Christ, sent into the world by the Father, is the source and exemplar of every apostolic mission. We identify with him both in our hearts and in our behaviour, so that our life itself bears witness to the Gospel and brings its joyful message to people, especially the poor.
By living our profession of the evangelical counsels (Poverty, Chastity and Obedience), we grow in charity and become more vitally involved in the mystery of the Church. This impels us to share with others things spiritual and temporal, so that all may experience the freedom won for us by Christ and grow together in faith to full maturity in Christ.
Our Holy Foundress St. Teresa's (of Avila) deep experience of the mystery of the Church, coupled with her ardent zeal for the glory of God, led her to give a definitely apostolic incentive to our whole Carmelite life of prayer and self-denial. When she set about establishing a new family of friars, she also intended that they should be learned and experienced in the ways of God and actively engaged in a manifold service of the Church by their teaching and example, with the emphasis on the latter.
True to this ideal, we try to imbue our whole life of prayer with an apostolic spirit and ensure that our apostolic activity stems from and is constantly sustained by our close union with God. Through assiduous reading and study we must be well versed in the scriptures and acquire a surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ so that we are able to share with others the treasures of the word of God. We try to discern the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of God's word. We keep up our ongoing formation and try to develop those virtuous qualities that are highly valued in human relations.
Each of the brethren, according to the grace given him, should strive to build up the whole Body of Christ and to promote the welfare of the local churches. The evangelisation of the world, so intimately part of the very nature of the Church, in as much as it is to be accomplished primarily through love and prayer, has always been a priority in our Orders apostolic work. Our Holy Foundress St. Teresa (of Avila) passed on to the Order the ardent missionary zeal that burned within her heart, and it was her wish that the friars should also undertake missionary activity.
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When charity and the needs of the Church urge it, and after taking local circumstances into consideration, we take on the care of parishes for the sake of serving the people of God. While providing a manifold service in the Church, we give priority to the special apstolate of the Order which, as it were, grows out of the nature of its charism. In this way we present ourselves with our true identity and are faithful to our own specific mission.
Our Holy Parents, St Teresa & St John of the Cross, are acclaimed in the Church as masters and models of intimacy with God. This impels us too to characterise our role in the Church by a special apostolic involvement in promoting a deeper spiritual life among the faithful. That is how we serve the Church according to our charism, and faithfully carry on the spiritual tradition of the Order. Down through the centuries our Order has fulfilled this special mission in a variety of ways, by the spoken and written word. We must continue this and update our methods so that we can more fully and successfully share with others the treasures of our rich spiritual heritage.
That is why our houses vary in ministry (retreat houses, public churches, parishes) while always maintaining our unique Carmelite identity and expression, dedicated to personal prayer and its promotion.