Haere Mai & Welcome to OCDS New Zealand. Our Lady of Mt Carmel - Pray for Us!

A Warm Welcome to You

The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) is an integral part of the Carmelite family; its members are sons and daughters of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD). We are truly Carmelites as the fathers, brothers, and nuns of the Order, sharing with them a common vocation of prayers and pursuit of holiness. As members of the same family, we have a special claim on the rest of the Order for spiritual help and guidance. The friars, brothers and nuns depend on us for prayer and whatever support we can offer.

We are endowed with a special charism (i.e., a gift of the Holy Spirit) to bear witness to the supreme importance of Contemplative Prayer and union with God. The members of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites are the spiritual children of the great reformer St Teresa of Avila who are called to holiness to live in deep friendship with Jesus Christ. Our vocation is truly Marian. Like Mary, we are called daily to ponder Jesus in our hearts. We strive to live in the presence of God and to serve the Church.

Secular Carmelites are lay people living our faith and Carmelite vocation in the secular world, in the midst of our situation, be it married, widowed or living a single life. As prayerful people we bring God’s presence to others in these situations.

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Perhaps the OCDS life is for you?

Do you want to live a more prayerful life but find it difficult because of a lack of:

  • Inspiration
  • Spiritual Guidance
  • A support community that shares your value

Are you looking for some kind of identity with a community that embodies spiritual values and follows a definite concrete path towards union with God?

Person looking in the distance, contemplating OCDS

Main Obligations

The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) is open to practicing Catholic men and women of at least 18 years of age and who do not belong to another religious order. Our members are required to make prayer the basis of life. It is not simply another social group or a prayer group. Should you want to belong to Carmel and accept its challenges, you must be prepared to commit and to re-order your life’s priorities.

The lifestyle of a Secular Carmelite is one of simplicity of life, according to the beatitudes, and a spirit of self-denial and detachment, accepting in faith, hope and love all that makes up our earthly existence.

A Secular Carmelite has to abide by the 6M’s, namely:


Carmel’s mission is that we know God so that God may be known; doing for others for God.

Morning Prayer

and Evening Prayer from the Divine Office.
(And Night Prayer too if possible!)


You are incorporating yourself as member of a community who have made a commitment to each other.


We are a Marian Order of the Church and we need to express devotion to Mary. We wear the brown Scapular of Carmel as a sign of dedication to Our Lady’s Order.


To spend at least half an hour a day in quiet prayer.


To participate in the celebration of the Eucharist, in as far as possible.


Formation is not primarily about information but about transformation.

Initial and ongoing formation strives to assist its members reach both human and Christian maturity in their apostolic lives according to the spirit and charism of Carmel under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Teresian charism is to be lived, understood and interiorized.

Those in formation are called to a profound dialogue with God in prayer. Sufficient time is given to discern if this is God’s call before making a final commitment.

This process, through progressive commitments, moves toward a life promise to the Carmelite Order and to a Carmelite way of life.

  • After a minimum of 6 months’ contact with the Community a person may be admitted to formal formation.
  • A more serious period of formation that usually lasts for two years leads up to the First Promise.
  • After the commitment of the First Promise, a further period of three years of formation follow leading to the Definitive Promise.
  • Ongoing formation in the Community continues after the Definitive promise.
  • At all stages, the Council and the Spiritual Assistant will journey with the member.  

Interested in transforming your prayer life?

Quote from St Teresa of Avila

Come, Pray With Us!

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Click the image of St Teresa above to learn more.