OCDS Community of the Holy Spirit
a Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites in Mobile, Alabama
Welcome to our Community!

HE is Risen! Alleluia!

Carmelite Quote of the Week

"His Majesty couldn't grant us a greater favor than to give us a life
that would be an imitation of the life His beloved Son lived."
St. Teresa of Jesus


  • Next monthly Community Meeting will be on Saturday, MAY 16, 2015

  •      If you are interested in attending our community meeting as a guest, please call Paul Schubert at  (251) 605-7299 or email topaul@ocdsmobile.com

  •     Attention Members!! If you have photos from past events you would like to share in our photo section, please email them to me to: rochelle@ocdsmobile.com

  •     Contact Rochelle for access to any of the restricted or for help with accessing the Member Forum!
"With zeal I am zealous for the Lord God of Hosts." 
(1st Kings 19:10)

The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites Community of the Holy Spirit follows the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the Roman Catholic Church, according to the tradition and inspiration of Mount Carmel. 

Our members are laywomen and men who, in union with the Carmelite Orders of priests and nuns, are called to a shared journey of encounter with God, through fidelity to the Gospel, to our professed promises and the practice of contemplative prayer, and to Sacramental life of the Church.  

Discalced Carmelite Seculars are practicing members of the Catholic Church who, under the protection of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and inspired by St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross, make the commitment to the Discalced Carmelite Order to seek the face of God for the sake of the church and the world. 

The shield of a religious community usually symbolically expresses some key insights into their understanding of their charism. This is particularly true of the Carmelite Shield. It embodies a great deal of what the Carmelite charism is all about. The center of the shield is a mountain, which symbolizes both the actual mountain, Mt. Carmel in Israel where the Order was born, but it also, and more importantly, symbolizes the soul's union with God  through prayer and contemplation. The process of this union with God is looked at,  especially by St. John of the Cross, as climbing the mountain of the Lord. 

This is a key theme in the Psalms as well, e.g. Psalm 2:6, 3:4, and especially 24:3: "Who shall ascend the Mountain of the Lord and who shall stand in His holy place?" 

One of St. John of the Cross's master works on this union is therefore appropriately named: The Ascent of Mount Carmel

Back to the Shield, on top of the mountain is a Cross, symbolizing the Person of Jesus Christ and His saving death on the Cross for us. The Cross is in the center of the shield, symbolizing our need to center all that we are and all that we do on the Person of Jesus Himself. 

There are also three stars on the shield. The lower star, directly below the Cross, represent Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Carmel. She is symbolically represented at the heart of Carmel and,  in her role as Mother of God, is the one from whom the Cross, i.e. the Lord Jesus, came forth, hence the Cross rising from her star. The two stars adjacent to the Cross represent the earliest patriarchs of the Order, St. Elijah and St. Elisha, the pre-Christian founders of Carmel. 

The crown with its twelve stars also represents Mary, calling to mind St. John's glorious vision of her in Revelations as crowned with 12 stars (Rev. 12:1). The arm and the fiery sword represent Elijah, who in his great burning zeal for the Lord called down fire from Heaven. 

The inscription is the Latin translation of Elijah's words in 1st Kings: 

"With zeal I am zealous for the Lord God of Hosts." (1st Kings 19:10). 

So, the Carmelite lives centered on Christ, under the Queenship of Mary, inspired by and with the zeal of Elijah and Elisha.