Secular Discalced Carmelites
I am a member of the Secular Order of the Discalced Carmelites. I belong to the Community of St. Joseph and the Prophet Elijah within the Washington Province. We meet at St. Mary's in Hampton. Here you see me with another Secular Discalced Carmelite on the day when we were "clothed" in the Habit of our order.
July 16th is the Carmelite Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For those of you who are not Carmelites, I imagine that the question you might have in the back of your minds might be this: “How did the Blessed Virgin Mary become associated with Mount Carmel in Palestine?”
July 20th- traditionally marks the day when Elijah was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. On that day, On Mount Carmel in Israel they have a special celebration commemorating the ascension of Elijah; this celebration takes place in a cave which is believed to be his secret hideout when he was on the run from Queen Jezebel.
Elijah defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mt. Carmel. In the 12 century AD, there were hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. They followed monastic tradition in turning to Elijah as their spiritual father and model. For that reason, today is an important feast day for the Carmelite Order, an order to which I belong. For more information on that subject, you could go here:
Here is the homily that I gave for the occasion:
Here is more information about St. Elijah: