OCDS St. Louis

The Order of Carmel Discalced Secular is a community comprised of Lay Roman Catholics who live in the world while centering themselves on God and serving Him through the spirit of Carmel. We live under the constitutions of the Order and are part of the Carmelite family of Friars and Nuns.

As Carmelites, we seek to hear God in the quiet of our hearts through contemplation and prayer. We seek an interior union with our Lord while actively living out the ordinary events of our everyday lives. We take our example of living from Our Lady as a model for living our life focused on one thing, serving her Son. She is a woman of faith and obedience to whom we look as a companion and guide on our journey of faith. She is Mother and Sister as well as patroness. Her gentle presence pervades our lives. We wear the brown scapular she gave to us as it is a symbol of our dedication to her and of her motherly care for us.

Our community members follow the Carmelite Constitutions and participate in daily mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, daily Meditation, and Spiritual Reading. We also meet monthly in our very active Community at the Monastery. We regard our community as a great blessing and help in living our lives in Carmel. If you are interesting in learning more about our Carmelite community, please make a visit to the nuns Monastery Chapel or contact us to learn more and help discern your potential calling to Mt. Carmel.

The Carmelite history began on Mount Carmel in Israel in the 12th century.  A group of hermits gathered there under the inspiration of the Prophet Elijah who had done God’s will there in ancient times. The influence of Elijah can be seen by his words on our Carmelite crest: "With zeal I am zealous for the Lord God of Hosts". In the early 1200's these desert monastics asked St. Albert of Jerusalem to give them a rule of life.  Within fifty years of receiving their rule the Carmelite hermits were forced to leave Mount Carmel and settled in Europe. The Carmelites needed reform in the 16th century and this was led by Saints Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. The new Order was known as the Discalced Carmelites.

Learn MORE about the history of the Carmelites at the Discalced Carmelite's website from Rome.