Our Lady Queen of Peace Discalced Carmelites Secular Order
What is a “Secular Order”?
“You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matthew 5:48). In giving this command, Jesus told us that every one of God’s children is called to personal holiness; and the one sure way to holiness is the following of Jesus Christ who said: “I am the way…” (John 14:6). The call to follow Jesus Christ can come in a variety of ways, recognized by the Church: in the ministerial priesthood and deaconate; in one of the religious orders or congregations. But the vast majority is called to follow Christ as lay men and women, married or single, striving to live out their Christian vocation in the midst of the world. For many centuries there have been lay men and women who felt drawn to associate themselves with a religious order. The monastic orders admit such men and women as Oblates, while the mendicant orders, following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, have instituted what are known today as “Secular Orders.” The members of these Secular Orders strive to develop their spiritual life by a closer association with the spirituality of the religious order to which they are called.
Discalced Carmelite Secular Order
The Carmelite Order developed from a single community of hermits living on Mount Carmel. We first hear of them, living after the example of the Prophet Elijah, early in the thirteenth century. They were Latin (i.e. Western European) Christians, and in the year 1210 they were given a rule of life by St. Albert, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. Carmelites, from the very beginning, have been called the brothers and sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
They dedicated the first chapel on Mount Carmel to her. About 1238 hermits from Mount Carmel began establishing communities in various parts of Europe. In 1247 their rule of life, now solemnly confirmed by the Holy See, was modified to meet the needs of an Order spreading throughout Europe. In the course of the second half of the thirteenth century, circumstances forced the Carmelites farther from their eremitical origins. They finally became a mendicant Order like the Franciscans, Augustinians and Dominicans. But the hermit tradition was not forgotten and remains an important element of their life.
In 1562 St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross founded a new branch of the Carmelite Order, the Discalced Carmelites. (“Discalced” comes from a Latin word meaning “Barefooted”.) The Discalced Carmelites, both nuns and friars, desired a more retired and contemplative form of life, in keeping with the spirit of the original thirteenth century rule. Today there are two branches of the Carmelite family: the Carmelites of Ancient Observance, (O. Carm.) and the Discalced Carmelites, (O.C.D.). Each branch has its own Secular Order.
The Secular Order of the Discalced Carmelites welcomes those of the faithful who, feeling called by God, undertake to live an evangelical life of fraternal communion imbued with the spirit of contemplative prayer. The Secular Carmelite lives his/her life in imitation of the Virgin Mary, and follows the spiritual journey as laid out by the example and teaching of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and the other Carmelite saints.
Contact Kate Larsen by telephone at (813) 634-7947.
The Secular Franciscan Order (SFO),formerly known as the Third Order of St. Francis, is a religious order instituted by St. Francis himself. The Order is comprised of fraternities of men and women who have recognized their vocation to the Franciscan family and strive to achieve holiness in their lay state, while bringing the Gospel message to the world through the example of their lives. It consists of members in every part of the world and their total number is more than one million. In 1978 Pope Paul VI approved a new rule for the Secular Franciscan Order which reflects the task of the universal Church in the modern world and brings the spirit of St. Francis to bear in a creative way on the world today.
Secular Franciscans have a special relationship with their brothers and sisters in the First Order (priests & brothers in the Order of the Friars Minor) and Second Order (the nuns of the Poor Clares). All three groups commit themselves to emulating St. Francis’ great love of God, devotion to the Gospel and the Cross of Christ and joyful appreciation of the beauty in all of God’s creation. Secular Franciscans pray alone and together. They gather monthly for prayer, fellowship, and ongoing formation, and they support one another in their personal and shared apostolates, reaching out to others with love and understanding. The San Damiano Fraternity of Secular Franciscans attends Mass together on the First Friday of each month. They lead the congregation in the Divine Mercy devotions and then gather for their monthly meeting. Parishioners are welcome to attend as visitors, a first step toward recognizing whether God might be calling them to a vocation as a Secular Franciscan.
Contact Pat Wolfort by telephone at (813) 210-5902 or by email.
Oblates of St. Benedict
What is an Oblate?
Oblates are Christian men and women who consecrate themselves to God and to the Order of St. Benedict by affiliating with a monastery. By following the wisdom of the Rule of St. Benedict in modern times, Oblates often find a renewed spirituality and more balanced life. “Oblates bind themselves by a promise to live according to Benedictine spirituality. This is not a vow: it does not bind under the pain of sin.”
“Who can be an Oblate?” St. Benedict does not insist a newcomer be perfect or sinless, but rather someone open to direction under the Rule of St. Benedict and the Benedictine way of life. All Catholics are eligible to become Oblates.
There are five duties expected of each Oblate:
- Pray the Liturgy of the Hours; morning, evening and night
- Read a chapter in the “Rule of St. Benedict”
- Practice Lectio Divina: meditative reading from Scripture or other religious writing
- Participate frequently in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation
- Be attentive to God’s presence in your ordinary life
What is Benedictine spirituality?
It is a way of life that requires commitment to community and a seeking of God through work and prayer so that in all things God may be glorified.
Contact Joan Sullivan by telephone at (813) 633-3917.
Marian Prayer Group
The Prince of Peace Marian Prayer Group began in February of 2001. This group is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a group, we pray many prayers for the specific purpose of bringing souls back to God. The Marian Prayer group meets every Wednesday after the 8:00 a.m. Mass in Conesa Center.
Contact Vickey Molnar by telephone at (813) 642-0252.
Charismatic Prayer Group
The Charismatic Prayer Group is a group of Catholics who meet after the 8:00 a.m. Mass every Monday morning in Conesa Center. The main focus of our group is to put Jesus, our Savior, first in our lives and calling on the Holy Spirit to become active within us. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit deepens your relationship with the Lord and brings forth your spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit will guide, help, and strengthen you through all things. You will grow spiritually and know His joy and peace abundantly. “If you live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)
The meetings are about two hours long; glorifying Jesus through opening and closing prayers and praising and worshiping Him with songs, Scripture readings, teachings and sharing. All Catholics are welcome to come for each person is special and has unique gifts to offer one another.
Contact Tom and Carol Vormwald by telephone at (813) 633-3479 or by email.