A growing number of resources (especially printed books and websites) are being produced by and about the Carmelite Family. Below we list a few useful resources for further study and reflection, and guidance on where you might locate them.
A number of these books are available to borrow from Carmelite libraries, and to purchase from Saint Albert's Press.
Modules about the different branches of the Carmelite Family are included in the distance-learning courses offered by the Carmelite Institute of Britain & Ireland (CIBI).
[This page is under development - March 2011]
On the notion of 'Carmelite Family'
Various contributors, 'Record of the First World Congress of the Carmelite Family, Aylesford, Easter Week, 31 March - 5 April 1991', printed in Carmel in the World, Volume XXXI, Numbers 1-2 (1992).
Various contributors, The Carmelite Family - Documents of the XIII Council of Provinces of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, Nantes, France, September 1994, (Melbourne: Carmelite Communications, 1994).
This is a collection of talks given in Nantes during the 1994 'Council of Provinces', reflecting on topics as diverse as 'Monastic Life in Carmel: A Prophetical Sign for Our Lives', 'Carmelite Family in the Philippines', and 'Carmelite Identity from the Perspective of the Rule'. The book was published by the Carmelites of the Australian Province and can be found in larger Carmelite libraries.
Chapter 28 of the Constitutions adopted by the friars at their General Chapter in 1995 defines the Carmelite Family in very broad terms, which has helped to expand our understanding and sense of inclusion.
Various contributors, The Mission of Carmel for the Third Millennium: Documents of the General Congregation of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, Bamberg, Germany, August 1999, (Melbourne: Carmelite Communications, 1999).
The papers presented at the General Congregation address a wide range of topics, including the developing notion of 'Carmelite Family'.
John Malley, O.Carm., Camilo Maccise, O.C.D, and Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., In obsequio Jesu Christi: The Letters of the Superiors General O.Carm. and O.C.D. 1992-2002, (Rome: Edizioni OCD, 2003).
In recent years the superiors general of the two major branches of the Carmelite Family have issued joint issues on a number of major subjects and marking major anniversaries. This collection of joint letters has been published in various languages.
On Carmelite Friars
The Carmelite Order produces Constitutions periodically that reflect on how Carmelite life and the Rule of Saint Albert are to be lived in the present age. The latest Constitutions were approved by the 1995 General Chapter of the Order and contain a wealth of spiritual reflection on the Carmelite tradition, as well as legislation governing the Order today.
The Ratio is a document setting out the principles and methods for initial and ongoing formation in the Carmelite Order. The latest edition for the friars was published in the year 2000, under the title Carmelite Formation: A Journey of Transformation. Though aimed at friars, it contains much material applicable to other branches of the Carmelite Family.
On Carmelite Nuns and Sisters
Joachim Smet, O.Carm., Cloistered Carmel: A Brief History of the Carmelite Nuns, (Rome: Institutum Carmelitanum, 1986).
This short book gives the historical context in which the Carmelite nuns developed.
On Lay Carmel (Third Order and others)
Various contributors, Formation and Communication at the Service of the Community, Proceedings of the International Lay Carmelite Congress, 2-9 September 2006, Sassone, Italy, (Rome: Edizioni Carmelitane, 2007).
This volume brings together the papers presented and a resumé of the discussions held at the 2006 International Lay Carmelite Congress in Rome.
Patrick Thomas McMahon, O.Carm., A Pattern For Life: The Rule of Saint Albert and the Carmelite Laity, Carmel in the World Paperbacks 14, (Rome: Edizioni Carmelitane, 2009).
In this book an American friar presents a powerful defence of the suitability of Saint Albert's Pattern for Life (Rule) for all Carmelites, lay and religious alike. In both setting a historical context for the Rule and providing a practical commentary for the laity Fr. Patrick demonstrates that it is adherence to the Rule that defines a Carmelite and gives each of us our Carmelite identity.
Although all branches of the Carmelite Family look to the Rule of Saint Albert as their foundational text, the Third Order has had a distinct Rule of Life since the seventeenth century, which effectively serves as a set of Constitutions expounding Carmel's spirituality for its lay members. The latest Rule for the Third Order of Carmel was published in 2003 with the title Living the Carmelite Way.