The Lay Carmelites

Lay Carmelites in Our Parish

There has been a Lay Carmelite Community here on the Central Coast since before St Mary’s Parish church was built.

The Community was started in the early 1960’s, when Shirley Clemow, a foundation member of the Parish, became interested in the Lay Carmelites, through an article in the Catholic Weekly.

Over the Carmelites have gathered to pray together and study Carmelite Spirituality in their homes, the Parish Hall, the sacristy behind the altar in St Mary’s, the crying room in the church, then finally, the Parish Centre where, in October 2013, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary.

The Lay Carmelite Community was presented with a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis.

Although small in number, Lay Carmelites are still an active group in our Parish Community.

The Carmelite Way is marked by prayer, community and action.

Lay Carmelites are called to live in the presence of the living and true God.
The look for every possibility and occasion to reach divine intimacy.

Lay Carmelites are constantly open to a transformation of mind and heart.

Lay Carmelites discover that they are brothers and sisters and bring to all,
the news that we are children on the one God.  They become enthusiastic.
about the great works God performs.

Lay Carmelites look for hidden signs of God and cultivate the seeds of justice,
honesty, sincerity courtesy and strength of spirit.

Lay Carmelites discover that they, like Mary,
are called to sing the wonders that the Lord has performed in their lives;
to welcome the Word, to be open to it and to embrace it fully;

that like Elijah, they are ready to defend the rights of those who are downtrodden,
to leave everything, to go into the desert, where they will discover God.

Lay Carmelites live a life of prayer, focused on a personal dialogue with the Lord.

They are centred on the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours.

“Every Lay Carmelite is like a spark of love thrown into the forest of life:
they must be able to enflame anyone who approaches them.”

                                                                                    From the Rule of Carmel


To be a Lay Carmelite is to respond to a call from God.  Discernment is important.
Is a person’s desire to be a Lay Carmelite also God’s desire for them?
Most often, discernment takes place with a Lay Carmelite community, however people
who are unable to be physically present at community meetings, are able to become
Distant Members

Within each community, a member is appointed the role of Formator.
This involves accompanying the enquirer in the process of discernment.

After a period of initial discernment, the enquirer may then request to be received into the Order;
after a further time of discernment, the person may then move through the process of
First Profession and Final Profession.

This usually takes about five years.