St. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross Community

St. Therese House of Prayer, Carmel of the Holy Spirit, Subic, Zambales

OCDS-Subic 2012

Members of the St. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross Community.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Our History in Brief

In Brief

        Through the efforts of the OCD Sisters, Friars and fellow OCDS members, the St. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross Community, Subic, Zamables have grown continuously to date.

      Starting with only a few members a year after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, the Subic Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) became stronger as the years passed by thru the efforts of the OCD Nuns, our past community Presidents, and the Spiritual Guidance provided by the OCD Friars and OCD Brothers that continuously visits Subic Carmel of the Holy Spirit.

         With a total number of 31 active members under going regular formation held during our regular monthly meeting, the Subic OCD Secular continuously aims to follow the guidance of the three Great Doctors of the Order, Sts. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of the child Jesus in knowing how to love God and how to befriend God with the help of the Blessed Mother Mary and her beloved Spouse St. Joseph.

On Formation

        In order to know more about the Order of Carmel Discalced, and to deepen our faith and love of God and His Church, regular formation class is conducted every second Sunday of the Month.
    Using the New Constitution, the new statutes and with the adoption of the official structured formation manual, we are now grouped according to rank during our regular formation class.Each session is conducted with lectures coupled with time allotment for questions and answers, through this, each member can easily express their understanding, possible questions regarding the present topic that not only tends to bond the group but provides a wider understanding of the topic. Done with an encouraging environment and with formators that has already matured in Faith and wisdom, each formation session becomes a cherished moment to all especially for the new ones. Aside from these and the required reading of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, entrance to Carmel, Life and works of St. John of the Cross, The Dark Nights of the Soul, The Interior Castle of St, Teresa of Jesus, and other books the community also attends talks and retreats held in other Community that not only bonds us with other communities but also strengthens our commitments to the order.

       Life in the formative years is a little bit hard, especially for the Aspirants, since most of the new members still do not understand the true purpose and importance of formation, couple this with complete adherence to the basics (daily prayers, readings of the required books: Welcome to Carmel, collected works of Sts Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, Story of a soul, Journey to Carith, etc), things can really get awry at first. But once it becomes a habit and the importance and reasons realized, the hardships becomes a joyous moment and even becomes a cherish undertaking for truly the “Lord of Host lives, before whom we stand.”

On Promotion

     Studying the Orders’ origin and charism, the works of its Saints and the Church Catechism is just some of the requirements that one must undergo in order to be promoted. Add the self evaluation and the interview conducted by the council and the OCD friars it can really become more challenging than expected. But even so, if this is one way of measuring one’s commitment in becoming a true Secular Carmelite, expect its members to be more willing than ever, for the greater glory of God.

(Note:  This article was used in the OCDS East Asia Conference Souvenir Magazine,  held on November 21-27, 2007, as writen by then Novice, Jov Mark B. Felarca of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, describing OCDS Subic in details)

Canonical Erection

     Hon. Judge Leonardo U. Afable, OCDS, the current Community President at that time, was the one who pettioned the Local Ordinary of Zambales, Most Rev. Fr. Deogracias Iniguez, D.D. for the Canonical Erection of the Community. 

     On January 28, 2003, the Bishop of Iba, Zambales, having no objection, has given his consent, approved the petition and recommended the Community to the OCD Superior General, for its Canonical Erection.

      Finaly on November 1, 2003, "Solemnity of all Saints", the request was approved by the Superior General Fr. Luis Arostegui, OCD and was 
Canonically Erected with Registry No. 12/03, giving birth to the OCDS "St. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross Community" with its official address:
    Secular Order of Disclaced Carmelites
    St. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross Community
    St. Therese House of Prayer
    OCDS - Retreat Center
    Carmelite Monastery Compound
    Ilwas, Subic, Zambales

