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Rest assured that as part of the general call to perfection -- "be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt. 5:48), everyone is invited to religious life and to embrace the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. However, what needs to be thought out, prayed about, and discerned, are the following questions:

  • "Do I want to offer myself and embrace the evangelical counsels?"

  • "Do I want to pursue a way of intense prayer and virtue while living in community?" 

  • "Which religious congregation (with all their unique charisms and missions) is the Lord inviting me to consider?"

  • "Can I live that particular expression of religious life?"

Formal discernment is done at the heart of the formation community under their guidance.

A prospective candidate for the Discalced Carmelite Friars should be:

  • A male Catholic between 25-35 years of age

  • A person who shows signs of suitability, receptivity, and capacity for formation and community living

  • A person of good physical and mental health (physical disability is not an impediment in itself)

The completion of tertiary education and the possession of work experience are encouraged.


For those discerning a call to the Teresian Carmel, it is also essential to understand the charism of the Order and the specific demands of this vocation. This is a life of "allegiance to Jesus Christ" and entails a commitment to Prayer, Common Life with the brethren, and the Apostolate. While all religious congregations have these three "pillars", each congregation will manifest them differently and the Teresian Carmel is no exception.

These three pillars will be experienced during the following stages of initial formation.




Postulancy is the initial stage of formation in the Carmelite way of life. It is a period of adjustment to the horarium and daily aspects of religious life. As such, the postulant resides in the community full-time and is introduced to the charism of the Order. This stage of formation may include some academic study and experience with pastoral ministry. The goal of postulancy is to help individuals discern whether the Carmelite way of life is the path to which God is calling them, and to prepare them for the next stage of formation--the novitiate.



The novitiate marks the formal beginning of religious life and typically lasts for a year. The novice receives the holy habit and lives a much more enclosed life. During this time, he is immersed in the works of the Carmelite saints and the spirituality of Carmel. With the use of electronic devices and external communication curtailed, the values of solitude and detachment are inculcated in the novice. Upon completion of the novitiate, the novice then makes simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. These vows are renewed annually during the next phase of his formation.

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After completing the novitiate and professing simple vows, the Carmelite friar enters the studentate. During this time, the friar embarks on a period of academic study. This entails 2 years of philosophy and 3 to 4 years of theology which serves to prepare the friar for pastoral and/or priestly ministry. This period is also a time of continued discernment for the friar to make a lifelong commitment to the Carmelite way of life. At the end of the studentate, the formation community and the friar will decide whether or not he will make a lifelong commitment to the Carmelite Order through solemn profession.


Solemn vows

Solemn profession is the final stage of initial formation in the Carmelite way of life and the friar commits himself totally to the Carmelite order, its charism, and its mission. The solemnly professed friar continues to deepen his relationship with God through prayer, study, and service to the community by engaging in pastoral ministry. Friars who are called to the priesthood also begin to make their final preparations to receive holy orders.


Meet our Vocation Directors

If you would like to find out more, please reach out to the respective Vocation Directors of your region. 

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