligible to enter Aspirancy, ...
          e)     not already member of another group that requires promises or vows."
 (from the OCDS Provincial Statutes for the Washington Provice of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Formation Classes
Visitor's Class - 1:00 to 1:50 pm  Visitors will receive information about the Secular Order, our community, Carmelite spirituality and our daily Rule of Life.  After attending three classes, the visitor may apply to Council for entrance into the Aspirancy period of formation.  Thus begins a period of discernment of a Carmelite vocation, both personal and ecclesial.  Ther personal discernment comes from within the individual; the ecclesial discernment comes through the local Council.
Aspirancy - consists of twelve meetings exploring topics relevant to being a Secular Discalced Carmelite including the history of the Order, the Brown Scapular, our daily Rule of Life, mental prayer according to St. Teresa of Jesus, praying the Divine Office, a brief study of our founders Sts. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross, and other Carmelite saints.  At the end of the aspirancy period, the aspirant may apply to the Council for admission to be invested with the Brown Scapular and entrance into formation for the Temporary Promise.
Formation for Temporary Promise - This period of formation normally lasts two years.  The candidate studies the writings of St. Teresa of Jesus, the Evangelical Counsels, and the Beatitudes, while integrating Carmelite spirituality into his/her daily life.  At the end of the period of formation, the candidate may apply to the Council to make Temporary Promise.
Formation for Definitive Promise - Upon making the Temporary Promise, the candidate enters into formation for the Definitive Promise which is typically three years in length.  The candidate continues his/her studies with the writings of St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, always seeking God in prayer with an ever-deepening witness of the Presence of the living God in his/her life, according to the teachings and example of Holy Mother Teresa, Holy Father John of the Cross, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, and the Carmelite saints and blesseds of our Order.  At the end of three years the candidate may apply to the Council to make Definitive Promise in the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites.
Vows - Those members who have been in Definitive Promise for three or more years and who feel called by God to do so, may apply to Council to take Vows of Chastity and Obedience in the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites.
Ongoing Formation - This class is for those in Definitive Promise.  It includes further study of the writings and biographies of various Carmelite saints and blesseds, as well as relevant Carmelite or Church documents.
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