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Chapter 4
The Call to Community


  1. The Carmelite Order through the establishment of lay communities provides a means by which the members of those communities are helped to be faithful to the commitment called forth by their Baptism, that is, to live with others a Gospel way of life. This call to community is deeply reflected in the original Rule of Carmel, that of St. Albert, chapters 7 to 11, which mandates that Carmelites are to live as a community, celebrating the Eucharist, praying together in common, meeting frequently to encourage one another and manifesting a spirit of poverty, detachment and contemplative prayer in their personal lives. As members of Lay Carmelite communities, they are to pattern themselves on the early Christians, being "of one heart and one mind," devoting themselves to "the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42-47, 4:32)." This relationship of mutual love, though difficult to achieve, provides the power by which the members in a spirit of loving, active cooperation are strengthened to establish the reign of God in a secularized and often hostile world. This spirit of love shall extend not only to Carmelites but also in service to the poor and marginalized, in an effort to establish peace and justice in our modern world. Living as a member of a Lay Carmelite community also implies no neglect of the duties of one's state in life as a single or a married person.

  2. Carmelite Lay communities take the name of the parish or Religious house where they are established, or they may take another name, if the membership so decides.

  3. Carmelite Lay communities are called to be witnesses to Christian community within the Church and to the world.

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