THE CARMELITE NGO - a project of the members of the Carmelite Family around the world

The Carmelite NGO, associated with the Department of Public Information 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
     A Letter from the Prior General of the Carmelites to the Carmelite Family

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: