Welcome to the St. Edith Stein Community of Third Order Carmelites of the Ancient Observance.  We are a group of Lay people who have answered the special call to live our lives through the charism of Carmel.  Referred to as Lay Carmelites or Third Order Carmelites (T.O.Carm.), we belong to the Province of St. Elias founded in 1931 in New York State, USA, North America.

"The Lay Carmelite Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (Third Order), is a lay association whose members, replying to the special call of God, freely and deliberately promise to live the evangelical life in the spirit of the Carmelite Order and under it's direction." (Lay Carmelite Rule, Intro.)

"Some lay-people, because of a special call, share the charism of religious families. This charism is the common heritage of the People of God, and it becomes for them a source of strength and a school of life.  the Church approves these charisms and gives encouragement by inviting the laity to try faithfully to adopt the special characteristics of the spiritual life proper to these families.  In this way, they can be helped in their tasks, that is to illumine and give to temporal things their true value, in such a way that they may be done according to Christ's mind and give praise to the Creator and Redeemer in a secularized world that lives and acts as though God were absent."  (Lay Carmelite Rule, Art. 15 and 16)

St. Edith Stein is our community patron who was a Carmelite nun martyred at Auschwitz concentration camp during World War 2.  Pope John Paul II canonized St. Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) in 1998.  Our site contains many links pertaining to the life and teachings of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and we know you will learn and experience the "science of the cross" which holds the mystery of joy in suffering, of victory in failure, and of dying and rising with Christ.

St. Edith Stein Lay Carmelite Community consists of Lay people from all walks of life coming together in community to share the richness of the Carmelite charism with each other.  We invite you to continue your journey at this website and discover what steps we are taking in our formation.







Painting by Peter Wm Gray  S.S., PH.D.