Giving witness to the value of prayer and contemplation in a world that is seeking intimacy with God.

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

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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

Meeting Schedule:  2022
  • 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



About Saint Teresa of Avila

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.

Dear Community,

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.

Kind regards,


Of Note:

Wisdom from Carmel in a Time of Pandemic
by Fr. Daniel Chowning of the Good Shepherd, OCD

A Walk in Park

A Cathedral in Print

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.

For our daily moment in community and because prayer is our foundation and basic exercise, we are pleased to provide you for your reflection, and consideration, this extract from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Christian Prayer, referenced by paragraph number.


2686 Ordained ministers are also responsible for the formation in prayer of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Servants of the Good Shepherd, they are ordained to lead the People of God to the living waters of prayer: the Word of God, the liturgy, the theological life (the life of faith, hope, and charity), and the Today of God in concrete situations.