Government in the Lay Carmelite Community
- The unity of the Order, founded on charity and sharing a common dedication, is
strengthened by leadership. This leadership inspires us to be faithful to our vocation and
ministers in a spirit of service for the good of all and of the community according to the
words of Christ, "If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all
and the servant of all (Mark 9:35)."
- Each Lay Carmelite community is governed by a Council made up of the Director of the
community, the Chaplain, the Formation Director and two to four Councilors depending on
the size of the community and the local customs. The elected Council, that is, the
Director and Councilors, selects a Formation Director, a Secretary and a Treasurer from
their own ranks or from the community at large. The Formation Director, Secretary and
Treasurer if chosen from the community at large, also become members of the Council.
- It is the duty of the Council to serve for the good of the community, enabling the
members to live up to their baptismal vocation of striving to extend the reign of Christ
in the world. The community should be formed according to the spirit and charism of
Carmel, a formation guided by the example of our Blessed Mother, the prophet Elijah and
all the saints of Carmel. Council meetings are to be held monthly if possible, but never
less than quarterly, apart from the regular monthly meeting of the community. In their
deliberations, all shall share their views openly and honestly in a spirit of charity,
responsibly working together for the good of the community. Decisions reached in Council
shall be binding on all members.
- The Chaplain of the community is appointed by the Provincial Director at the request of
the local community, and can be a priest, deacon or Religious. If no chaplain is
available, the community can function without one but it then will be their responsibility
to supplement from their own resources, human and material, for a chaplain's absence.
- In ecclesiastical matters, the chaplain's jurisdiction is related to the authority of
the local Ordinary of the place. In matters related to Carmelite life, the chaplain's
jurisdiction comes from the Provincial through the Provincial Director.
- The community shall be faithful to the Lay Carmelite Rule and these Provincial Statutes.
According to its own charisms and spirit, it can set up its own local community customs,
though never in a spirit contrary to the Lay Carmelite Rule. Any matters not covered by
the Provincial Statutes may be locally determined. Local customs, if any, shall be
approved by the Provincial Director.