Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC)
Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, the first indigenous religious Congregation for Women was founded as the Third Order of Carmelites Discalced(TOCD), on 13 February 1866 at Koonammavu (Kerala) by Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara the then Vicar General of Syrian Church of Kerala. St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara was the recognized leader of the people of God of his time. He was a missionary who integrated contemplation and action harmoniously in his life.
Rev. Fr Leopold Beccaro OCD is its Co-Founder. He was the provincial delegate of the time in Kerala. The Roman Pontiff is the supreme head of this Congregation. The Congregation is dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Blessed Virgin Mary who responded to God’s call with unwavering faith, hope and love is the model for the members of this congregation.
CMC strives for the personal sanctity of her members and the redemptive uplift of the people of God, especially of women and children through various apostolic activities. The congregation has a lifestyle deepened in ‘Abba experience’ with the right blending of contemplative prayer and apostolic service. CMC which had a humble beginning at Koonammavu in a ‘panambu madham’ with 4 members is grown today into 20 provinces and 6 regions in 4 continents with 6,425 nuns. Rooted in the Indian culture, spiritual heritage and traditions of the St. Thomas Christians and of the Carmelites, it is nourished by the lived experience of the members of the Congregation. By remaining obedient to the lawful superiors of the Congregation, its members spend themselves generously in the service of God and mankind, sacrificing all their personal rights and gains and offering their labour and its fruits for the needs of the Congregation, for the integral growth and Christian formation of the people, especially of women and children through the apostolate of education, caring for the sick and the destitute, orphans and the poor.
St. Euphrasia, who scaled the great heights of holiness by radically living the CMC charism, is our exemplary model and witness to the fact that we can attain holiness by living our charism faithfully. This year the Congregation is gracefully enjoying the coincidence of the observation of the Year of the Consecrated Life and the Sesqui Centennial Jubilee Year of its foundation.