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Formation & Profession
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Chapter 9
Formation and Profession


  1. Reception incorporates the new candidates into the Carmelite Order. A period of special formation begins upon reception of new members. Under the guidance of the Formation Director, they are provided with instructions which will deepen their prayer life, their sense of community and their call to ministry. In all things, the purpose of this formation is to increase their desire to follow Christ, abandoning everything so that they may respond to Christ's call to the rich, young man, "Come, follow me (Mt. 19:21)."

  2. The local Council is responsible for setting up and programming this period of formation. Some matters to be covered in this formation period are Marian studies, the Scapular, the Elijahn prophetic witness, meditation and contemplative prayer, spiritual reading, liturgical forms of prayer such as the Liturgy of the Hours, the Little Office, the Rosary, the Carmelite saints, the value of detachment, and the call of Carmel as a deeper incorporation into the Church.

  3. New members attend all the regular meetings of their community and demonstrate the sincerity of their call to Carmel by a faithful observance of the Lay Carmelite Rule and an adherence to the life and spirit of their local community.

  4. The period of formation shall last two years. For a good reason the Council may prolong this period in an individual case for a period not exceeding one year. At the completion of this period of special formation, the received member is eligible with the approval of the Council to make a free and deliberate choice to profess promises in the Order. This profession shall be made to the chaplain according to the rite in the official manual. A person who desires not to profess promises may freely leave the Order.

  5. In danger of death, the Council or the Provincial Office may admit a new member to Profession. Any priest is delegated to dispense with Reception and accept the profession of the person in such danger. If recovery occurs, the newly professed member must resume the regular program of formation.

  6. At the end of some years, not less than three, professed members may decide under the advice of their Spiritual Director to renew their profession making the vows of obedience and chastity according to their state in life. These vows, which oblige in conscience, are private vows. A letter of petition for the taking of vows shall be submitted through the Community Council to the Provincial Office. The person taking vows may choose to wear a ring as a symbol of their vows. This ring is blessed at the vow-taking ceremony. Where possible, the ceremonies of reception, profession and the taking of vows shall take place at a celebration of the Eucharist.

  7. Lay Carmelites do not take a vow of poverty. The financial responsibilities assumed by as well as the material benefits provided to the solemnly vowed members of the Order are not in their domain.

  8. Reception or profession, whether by promises or vows, ceases immediately when one leaves the Order or is lawfully dismissed. In the case of profession, one wishing to leave shall after prayerful deliberation submit this request in writing to the local Community Council and to the Provincial Office. The Provincial Director is the person who issues the dispensation after having been notified in writing of the request.

  9. Persons who transfer to our Order from any other Order may be professed after having received adequate Carmelite formation as prescribed in these statutes. Those who transfer from the Secular Discalced Order, if professed, may renew their profession according to our rite after one year.

  10. Persons can be dismissed from the Order for adequate causes. The Provincial Office shall be consulted in these matters for approval before the action is taken by the local Community Council.

  11. The renewal of profession by the professed members shall be made in community on suitable occasions for the purpose of strengthening and witnessing to their commitment.



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