CMC: Congregation of the Mother of Carmel
Name of the Congregation : Congregation of the Mother of Carmel
Abbreviation : CMC
Founder : Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Co-Founder : Fr. Leopold Beccaro OCD
Patroness : Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Year of Foundation : 1866 February 13
Place of Origin : Koonanmavu, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Status : Pontifical
Rite : Syro Malabar
Mother General : Sr. Sibi CMC
Vicar General : Sr. Grace Therese CMC
First convent : St. Theresa’s Convent (1866) Koonammavu, Ernakulam, Kerala
Generalate : Mt. Carmel Generalate (1963) Thaikkattukara, Aluva, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Total Members : 6194
Total Provinces : 24 (Kerala 13, Mission 11)
Total Regions : 4 (India: 3, Africa:1 )
Total Convents : 702
Total No. of Convents in Kerala : 403
Total No of Convents in India other than kerala :251
Total No of Convents in Abroad :48
Europe :24 (Germany: 17; Italy: 06; England: 01)
Congregation of the Mother of Carmel (CMC)
Congregation of the Mother of Carmel, the first indigenous Religious Congregation for Women enjoys Pontifical Right, in the Syro- Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church. The Roman Pontiff is the Supreme head of this Congregation that comes under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation for Oriental Churches. It is governed by the Common law of the Catholic Church, especially by the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, the Particular Law of the Syro-Malabar Church and the Constitutions, Directives and Synaxes Decisions of CMC.
The members of the Congregation, trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit more closely follow Christ the source, teacher and exemplar of holiness. They vow to God publicly with full knowledge and consent to live the evangelical counsels of obedience, chastity and poverty observed according to the Constitutions of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel before the lawful superior. They definitively assume the Religious state with perpetual profession. The Professed members, who are consecrated, voluntarily dedicate themselves to live the vows faithfully in the community decided by the Major Superior carrying out the entrusted services in the community subject to the lawful superiors.
CMC is a Religious Congregation that strives for the personal sanctity 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.
The Blessed Virgin Mary who responded to God’s call with unwavering faith, hope and love is the model for the members of this Congregation that is dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, to live by their commitment through vows.
The Superior General is the highest authority in matters concerning the internal administration and discipline of the Congregation. CMC is a religious and charitable society of a religious minority group within the purview of the Constitutions of India. The Congregation is entitled to have all the rights, privileges and exemptions that the Indian Constitutions grants to religious minority groups, to religious charitable organizations, institutions and to women. Its presence and activities can be extended to all the continents as per need. 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.
Heritage of CMC
Our heritage starts from the God-experience of our founder St Kuriakose Elias Chavara and our co-founder Fr Leopold, which was transmitted directly to our first members. Rooted in the Indian culture, spiritual heritage and traditions of the St Thomas Christians and of the Carmelites, and nourished by the lived experience of the members of our Congregation, it has been now entrusted to our care as the founding spirit. We are much inspired by the age old spiritual wisdom and asceticism of the Eastern Christian monasticism.
Goal of Foundation of the Congregation
- Providing every help to members of the congregation to attain personal sanctity and salvation.
- Promoting salvation and redemptive uplift through Christian formation of the people of God, especially women and children, through catechism and faith formation, intellectual and vocational training and such other apostolic activities undertaken according to the needs of the Church and of the people of the locality.
The charism of CMC is ‘ The personal sanctity and redemptive uplift of the people of God, especially women and children, through the right blending of contemplation and action’.
‘Be holy and lead others to holiness’ is its essence. This charism obliges the members not only to work for our own sanctity but also for the salvation and sanctification of souls, remaining united with God the Father through contemplation and accomplishing apostolic services by following the example of Jesus who fulfilled the will of His Father by praying in the solitude of the mountains, preaching the Kingdom of God and doing good to all.
“Remain united to me in contemplation and consecrated to me in action”.
Founders passed on a religious lifestyle to the first members integrating the purely contemplative Carmelite spirit with the apostolic activities according to the needs of the time. This is implied in our motto, ‘Remain united to me in contemplation (cf. Jn 15:4) and consecrated to me in action.’ The mind that gazes at God in contemplation should flow towards God incessantly and lovingly. This supreme love for God is realized and fostered through listening and responding to His Word in absolute faith and it brings integration and harmony in life. Selfless action would flow from this supreme love and has to be sustained, nurtured and enriched by it. Every work done in a spirit of devoted service and selfless sacrifice becomes sacred oblation.
The Congregation lives its charism in the Church to spread the good news to all. CMC sisters strive ardently to grow in the charism and dedicate themselves for the glory of God and to the service of mankind.
(Reference: CMC Constituion)