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

5th Centenary of Birth
St. Teresa of Jesus
1515 - 2015

A Blessed and Happy Feast of St. Teresa of Jesus!
Feast Day - Oct. 15

Upcoming Community Meeting will be on 

  •      If you are interested in attending our community meeting as a guest, please call Paul Schubert at at (251) 605-7299 or email to: paul@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 access pages or for help with accessing the Member Forum!
"With zeal I am zealous for the Lord God of Hosts." 
(1st Kings 19:10)

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.