The Carmelite NGO: A Brief History | Some Perspectives on the Carmelites and the Carmelite NGO
Criteria for NGOs to Be Associated with the UN Department of Public Information (DPI)
| The Symbol of the Carmelite NGO


a project of the members of the Carmelite Family around the world

The Carmelite NGO, a non governmental organization with special status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and affiliated to the Department of Public Information (DPI) of the United Nations, is comprised of the men and women from around the world who are members of the Carmelite religious Order or its affiliated Congregations and Institutes within the Catholic Church. It is at the service of the people they serve.

Age, race, language, political point of view, or culture are not what unite us as Carmelites, but rather the desire to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is a desire to be of service to others, especially the poor, and to fulfill in this way the will of God. We do this within the Carmelite Family by living in accordance with the ideal that is proposes in its Rule, its mystical tradition and in the lives of its men and women.

At the beginning of the 13th century, the first Carmelites lived around the spring of Elijah on Mount Carmel. There they meditated "day and night on the law of the Lord" and kept "vigil in prayer" (Rule of St. Albert, 10) There they discovered the "inner spring" that wells up for eternal life.

In 1238, the Carmelites left Mount Carmel and traveled to Europe, taking with them the Rule of Saint Albert. The Rule has continued to be our guide until the present day. As a Carmelite Family, we gather around this "inner spring" to drink its water, and satisfy our thirst for God, Community, and Justice.

Three words define our mission. Prayer by which we remain in contact with God; Community that creates a new way of living among us; Justice that leads us to defend the values of human life for every human being.

Thousands, throughout the world, brothers and sisters, religious and lay, belonging to different Orders and Congregations, movements and associations, countless people are devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Some Perspectives on the Carmelites and the Carmelite NGO:

     An Exploration of the Connection Between the Carmelite Vocation and Work for Justice and Peace

     Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm.
     A Letter from the Prior General of the Carmelites to the Carmelite Family

Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm.
     A Letter from the Prior General of the Carmelite Order to the Carmelite Family (2007)

Criteria for NGOs to Become Association with the UN's Department of Public Information (DPI):

  • The NGO must support and respect the principles of the Charter of the UN and have a clear mission statement that is consistent with those principles;
  • The NGO must be recognized nationally or internationally;
  • The NGO should operate solely on a non-for-profit basis and have tax-exempt status;
  • The NGO must have the commitment and the means to conduct effective information programmes, with its constituents and to a broader audience (about UN activities);
  • The NGO should have an established record of continuity of work for a minimum of three years and should show promise of sustained activity in the future;
  • The NGO should have a satisfactory record of collaboration with UN Information Centres/Services or other parts of the UN System prior to association;
  • The NGO should provide an audited annual financial statement, conducted by a qualified, independent accountant;
  • The NGO should have statutes/by-laws providing for a transparent process of making decisions, elections of officers and members of the Board of Directors.

(from the UN NGO website)

The Symbol of the Carmelite NGO:

  The logo for the Carmelite NGO incorporates the shield of the Carmelite Order and the Jerusalem Cross in the center of a circle. The Carmelite shield contains a representation of Mount Carmel, where the Order was founded in the 12th century. The three stars represent three principle figures of inspiration to the members of the Order, Elijah and Elisha (prophetic figures for the Old Testament of the Bible) and Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The Jerusalem Cross recalls that the Carmelites were founded in the Holy Land, specifically on the range of mountains called Mount Carmel near the modern port city of Haifa.

The ring on the outside of the logo contains the words "Prayer, Community, Prophetic Mission" which captures the life and work of the Carmelites in our modern world.

On the bottom portion of the ring are the words "Carmelite NGO" which is the common name of our Non Governmental Organization.