Formation

“Carmelite identity is confirmed by formation in the Scriptures and lectio divina, in the importance of the liturgy of Church, especially the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours, and in the spirituality of Carmel, its history, the works of the Order’s saints, and formation in prayer and meditation.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the model and mother of our Carmelite community.  Mary and the Carmelite Saints reveal to us how to know, love and trust in God.

God’s desire for us is to know Him, love Him, and trust in His love and mercy.  He desires us to go on a pilgrimage through this life, like a child learning to ride a bicycle, with faith, trust, and confidence not in our own abilities – but in His!  God calls us to trust in Him.  Trust that He is with us every step in our journey no matter how straight, narrow, steep or rugged the path; and Mary and the Carmelite Saints show us ‘The Way’.

For St Therese of Lisieux her ‘little way’ is revealed through her “The Story of A Soul’.  Therese understood that smaller we are the more ‘God stoops down to reach us’, like reaching down to pick the smallest daisy in a field of wildflowers.

What is God’s ‘way’ for you?

“If a Person is Seeking God, His Beloved is seeking him much more”

– St John of the Cross

Aspirant

ASPIRANCY is for those who are beginning to discern a call to a vocation in the
Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
“The purpose of this stage is that the applicant might become more familiar with the
community, the style of life and service to the Church proper to the Secular Order of the
Teresian Carmel. This period also give[s] the community the opportunity to make an
adequate discernment.” (OCDS Constitutions 36a)
At the end of the Aspirancy, the applicant may be invited by the Council to receive the
scapular and enter the formal period of formation in preparation for the Temporary
Promise.

A. Human formation

  • The entire Community welcomes and accompanies the Aspirants on their
    journey of discernment.
  • The Community mentors Aspirants in all aspects of OCDS life.

B. Christian formation

  • Understanding how to use the Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Understanding what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about the
    celebration of the Christian Mystery in the liturgy and sacraments.
  • General introduction to documents of the Church describing the role of the
    laity and their relationship to the Carmelite secular vocation. (Lumen
    Gentium, especially 30-42; Apostolicam Actuositatem; Christifideles Laici;
    Novo Millennio Ineunte; Marialis Cultus).

C. Carmelite formation

  •  Instruction in living the Rule through the OCDS Constitutions
  •  Basic understanding and practice of Carmelite prayer:
    – Quiet prayer
    – Liturgy of the Hours
  • Right understanding of devotion to Mary and of the scapular;
  • Initial discernment of a prospective vocation;
  • Rudimentary understanding of history and structure of the Order;

D. Formation for the Apostolate

  • Movement to commit to Christ in Carmel;
  • Introduction to sharing concretely in community life by doing as well as
    talking; being participators, and not just spectators.
  • Preparation to recognize and respond to a call to participate in the apostolates

Temporary Promise

TEMPORARY PROMISED live the evangelical counsels and the spirit of the beatitudes for  a period of three years.

FORMATION I is for those who have received the Scapular and are candidates in formation preparing to make the Temporary Promise.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this stage of formation is to prepare to make the temporary promise (to follow the Evangelical Counsels and to live in the spirit of the Beatitudes) through the serious study of prayer, the scriptures, the documents of the Church, the saints of the Order, and formation in the apostolate of the Order. (cf. O.C.D.S. Constitutions 36 b, c, d) At the end of these two years, the applicant may be invited by the Council to make the temporary promise to live the evangelical counsels and the spirit of the beatitudes for three years.

A. Human formation

  • Learning how to put into practice the virtues of humility, detachment and charity.
  • Learning to persevere in commitments.

B. Christian formation

  • To follow Jesus as both precept and example, with Mary as our model.. (The Gospels; Marialis Cultus)
  • Beginning of internalization of the evangelical counsels and the beatitudes, through study and practice. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Three, “Life in Christ” # 1701 – 1729.)

C. Carmelite formation

  • Understanding the Rule of St. Albert and O.C.D.S. Constitutions well enough to make an informed decision about undertaking the Promise and becoming a member of the order, especially the fundamental elements of the Teresian Carmelite Secular vocation as expressed in O.C.D.S. Constitutions 6 and 9.
  • Understanding and practice of prayer in the Teresian tradition. (Way of Perfection; Lectio Divina; Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Four, “Christian Prayer.”)

D.  Formation for the Apostolate

  • Continued growth in service to the O.C.D.S. community through willingness to share time and talents.
  • Discerning priorities and motivations in service

Definitive Promise

DEFINITIVE PROMISED live the evangelical counsels and the spirit of the beatitudes for life.

FORMATION II is for those candidates who have made the Temporary Promise and
are preparing to make the Definitive Promise.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this period of formation is to prepare the candidate to embrace fully the
demands and rewards of living the way of life inspired by the Rule of St. Albert and
outlined in our O.C.D.S. Constitutions. “In the last three years of initial formation there is a deeper study of prayer, the scriptures, the documents of the Church, the saints of the
Order, and formation in the apostolate of the Order. At the end of these three years, the
applicant may be invited by the Council to make the definitive promise to live the
evangelical counsels and the spirit of the beatitudes for life” (O.C.D.S. Constitutions 36 d).

A. Human formation

  • Personal growth in humility, detachment and charity
  • Perseverance in commitments

B. Christian formation

  • Deeper understanding of scripture and the documents of the Church acquired
    through study and prayer (O.C.D.S. Constitutions 36d)
  • Growth in ability to discern the will of God and follow it (O.C.D.S.
    Constitutions 10) 7/21/06 19

C. Carmelite formation

  • Deeper prayer through study and practice
  • Deeper knowledge and understanding of saints of the Order
  • Continuing study and integration of the O.C.D.S. Constitutions into daily life
    Internal preparation for the definitive promise

D. Formation for the Apostolate

    • Responsible participation in the community apostolate and the lay Christian
      apostolate (O.C.D.S. Constitutions 36d)
    • Willingness to serve and support the community

 

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