By Fr. Alexander Ezechukwu, OCD
Do you wonder: what’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a Discalced Carmelite priest?
Diocesan priests stay within the diocese and answer to their bishop. Carmelite order priests belong to a religious "family" and take vows.
Let’s say that at your parish, you have a visiting priest who celebrates Mass. Above his chasuble you notice a brown hood. He could very well likely be a Carmelite order priest – a member of a religious order.
What does this mean?
Discalced Carmelite priests belong to a religious “family.” Like all religious orders, they take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Religious men see themselves as men who inherit a tradition that goes back to the founding of their community. In our case, this means centuries! They carry out the noble charism and goals of their founder, who is often a canonized saint. Members of religious orders often live a life of fraternity, or fellowship, among themselves.
The founding of the Carmelites hearkens back to the time of the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, but it was officially formed in 1206 when Saint Albert of Jerusalem, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, banded together with the first hermits into a community on Mount Carmel, where they wrote a ‘Formula of Life’ that we now call ‘The Carmelite Rule.’ Today we work in more than 50 nations throughout the world.
We, the Discalced Carmelites, were formed by St. John of the Cross in 1580. The word discalced refers to the practice of living the religious life barefoot.
Diocesan vs. Religious
Diocesan priests work within a given diocese, usually serving at a parish. Their “boss” is their bishop. They don’t take vows but make promises of celibacy and obedience. They are sometimes called “secular” priests, although this term may be a bit confusing nowadays.
Religious men, on the other hand, may be called to go to different parts of the country, or even the world, if they have houses in other countries.
Would you like to learn more about this topic? I’m not too busy for you. I’m open to talking with you by phone or email. Sometimes it’s just good to get your questions answered! ?? Call me, Fr. Alex, at +44 (0)7477 673932. Or email me at email@example.com
Have you thought that God may be calling you to become a Discalced Carmelite friar?
Test your call to the Discalced Carmelite Friars.
Connect with the Discalced Carmelites:
Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter
Our Vocations, https://ocd.ie/vocations/