The Hermits are a community of men called to a life of silence, solitude, prayer, and penance for the good of the Church and the salvation of the world. The hermits live in a Laura, a colony of Hermits living in separate dwellings around a central chapel, following the original Carmelite rule.
§1. In addition to Provinces and General Commissariats, the General Chapter, and outside the Chapter, the Prior General with the consent of his Council, and after hearing the views of those concerned, may erect General Delegations, by establishing in autonomous entities religious originating from one or more provinces.
The Province is the basic unit of the life and activity of the Order. It consists of the friars who belong to it, gathered in several houses and governed by a Prior Provincial with his Council, in accordance with the norms of canon law and with the Order's own laws (Carmelite Constitutions 179). At this moment the Carmelite Order has 19 Provinces in the world.
On the 1st of January 2013, the provinces of Upper and Lower Germany, after many years of intense cooperation, especially in the field of formation, and after a processof preparation that involved numerous meetings, were united into one German Province. This decision was the result of the desire of the German Carmelites
On July 16, the Solemn Commemoration of our Lady of Mount Carmel, in our house in Nairobi (Bustani ya Karmeli), the Prior General, accompanied by the Councillor for Africa, Fr. Désiré Unen Alimange, consigned the decree of canonical erection of the General Delegation of Kenya, which will be under the patronage of Our Lady of Carmel.
In 1411, The Province of Bohemia separated from the Upper German Province and become a Province in its own right. It was made up of the friaries of Prague (founded in 1347) and Tachov (1385), and other friaries in Poland, Bylorussia and Hungary. In 1440, after the war of the Hussars, the friaries of Bohemia were given back to the Upper German Province.
In 1971, the General Chapter approved the establishment of an international group of friars, who would live in Colombia, to promote the Carmelite way of life and foster vocations in Latin America. On 28 June 1973 the community of Bogota was canonically erected by the General Council.
In 1240 or thereabouts, there was a Carmelite foundation in Les Aygalades (the first in France), near Marseilles and in Nantes in 1318. In the year 1789 the Order had eight Provinces and 153 houses in France. The French Revolution of the same year resulted in the extinction of the Carmelite Order in that country. Various attempts were made to re-establish our presence since, but without success.
The French Project was first given an airing by the Carmelite Order at the Council of Provinces at Fatima in 1985.
Where there is the hope that a new Province of the Order might be founded in future, and where there are at least three canonically established houses and thirty solemnly professed members, the Prior General, with the consent of his Council, following a careful examination of the situation and having consulted the Prior Provincial and his Council as well members concerned, can found a General Commissariat.
We are led to appreciate the mystery of those with whom we share our lives. Our Rule requires us to be essentially “brothers”, and reminds us that the quality of interpersonal relationships within the Carmelite community needs to be constantly developed and enhanced, following the inspiring example of the first community in Jerusalem.