The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, officially Ordo Carmelitarum Discalceatorum Saecularis (OCDS), and formerly the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and of the Holy Mother Saint Teresa of Jesus, is a religious association of the Roman Catholic Church composed primarily of lay persons and also accepted secular clergy. When the Discalced Carmelite Order was juridically erected in 1593, its superiors retained the power granted by Pope Nicholas V in the bull “Cum nulla fidelium conventio” of 7 October 1452 to incorporate lay persons as members of the Order. In the late 17th Century efforts were made that led to the erection of a Secular Order, beginning in Belgium and then in France and Italy. In 1699 a rule of life for seculars was privately published with provincial approval in Liege, Belgium. At present their way of life is regulated by the constitution approved by the Congregation in 2003.
They share the same charism with the Friars and Nuns, each according to his or her particular state of life, forming a single family with the same spirituality, and called by God to holiness and apostolic mission. Professing promises to strive to live evangelical perfection in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, obedience, and of the beatitudes, they live a “fidelity to contemplative prayer with the spirit of detachment it entails. What is unique about the vocation of Seculars, is that they live the Carmelite charism not in a monastic community but ‘in the world’: In their families, in their work and professional lives, in parishes and in their whole living spheres. Carmelite spirituality is not so much about doing certain things but rather about being a certain kind of person and so it affects every aspect of our lives, and every relationship or interaction we have with others. In such ways we contribute to the Order the benefits proper to our secular state of life.
The Secular Order in Manjummel Province formally started with 19 members on 21 October 1962. At present there are 16 Units, of which 12 are approved and 4 are on the process of getting approval from Rome. The total members are 927: professed members 774 and under formation 153.
THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS
President : Cicily Ignatius, Kattiparambil
Councior I : Lailamma Varghese, Thottipparambil
Councilor II : Gabriel GeorgePulikkal
Councilor III : Elsa Joseph, Kalathiparambil
Secretary : Elsa Joseph
Pre-Secretary : Silvy Francis, Madathiparambil
Treasurer : Elizabeth John, Palliparambil