for Temp. Promises

Formation for Temporary Promise

Goal: To prepare candidates for making the Temporary Promise through an understanding of the Teresian Carmel, a deeper study and experience of prayer in the Teresian tradition, a detailed study of the OCDS Legislation (Rule of St. Albert, Constitutions, and Statutes) in order to provide a thorough understanding of the promise they are aspiring to make.

Duration: 24 sessions in two years.


The candidates will work toward gradually implementing these requirements in their lives, practicing them consistently by the time they make their Promise.

  • Attend and participate in monthly community meetings and formation sessions
  • Practice meditative/silent prayer daily for at least 30 minutes
  • Pray Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. Night prayer is encouraged.
  • Participate in daily Mass as far as possible
  • Participate frequently in the Sacrament of reconciliation
  • Engage in a daily examination of conscience
  • Fast on the vigils of the Carmelite feasts listed in our Statutes
  • Wear the small brown scapular or scapular medal daily.
  • Participate in the community apostolate

OCDS Legislation (Rule of St. Albert, Constitutions, and Statutes)

The outline represents study of OCDS Legislation (Rule of Albert, Constitutions with its footnotes and Provincial Statutes). The objective is to facilitate integration of the Carmelite way of life within the context of Baptism and the universal call to holiness.

Our Identity, Values and Commitment

  • Rule of Albert
  • Origins of Carmel
  • Fundamental Elements of a Vocation

Following Jesus in the Teresian Secular Carmel

  • Theology of the Promise
  • Evangelical Counsels
  • Beatitudes

Witnesses to the Experience of God

  • Prayer Life
  • Daily Life
  • Community Life
  • Liturgical Life: Mass & Liturgy of the Hours

Serving God’s Plan

  • Individual Apostolate
  • Community Apostolate

With Mary, The Mother of Jesus

  • Catechesis of the Brown Scapular
  • Authentic Marian Devotion in the Teresian tradition
  • Authentic Devotion to St. Joseph in the Teresian tradition

Formation in the School of Carmel

  • Discerning an OCDS Vocation
  • Process of Formation

Organization and Government (Constitutions VII: 37-60 and footnotes and OCDS Provincial Statutes IV)

  • International
  • National
  • Provincial
  • Local

The Way of Perfection

The goal of studying the Way of Perfection is to become familiar with the purpose of Teresian Carmel, identify the foundations of prayer and explore the diversity of paths and practical insights on prayer as presented by St. Teresa of Jesus. Her writing of the Way of Perfection is an excellent introduction to the understanding of Teresian Carmelite spirituality and its main element of contemplative prayer. Through the sharing of her own experiences, Teresa explains the fundamental elements of prayer, while giving counsel on the weakness of the human condition and its struggles in prayer as one ascends the mountain of Carmel to seek Divine Union with the “One Whom we know loves us”.

Way of Perfection

  • Overview of life of St. Teresa of Jesus
  • Teresa’s vision for Discalced Carmelite way of life
  • Life of Prayer

Requirements to make the Temporary Promise:

  • At the invitation of the Council, and after completing 24 sessions, the Council interviews the candidate.
  • At the time of the interview, a letter of intent is submitted. The candidate’s letter of intent states why the s/he feels prepared and wants to make the Temporary Promise.
  • The Council must then discern whether to admit the person to the Temporary Promise or recommend that the person continue an additional year of initial formation. Input from the Director of Formation and the Formation Team is highly recommended as part of the discernment process.
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