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Prior General (2019-2025)

Fr. Míċéal O'Neill O.Carm.

Father Míceál O'Neill, O.Carm.,- Prior Generalis Ordinis

Míceál O'Neill was born in 1952 in Galway, Ireland, the youngest of five brothers and the son of Séamus O'Neill, and Mary (Mollie) Moran. Séamus in his early working life was a teacher and then a lifelong member of the Gárda Síochána, the Irish Police Force. Mollie was from a farming background.  At the age of nine he moved with his family to Dublin, and entered the Carmelite Terenure College where he completed his primary and secondary education. He entered the Carmelite Order in 1970 and made his profession in September 1971. He studied philosophy and theology in Rome at Collegio Sant’Alberto and completed his licentiate in spiritual theology in 1978 with a short thesis on Mary Magdalene de'Pazzi, before returning to Dublin and to Terenure College as a teacher and chaplain. Four years later in 1982, Miceal went to Peru, where he remained until 1985. The experience of parish work in Peru at that time was to have a big impact on his life. He returned to the St. Albert’s International Centre (CISA) in Rome in 1985 to study for a doctorate which he obtained at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1989, with a dissertation on the emerging spirituality in the Christian communities of Perù, 1965-1986. That same year, at the 1989 General Chapter he was elected to the General Council, with the new title of Councillor for the South, covering emerging areas of the Order. In his second term as a General Councillor he covered the region of Northern Europe and North America. He also covered the area of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation in those years. In 2001 Míceál returned to Ireland and worked for a short period in the parish of Knocklyon before taking on the role of prior of the community in Terenure College and in later years became the prior of the community in Kinsale. In 2011 he returned to Rome to take up his appointment as prior of the community in CISA, a position that he held until his recent election as Prior General, 2019-2025.


As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."