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The Carmelite Story


We do not know exactly when the forbears of the Order of Carmelites first came to Mount Carmel: it was around the year 1200 AD. They settled in a small valley on the western slope of the mountain, near a spring known since antiquity as the "spring of Elijah".

The Carmelites shared many of the spiritual aspirations of the hermits and pilgrims in the Holy Land at the time of the Crusades: the commitment to poverty and simplicity of lifestyle, their desire for spiritual freedom, their intimacy with the Scriptures and their longing to hear the Word of God in the quiet of solitude, the central place given to love, their wish to build a brotherhood in which they could learn to see Jesus in each other.

These values continue to inspire Carmelite life today.

The Carmelite travels the most demanding journey of all … the journey inwards into one’s own heart.


As Prophetic Contemplatives …elijahmarylgetrans copy

Carmelites find inspiration in the persons of Elijah, prophet of Mount Carmel, and Mary, the first disciple of the Lord.

Like them, Carmelites create an open space in themselves in order to recognise God, and so embark on the most demanding of all journeys, the journey into one’s own heart. As prophets they are called to share this experience of God with all people.


In Ministry …Ministry1Web

Carmelites work in many and varied ways … Welcoming people to participate in their life and spirituality in…

  parish life   hospitality   education & formation

 spirituality ministry   communications    retreat work

carm3.jpg (4857 bytes)Through Our Life Together…

Carmelites are called to share their commitment to Christ within a community.

They live a common life — sharing their time, their income, their wisdom, their talents, their prayer. The way of poverty, chastity and obedience offer great freedom to live life fully.

Download our pdf vocations brochure (1.24 MB) .


Finding out what God wants – Discerning My Personal Vocation

Discernment is experiencing with understanding and commitment
the presence and guidance of God in my whole life….
Ernest Larkin, O.Carm


For further information please contact:

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More in this category: Discerning my personal Vocation »


Contact Us

Carmelite Provincial Centre
75 Wright Street,
Middle Park Victoria 3206 Australia.
+61 3 9699 1922

Carmelite Communications
Communications Director:
Fr David Hofman, O.Carm
+61 3 9699 2950

Carmelite Rule

A rule of life was given to the early Carmelites by St Albert Avogadro, Patriach of Jerusalem between the years 1206 - 1214. It was finally approved by Pope Innocent in 1247 and later underwent mitigations which were not in the original text.

The Carmelite Rule states that is basic for a Carmelite to "live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master" [no.2].


The Carmelites of Australia and Timor-Leste are committed to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults from all forms of abuse and mistreatment.

NCSS Commitment Badge 250 ReverseWe are committed to safeguarding all people in our care, particularly children, young people and vulnerable adults.

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