The role of the Prior Provincial
In each Province (region) of the Carmelite Order the Prior Provincial is the superior of the friars in that geographical area. He is elected by his fellow friars for a three year renewable term.
The Prior Provincial is charged with the oversight and pastoral supervision of the different expressions of the Order in his Province. In Canon (Church) Law the Provincial is an 'Ordinary' and Major Superior with all the faculties that confers.
According to the 1995 Constitutions of the Carmelite Order the Prior Provincial is 'the sign of unity within the community which he is appointed to serve. He becomes a model, in words and in deeds, for the group which is entrusted to him; as such he shall be at hand to provide assistance to each and every religious; to foster community life; to care for all, and especially for the sick and the old; to supervise communal activities and initiatives so that these may become means by which the brethren can authentically live "in allegiance to Jesus Christ, and serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience".' (Const. 208)
The Prior Provincial of the British Province
In the British Province of Carmelites, the Prior Provincial has oversight of all the communities of friars and Lay Carmelites. He is advised by and works with an elected council of four friars, and in specific areas he is advised by the various officials and commissions of the Province. The Provincial is ex officio Chair of the Carmelite Charitable Trust, and a trustee of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland. A number of Province initiatives and ministries come directly under the Provincial Office, including the Province Library housed at Aylesford, the Carmelite Projects and Publications Office (incorporating Saint Albert's Press), the Provincial Bursar's Office and the Province Nurse.
The current Prior Provincial
The current Prior Provincial is Fr. Kevin Alban, O. Carm., elected in 2017.
Kevin was born in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1958 and made his profession as a Carmelite friar in 1996.
After studies in Rome, Oxford, and London, and time as an English language teacher, he was ordained priest in 2001.
Kevin has been Vocations Director and Director of St Jude’s Shrine in the British Province.
From 2001 to 2007 he was based in Rome as Secretary General of the whole Order, and from 2007 to 2013 Bursar General.
Kevin has a doctorate in the spiritual writings of the medieval Provincial Thomas Netter. Kevin has taught Theology and Church History at St Mary’s University, London, and at Blackfriars, Oxford.
Previous Priors Provincial
(since the modern re-establishment of the Province)
1969 Kilian Lynch
1969 - 1975 Alphonsus Brennan
1975 - 1981 Edward Maguire
1981 - 1983 Alphonsus Brennan
1983 - 1990 Piet Wijngaard
1990 - 1993 Richard Copsey
1993 - 1995 Joseph Chalmers
1995 - 2002 Piet Wijngaard
2002 - 2008 Antony Lester
2008 - 2014 Wilfrid McGreal
2014 - 2017 Antony Lester
2017 - Kevin Alban
The Provincial Office
In Britain the Prior Provincial can establish his office wherever he decides is most suitable, and the Provincial Office has been in a number of locations in recent decades. The Provincial Office is currently in Aylesford and the Provincial is a member of the Aylesford friar community.
Very Rev. Fr. Kevin Alban, O.Carm.
Carmelite Provincial Office