Saturday, March 3, 2012


Today, just shy of a full, seven calendar years, by the grace of Almighty God, I made my final promise in the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. Below is that promise:

I, Diane Marie of the Eucharist, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in response to God’s call, sincerely promise to the Superiors of the Order of the Teresian Carmel and to you my brothers and sisters, to tend toward evangelical perfection in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, obedience, and of the Beatitudes, according to the Constitutions of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, for the rest of my life. I confidently entrust this, my Promise, to the Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Carmel.

From time to time I get people making inquiries from different parts of North America, and abroad, about the secular Carmelites.

First, there are many secular orders, as well as lay associations.  Each one of these has it's own charism and role in the Church.  My suggestion is to explore various orders and lay associations to understand where you gravitate - often a sign the Holy Spirit leads you in that direction.  If you are very much into service, then you be sure to explore the secular Franciscans.  Even if you are a great Marian devotee, it does not necessarily mean you are called to Carmel.  It could be the Legion of Mary to which you are called or any number of other Marian-based options.  Marian devotion in any community is a healthy sign, and it is not exclusive to Carmel.  If I didn't see some basic devotion to Mary, and to the Eucharist, I would not explore other options.  If you explore a community and encounter new age practices, radical feminism, or dissident attitudes, look elsewhere.  If you visit a website and can't find links to the Holy See or the local diocese, that may also be a problem.  I was devoted to the Blessed Mother, but was very attracted to the Carmelite works of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, as well.  So, it was a perfect fit for me.  You have to explore.   Here is a list at the Vatican's website. Obviously, most people need something in their community.  Your diocese may or may not be able to help.

All of these will require some lifestyle changes.  There are requirements and in your state of life, you should be able to meet all of those requirements, most of the time.  This takes adjustments and formation programs consider that by giving you time to incorporate them.  In time, if you are called to a particular way of life, God will give you the graces to work through the challenges and get comfortable with it.  If God calls you to something, those requirements become as natural as the hair on your head after several years of practice in formation.

Fr. Aloyisius Deeney, OCD, the OCDS Delegate in Rome, has a blog with addresses he has made in recent years with some information that should be useful in discernment.  The blog has not been updated in recent years, but the information is timeless.  These addresses have been included in a recent book worth getting if you are seriously considering life as a secular Carmelite. Welcome to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites is in book form, and now, in Kindle.

Now, if you are looking to see if there is a community in your area, here are two links I can give you for North America, and one link that may help people in other countries.

Update:  I was just alerted to an article at OSV by Elizabeth Scalia on the subject of lay vocations.  Check it out: The Continuum of Oneness.  Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate.

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Anita Moore said...

Congratulations! Through the intercession of Bl. Margaret of Castello, O.P., I myself made my perpetual profession as a lay Dominican in October 2010. It is a gift, wholly unasked for, that I will never fully understand this side of heaven.

Still, my life is has not been unmarked by Carmel. I wear the Brown Scapular -- back in the days when I made my First Holy Communion, all kids were initiated in the Brown Scapular -- and St. Therese of Lisieux has been a lifelong friend and patroness. Over my mantelpiece hangs a large picture of her that my grandmother hung in my mother's bedroom when she was a child.

Anonymous said...

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things.”
― St. Teresa of Jesus


God bless you!

Mary B.

Nick said...


Anonymous said...



Elizabeth D said...

Congratulations Diane! This is happy news. May your holy parents St Teresa and St John of the Cross watch over you and help you by their intercession, for the salvation of souls and the good of the Church.

I was an OCDS novice and would have made first promises last June, but instead I was kicked out with no clear explanation, just before Lent last year. It was totally unexpected and since the Carmelite Saints, and particularly St John of the Cross, led me back into the Church when I was far away, and I was deeply committed, it really hurt. I think you should appreciate the good you have there, of an OCDS community based at a traditional parish with a traditional priest as spiritual advisor. We were at Holy Hill with OCD friars, this has its good and bad aspects; very gradually I became disillusioned and concerned about the Order. I pray for all Carmelites living and dead, and former Carmelites, every day. The Church very much needs Carmel and the teachings of her Doctors. OCDS are a part of that. Be a Saint Diane, that is what is needed.

L40 said...

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Wonderful news... God willing, I am still a few years away (OCDS), but on the same track. I must say your comments on the change in lifestyle are so true and I struggle with that, but the blessings it has brought have been awesome in my own journey.

Do you pray the Liturgy of the Hours or the older form (1960 breviary)?

Again, wonderful news

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Thanks. I thought about doing the older form of the breviary, but I know it is more involved.

Barb in NY said...

Congrats, Diane, on your Final Promise in the Carmelites!

Elizabeth D-I can truly feel for you, in your hurt about not being able to stay in the OCDS. I had the same thing happen to me in 2000. I was not allowed to make my Final Promise and Vows in the community I was in, either. I had to undergo a very grueling verbal and written examination by those in charge (priest director and formation director). Apparently I didn't give them the 'right' answers, or else they were too brief for them.

They were particularly concerned that I didn't go to confession often enough. Well, it was (and still is) hard to find a good confessor around here; it seems that every time I did have one I could go to, he almost always got either transferred or had more duties placed on his shoulders!

I was not (and still am to this day) very articulate in expressing my spiritual life. I told them I was a very simple person. I found it hard to express things in a spiritual sense.

But I was 'charitably dismissed' in the end! I don't have any grudge against them, however. Many of my former community members showed kindness when my mother died in 2004, and when I got cancer in 2006.

I did love my time with the Carmelites; but now I'm very 'gun-shy' when it comes to groups. I prefer being alone now; I've gotten tired of the 'herd mentality' and the constant emphasis on 'community'. Solitude is better for me....

Jean M. Heimann said...

Congratulations, Diane!

God bless you!:)

This a day that you will remember always.

Ruairi O'Murchu said...

May a torrent of blessings come down upon your head, Diane! My own Carmelite mentor wrote in one of her poems:

"Nous sommes aussi des Hosties
que Jesu veut changer en Lui."

May the Little Flower see to it that you continue being transformed every more into the radiant Christ whom the world so needs.

--Ruairi O'Murchu / Michigan