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Our Way of Life

Coat of Arms

The Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus — like each Order and Congregation — has its own special way of life and its own proper spirit. The Coat of Arms expresses this proper spirit with admirable beauty and clarity.

The Coat of Arms consists of two fields: one of brown and the other of yellowish white. The first shows a Silver Star, and the other, two Golden Stars.

The field of brown denotes humility and penance; the Silver Star represents the living members of Carmel who are practicing humility and penance.

The field of white symbolizes “the Dew from Heaven,” the Mother of God. One of the two Golden Stars stands for the Saints of Carmel of the Old Law and the other for the Saints of Carmel of the New Law.

Saint Teresa added the Cross to inflame the members of Carmel with a greater love for the Cross.

The Crown above the stars symbolizes the virtues of the Mother of God. They shine like the stars and ought to urge all members to imitate them.

The hand of the holy Prophet Elias, “the Father of all Carmelites,” carrying the sword, signifies the fiery ardor expressing itself: “The zeal for Thy house has eaten me up.”

The thorns represent the sufferings which the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church, has to endure because of the injustice, heresy and unbelief, apostasy and indifference of her members. These thorns are to enkindle a new fervor in the Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus so that the members will offer themselves to God as victims, with the same spirit of sacrifice and heroic courage which the Saints of Carmel have shown, not only for the lukewarm and unfaithful members of Holy Church, but also for the souls of all heretics who are so cruelly torn from the Heart of Jesus.

Just as the bloody martyrdom was a source of wonderful blessings for the spread of the Faith, so likewise the unbloody martyrdom of faithful religious at all times has not only freed the Church from her fetters, but also has won untold souls for her.

Every Carmelite of the Divine Heart of Jesus must imprint the meaning of her Coat of Arms deep upon her heart and, being molded by its meaning, become a heroic victim soul. In such a soul the spirit of Carmel develops its most beautiful flowers so that she who now is a Silver Star may be a Golden Star in heaven, and there, as a Saint, glorify and praise God for all eternity.

Coat of Arms


As a sign of our religious consecration, the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus wear a religious habit: a symbol of our transformation into Jesus Christ.

Our habit is brown. This color of the earth symbolizes the inner poverty, humility and simplicity necessary for living a joyful Carmelite life.

Our brown scapular is worn over the habit and is a symbol of our devotion to Mary. She, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, bestowed this gift on the Order of Carmel as a promise of her presence and protection in times of trial.

Our black belt is a symbol of our need for Divine strength in living the Carmelite ideal: “God has girded me with power” (Ps 18:33).

Our black veil is a symbol of our vow of chastity and our commitment to God. We are Brides of Jesus Christ.

Our rosary is a symbol of our life of prayer and devotion to Our Lady.

Our profession crucifix is a symbol the overwhelming love of Jesus Christ and our call to witness to His love through self-giving charity.

Our white mantle is a symbol of our zeal for souls and the spirit of our Carmelite Father, St. Elijah: “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts” (1Kings 19:14). It is also a symbol of the purity of heart that is necessary to enter the Presence of God.


Our Way of Life

The image of Christ which unites all Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus is the Heart of Our Lord. This is the source of our love and center of our life. Through our contemplation of His infinite love, we are filled with His love and feel the need to give this love to others. Since our works and service flow from a union with unconditional Love, our apostolates are marked by an availability to serve all people, especially the poor and abandoned. Every Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus participates in the mission of the Catholic Church through her heart’s unique and total response to the Divine Heart.

The Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus recognize the Catholic Church as the Bride of Christ and His Mystical Body. She is our Mother, and we obey Her Magisterium with filial fidelity. United with St. Teresa of Jesus, the Reformer of Carmel and a Doctor of the Church, our hearts exclaim, “I am a daughter of the Church!” Christians are called into the community of the Church through their baptismal consecration. Through her religious consecration, the Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus deepens her baptismal promises, and promises to follow our Lord and participate in His mission of saving souls. She recognizes that the Church, at Her deepest core, is a missionary Church. The Carmelite Sister’s heart longs to participate in the Church’s mission. Therefore, our apostolic and charitable works are essential elements of our religious life and are united with the Church’s love and concern for every soul. “We are born out of the zeal for souls of our Mother Foundress,” Blessed Maria Teresa of St. Joseph (Constitutions 54). Our life of prayer is intrinsically linked to the prayer of the Church; the sanctification and work of priests is one of our greatest intentions.

The spirit of Carmel is the spirit of prayer: a Carmelite witnesses to the presence of God. The prayer of contemplation, gazing on the One whom we know loves us, is the greatest desire, priority and act of our lives. This prayer unites us to God and allows Him to save souls through our lives. He is the vine; we are the branches: our contemplation is a service to the Church and the world. As a Religious Community, we pray in common and unite ourselves to the prayers of the Church and the needs of the world. We come together daily for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, recitation of the Divine Office and two periods of silent meditation: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20).
The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. We recognize the celebration of the Holy Eucharist as a participation in the Sacrifice of the New Covenant, the perfect oblation of the Son to the Father. Called to make reparation to the Divine Heart, we unite our vowed life, our prayer, our penance, our apostolic work – our very selves – with the Son as a sacrifice to the Father. As a true and faithful Bride of her Divine Spouse and as an icon of the Church, the Carmelite Sister of the Divine Heart of Jesus receives the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ with daily fidelity and seeks to continue her communion with the Holy Eucharist throughout the day through frequent visits to the chapel. This celebration of the Holy Eucharist also includes Eucharistic Adoration, where we gaze on “the One whom we know loves us.” Our Adoration of the Body of Christ, at the same time, makes us more attentive to our Lord present in the flesh of our brothers and sisters in need. Thus, our contemplative-apostolic spirit receives its nourishment and reaches its fulfillment in the Eucharist: Source and Summit!

One of the gifts of the charism of Bl. Maria Teresa is a family spirit. As our Religious Life witnesses to the inner life of the Trinity, our family spirit is a unity that celebrates differences. As we recognize the dignity and gifts of every Sister and grow in mutual understanding and love, we witness to the love of God and the unity of the Spirit. What unites us all is our shared grace and mission, the charism of our Carmel D.C.J. Our community life, our family spirit, “is not merely ‘a means to an end’; rather it is simply the way of living our religious life to its fullest” (Constitutions 95). The expressions of love in our apostolates are an extension of the love we share in our Community: it is where we learn to practice mercy, humility, forgiveness, patience, and all the virtues which Jesus Christ embodies. This family spirit that we have received from our Foundress is based on “our attachment to Jesus Christ which we share, as well as our wish to respond to our Lord’s prayer for oneness, because our oneness has an apostolic dimension: ‘So that the world may believe’ (Jn. 17:21)” (Constitutions 94).

Our apostolic life consists of work for the salvation of souls in reparation to the Divine Heart of Jesus. Our apostolates aim to fulfill the desire of Bl. Maria Teresa to bring the contemplative life of Carmel into the direct apostolate. We are spiritual mothers who provide a home for souls in the Divine Heart of Jesus. Since the Carmel of the Divine Heart of Jesus is an international Congregation, these Homes – orphanages, homes for seniors, daycare centers, etc. – adapt to the needs of the people we serve; the poor and abandoned always receive our special attention. In the spirit of Bl. Maria Teresa, our apostolate is not bound by physical structures. The main purpose of Carmel DCJ is mission. We bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of the Divine Heart to every person we encounter.



A little insight into our life