Statue of Mary

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
and St. Teresa of Jesus

OCDS - Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites - Washington Province/USA

Nearly four hundred years ago, the great Carmelite reformers St. Teresa of Jesus and

St. John of the Cross responded to God's call to return to their original Carmelite roots,

a way of life animated by contemplative prayer under the protection of Mary, the Mother of God.

Secular Carmelites are Catholic men and women, either married or single, lay or clerical, who live out this heritage of contemplative prayer in daily life. While going about their everyday occupations, secular Carmelites give witness to the value of prayer and contemplation in a world that is seeking intimacy with God.

Following in their footsteps, generations of Carmelites have realized in the Carmelite way of life a means of developing a close relationship with God and a wonderful foundation for serving God's people.

We are to ponder the law of the Lord, by day and by night,  in silence and in solitude, so that the word of God may dwell abundantly in the hearts and on the lips of those who profess it.

(Carmelite Constitutions)

If you are eighteen years or older and intrigued by...


  • A centuries-old tradition which encourages growth in closeness to God in every aspect of life in today's world

  • A Rule of Life and a formation program that fosters the Carmelite tradition of prayer and Teresian spirituality in a way appropriate for lay persons

  • Participating in monthly meetings with a community of other spiritually-minded men and women, who share a common interest in prayer, and a

  • Special association with the Discalced Carmelite Friars with the opportunity for spiritual guidance


...then, consider becoming a Secular Carmelite!


​Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

1704 Old Eastern Avenue

Community Hall

Essex, MD  21221

Community meets on a specified Sunday
of every month.

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

January 16th - ZOOM

February 20th

March 20th

April 10th

May 15th

June 12th

July 17th

August 21st

September 18th 

October - 28-30th-Retreat

November 20th

December 18th 

Council members for the Discalced Lay Community of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Teresa of Jesus

Grace Joyce, OCDS



Inez Maguire, OCDS

Formation Director

Valeria Skarbeck, OCDS

1st Councilor

Penny Dieter, OCDS

2nd Councilor  / Secretary

Cele Bryan, OCDS

3rd Councilor / Treasurer

Our Group Mission




Saint Teresa of Avila — also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus — was God's instrument to found the Discalced Carmelite Order, a mystic, a writer and the first woman Doctor of the Church. She is widely regarded as a friend to all who seek God in Spirit and Truth. During the dramatic years of her activity in founding 15 monasteries of nuns throughout Spain, Teresa resolved innumerable intercommunity, financial, legal and spiritual problems — all while dealing with her own poor health. After 20 years of intense service to the Church, she died at the age of 67 — though her teachings, wit and wisdom have transcended the centuries.

Of Note

The YouTube video/audio suggested for St John of the Cross Spiritual Canticle came from non other than a major seminary in Santiago, Chile… home of our dear Santa Teresa of the Andes!!!!

Enjoy this four minute video/audio in Spanish only, but very restful.


By surrounding the biblical text with commentary and explanations from Bishop Robert Barron, the Church Fathers, and many of the greatest saints, mystics, and scholars throughout Christian history, The Word on Fire Bible illuminates the biblical text in light of the great tradition.

For more information and ordering - check our RESOURCES page.