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Since Our Lord dwells in our souls, His prayer is ours.

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity


About Carmel Clarion Communications

In December 2006, a new entity was created in the Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars for the purposes of disseminating our treasure of recorded conferences on Carmelite Spirituality. It is located in the OCDS Main Office as a part of the Carmel Clarion.

The initial inventory was the tapes previously sold by ICS Publications converted to CD-ROM. Albums recorded at the FORUM, the summer seminar on Carmelite Spirituality, where possible, were divided into individual topics. FORUM sets from 2007 to 2010 were recorded in their entirety and are also a part of the almost 100 CDs now available. Lecturers include the members of the Institute of Carmelite Studies, our OCD Friars and Nuns, O. Carm. Brothers, and OCDS Seculars. We continue to add new topics as they occur.

This valuable resource is designed to respond to the ever-increasing desire for more information about the Carmelite Saints: their lives, writings, and teachings; as well as the Carmelite call and vocation to contemplative prayer. It is a valuable aid for formation classes, spiritual conferences by Carmelite Friars, or enhancing personal spiritual growth.

Each 100 or 300 series CD is a live recording of the presentations and lasts approximately 45 minutes. The Digital Library by Sts. Theresa and John of the Cross makes the full-text of the complete works of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) available for searching.

History of the Order

The Order's Beginnings on Mount Carmel

First HermitsAt the beginning of the thirteenth century, a small group of hermits came to assemble on Mount Carmel at the well of Elijah, near the present-day city of Haifa in Israel. At their request St. Albert, Patriarch of Jerusalem, gave them a “way of life” (formula vitae) prescribing simplicity, community and constant prayer. They built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages and dedicated it to Our Lady. Soon they were known as the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or simply, Carmelites.

HistoryWhen the Carmelites came to Europe later in the century, they adapted their style of life to that of the mendicant movement, living in cities and ministering to the needs of the growing urban population. However, they never lost sight of the contemplative dimension of their lives, though they often struggled to maintain its integrity in the midst of a busy and turbulent world.

Reform and New Foundations:
St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross

ReformIn 1562, a Spanish Carmelite nun of Ávila in Spain, known to history as St. Teresa of Jesus, sought to restore the emphasis on contemplative life within Carmel, first among the nuns, then six years later among the friars. In this she was ably assisted by St. John of the Cross. The two established a vibrant new family from within Carmel, dedicated to a single-minded search for God in prayer at the service of the Church. Because they wore sandals, the footwear of the poor, they were popularly known as barefoot or Discalced Carmelites. The nuns led an enclosed contemplative life of prayer and sacrifice for the needs of the Church. The friars shared their spirit and life of prayer, but added to it the care of souls in a varied ministry, with emphasis upon assisting others in their personal prayer and the interior life.

Sacred Heart of MaryThe Discalced Carmelites spread rapidly throughout Europe and to the New World. St. John of the Cross himself was selected to go to Mexico which his untimely death prevented.

History of the Province

Discalced Carmelite Monasteries of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Washington Province

Holy HillHoly Hill, WI
The Discalced Carmelite Friars of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the United States was established by Germanfriars. Archbishop Messmer of Milwaukee offered them a property called Holy Hill, a well known Marian pilgrimage site about thirty miles northwest of Milwaukee. The Carmelites took formal possession of Holy Hill in 1906 with a small community of four friars: Eliseus, who was appointed first superior, Kilian, and two lay brothers who had been sent from Bavaria. They used a renovated farm house as the first monastery. Other friars were sent from Germany to staff Holy Hill.

St. FlorianMilwaukee, WI
In 1912 they also accepted a parish for German-speaking people in the city of Milwaukee, where they built a church and monastery dedicated to St. Florian. A brick monastery was constructed on Holy Hill in 1920, and in the following year a novitiate was established and American vocations began to apply for admission to the Order.

Washington, DCWashington, DC
Another group of friars located in the state of Arizona in 1912: Spaniards from the Catalonia province founded houses at Tucson, Phoenix, Sonora, and a number of mission stations to care for the Spanish speaking residents of the state. In 1916 the friars from Arizona established a monastery in Washington, D.C. Joseph Mary of Jesus (Isasi), a former missionary in Cuba, led a group of friars from Tucson to the nation's capital, and on October 15, 1916, a monastery was formally established in the area near the Catholic University of America.

Brighton, MABrighton, MA
In 1940 the monasteries in Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., were detached from their European provinces and combined into the Washington semi-province. After the war in 1947, this union was canonically elevated to the status of a province under the title of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and further foundations were made in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and New York.

Hinton, WVHinton, WV
The Province officially established a "Desert" community at Hinton, WV on June 24, 1968. The new community was called "Christ on the Mountain." In the tradition of the Order the 'deserts' are hermitages, dedicated to prayer, silence and solitude. The Washington Province made their contribution to overseas expansion.

In 1947, six friars from the province established a mission on the island of Luzon in the Philippine Islands. Other friars from the province followed, and three years later the mission territory was separated from the Lipa diocese and established as the prelature of Infanta. On April 25, 1950, the Holy See entrusted the prelature of Infanta and its almost seventy thousand inhabitants to the Washington Province.

Nairobi, KEnyaNairobi, Kenya - On February 2, 1992, the Order officially inaugurated the house in Nairobi, Kenya for the express purpose of being a formation center for the English-speaking students of philosophy and theology, coming from Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi and Tanzania. The house remained under the General administration of the Order until June 1995 when responsibility for it passed to the Washington Province. More complete information about OCD in the United States can be found at


Discalced Carmelite Seculars

Secular Carmelite communities represent a network of 'living stones' throughout the world.

OratoryLike our Carmelite ancestors on Mount Carmel, Secular Discalced Carmelites today participate in the same active charism of prayer by following the 800-year-old Rule of St. Albert and learn from the example and writings of our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila and Holy Father St. John of the Cross, and other Carmelite saints. The first Canonically Established Secular community in the Washington Province was in 1917.

As present day Secular Carmelites we too are organized into groups of communities, each accountable to the Superiors of the Order and Province, to our brothers and/or sisters within each local community, and are guided by OCDS Constitutions under the Patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the Washington Province Statutes. Being divided into three regions: Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Mid-West/Florida, our 155 OCDS communities; including one in Nairobi, Kenya; 4013 seculars look to our friars for their experience of Carmelite spirituality. Additional information about Secular Carmelites is available at