Being a member of the Third Order is about a call and a vocation. We need to discern our vocation, not once, but many times throughout our lives.
A wise Carmelite once said: it is one thing to make a commitment in life; it is another thing to learn how to express that commitment in concrete actions and words in everyday life, and it is a totally different thing to maintain that kind of commitment over many years.
As you all know from your own life experience, life is about change which enables us to grow and mature. To be a Carmelite is about a vocation, it is not about belonging to a social club. Like the first Carmelites, it is about searching for God through prayer, a communal life style and service to others in the spirit of Elijah and Mary.
A person interested in Carmel may be allowed to observe the community dynamics after securing permission from the Formation Director with the approval of the Prior/Prioress. Should the observer desire to pursue membership in the community, he/she should fill up the application form, submits the required documents and attend the monthly community meetings for three (3) consecutive months prior to acceptance to the Aspirancy.
Aspirancy. An aspirant undergoes orientation/preparation for formation, which gives both the Community and the candidate an opportunity to make an adequate discernment. This period normally lasts six (6) months from entrance to Aspirancy.
Postulancy. A postulant is one who has attended six (6) consecutive months in the community dynamics and has finished the Aspirancy Module. This period usually lasts six (6) months until invited for reception as a novice.
Novitiate. The Novice is one who has been clothed with the Ceremonial Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and will undergo two years of deeper formation until admitted to make the Temporary Profession.
Temporary Profession. After making the Profession, a member will undertake for three years a more intensive study of prayer, the Scriptures, the Documents of the Church, the Saints of the Order, and formation in the Apostolate of the Order until invited to make the Final Profession for life.