Carmelite Priest

I have just found site and have been doing some brief searching through it,

but I am a tad confused, is a Carmelite Priest able to do the same things a regular Priest does, confession, marrage, say mass, rite of excorsim, etc, and do they end up being in a diocese ? or is this a specific order with in the Catholic Church, who can do everything a diocesan priest does but actually lives with a group of men;

I would contact the site directly but they want all of your information home phone, address, and i just dont want to be bombarded with mail and phone calls for a simple inquiry.

any other websites , or information would greatly be appreciated,

I am really unfamiliar with what a Carmelite Priest is and have only become aware of it after starting my discernment and praying the Rosary , I have grown up Catholic and I am just now finding out about this and i feel like i have been living under a rock and am wondering what else i dont know !

Let’s clarify several things. There is no order called the Carmelite Priests or the Carmelite Fathers. They are the Brothers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel or the short version, the Carmelite Friars. The word friar means brother. This tells you right away that they live in fraternities. They are not like diocesan priests who live in rectories and each has his own private life, but they work together in the same parish. The Carmelites are brothers to each other

The eat, pray, play, work, go on retreat and do many things together. They share everything in common: cars, bank accounts, houses, and anything you can think of except the toothbrush. It’s part of the vow of poverty and part of being a brotherhood.

Many of the friars (brothers) are priests. I believe that most Carmelites are priests. They are called to serve God as Carmelite brothers consecrated to a life of prayer, penance, fraternity, service and obedience. Most are also called to serve as priests, which fits right into the call to service.

Those who are priests are assigned to a priory, which is what they call their houses. A priory can be attached to a parish, school, university, house of formation or any other apostolic work. These priests do whatever a priest is supposed to do in each situation. If the friar-priest is in a parish, he will do all the things that a parish priest does, from administration to the celebration of the sacraments and everything in between. The difference between him and the diocesan down the street is that this parish priest belongs to a family called the Carmelite family. That family has customs, rules, tradition, history and most of all a very ordered way of life. The diocesan priest has much more flexibility, because he is committed to the diocese, but not to a community.

If a priest belongs to a religious community, he is called a regular priest, because he follows a rule (regula) of life. If the priest is a diocesan priest, he is called a secular priest, because he lives in the world, even though he is not of the world. He continues to belong to his biological family. If he becomes disabled or retires, he can live where ever he wants, even back with a relative. A regular priest has to live with his community until the day he dies.

Carmelites, like any other religious are not tied down to a diocese. We have Brother David O’Carm on this site. He’s a good friend and a Carmelite. He lived in the west, I forget what diocese and now he lives in Washington, DC. The Carmelite Friars go where they can best serve the Church and their brothers. It can be across town or around the globe. They can be parish priests or high school teachers. Some serve in other capacities, not as priests. They are administrators, teachers, nurses, carpenters, plumbers, counselors, run soup kitchens, you name it the Carmelites do it.

They’re an awesome family with a very old tradition. So old that no one is really sure of their origins. We know that the Prophet Elijah is a spiritual inspiration to them. When Brother David is around, let’s hope he’ll stop here and give us more information and correct whatever mistakes I may have made.


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

I just looked up the O.Carm Carmelites, and it seems that they do call their houses “priories”. The custom within the Discalced Carmelites is to call the houses “monasteries” (whether male or female). I can’t remember why that is. It’s a very trivial distinction, but just thought I’d point it out.

In Christ through Mary,

thank you very much for the clarification and in put,

Br JR did a really good job.

The full name of our order is the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, which can be a mouthful so we shorten it to Order of Carmel most of the time.

We are also known as the Carmelites of Ancient Observance.

We are friars, we have both priests and brothers. Mostly priests. We serve where we are sent. We staff parishes, retreat centers, and high schools. We also have friars who work in seminaries, colleges, hospital, and many other ministries. Spiritual direction is also a big thing for us.

We live in priories. It is true, what Br JR, states that the priory is attached to a mission site but this is starting to change. Now we have a number of priories where friars live who work in different ministries. We are stating to return our focus on our common life of prayer and recreation.

The website linked is the vocations website for my province, the Most Pure Heart of Mary province (or PCM province, also known as the Chicago province), our provincial website is here, Carmelnet: Carmelite Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. You can see a bit more about our ministries there.

OK, Brother:

So what grade do I get for remember my Carmelite history, which I must say that i studied back in 1972. I hope I get at least a smiley face. :smiley:

Yes, the full name of the Carmelites is a mouthful. Back in 1972, we were straddling between Latin and modern languages and I remember that you guys still had it in Latin on your seal. I looked at it and thought to myself, “Dang, that’s not a name; that’s a sentence,” not that ours was so short either, Ordinem Fratres Minores Capuchinorum.


Br. JR, FFV :slight_smile:

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