Previous Elected Local Community Council Members


Amparo Zerudo, OCDS

Carolina Enciso, OCDS
Director of Formation

Sis. Maria Luvimin Afable, OCDS 
1st Councillor

 Sis. Veronica Delgado, OCDS
2nd Councillor 

Elsa R. Pineda, OCDS
3rd Councillor

Merce Gamez, OCDS

Purification Soriano, OCDS

Rev. Fr. Salvador "Buddy" Torres, OCD
Spiritual Assistant 2009-2011

Bro. Peter Paul Ganon, OCD
Spiritual Assistant 2011-Present 


Amparo Zerudo, OCDS

Carolina Enciso, OCDS
Director of Formation

Sis. Maria Luvimin Afable, OCDS 
1st Councillor

Sis. Veronica Delgado, OCDS
2nd Councillor

Bro. Bro. Angel Sermona, OCDS
3rd Councillor

Elsa R. Pineda, OCDS

Lita Garbo, OCDS

Sor Mary Renee Hosol, OCD
Spiritual Assistant 2007-2009   


    Leonardo U. Afable, OCDS

Ma. Luvimin F. Afable, OCDS 
Director of Formation 

Amparo Zerudo, OCDS
1st Councillor 

Angel Sermona, OCDS 
2nd Councillor 

Teodora Guerrero, OCDS 
3rd Councillor

 Lita Garbo, OCDS 


Leonardo U. Afable, Sr.
Interim President

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Membership in the Secular Order

Membership in the Secular Order

     Membership starts at the beginning of Novitiate when the formand is given the Scapular, the outward symbol of membership in the Order.18 He/she becomes a full-fledged member of the Secular Order by the Promise made to the community in the presence of the Superior of the Order or his representative.
Entry Qualifications:

    * A degree of maturity, understanding and well-being is necessary for the member’s adequate formation and for full participation in the life of the Secular Order. Aspirants should be at least twenty-one (21) years old and not more than sixty (60) years old. However, the Council may make exemptions to this provision if it discerns a candidate to be physically and mentally capable of undergoing formation.

    * There should be no moral, legal and canonical impediments including membership in other Secular Orders and/or organizations that would prohibit the person from participating fully in the life of the Carmelite Secular. Candidates will be required to submit baptismal and/or marriage documents.
     Membership in a Community. Membership has to be in affiliation with a duly recognized OCDS Community or Community-in-Formation (CIF). Members residing far away from their Community may transfer temporarily or permanently to another OCDS Community. If transferring is impractical, they should remain united with their Community through prayer, communications, and payment of membership dues.
Membership Status.


    * Members who regularly participate in community activities and pay their membership dues;

    * Members temporarily assigned elsewhere, with the Council’s explicit permission, for Carmelite formation or the Apostolate of the Order;

    * Members on leave of absence approved by the Council for five (5) consecutive months or less.


    * Members on leave of absence for six (6) or more consecutive months;

    * Members who can no longer attend more than six (6) monthly community meetings within a 12-month period due to sickness, advanced age, personal, family and/or job responsibilities;

    * Members who are absent without permission from monthly community meetings for three (3) or more consecutive months as well as those in arrears without a valid reason in the payment of their membership dues for over twelve (12) months.  Financially challenged, sick and/or elderly members may apply to the Council for exemption from payment of memberships dues.  The Council must find out the reasons why a member cannot pay his/her dues and find willing sponsors if feasible.

Extended Absence.  After six (6) consecutive months of a member’s absence from the monthly meetings without a valid reason, the Council through the President shall in writing invite him/her back to attend the monthly meetings. If the Council does not receive any response from the member within 60 days from receipt of letter, the Council through the President shall send a second letter explaining that if the Community does not hear from the said member within another 60 days, the Community shall understand that he/she no longer wants to be a part of the Community.  After consulting the Provincial Superior, his/her name shall be dropped from the Community roster.

Isolated members.  The Constitutions does not recognize isolated members or members who do not belong to any OCDS community.  A Definitive Promise member who does not belong to any OCDS Community must formally apply with any OCDS Community or request in writing the assistance of the Provincial. The Provincial may ask the Provincial Delegate to evaluate the matter and, depending on the circumstances, may recommend a Community willing to accept the member.

Privileges of Members:

    * Members are entitled to all the rights and spiritual benefits that their status as secular members of the Order implies, such as the right to formation and participation in Community activities, the right to ask for prayers and spiritual support from the community and the Order. They may also ask for voluntary professional assistance and/or temporal aid from the Community and individual members in accordance with Christian charity and the spirit of poverty.

    * Active members who have made at least the Temporary Promise have the right to vote in their Community elections.  Transferees are entitled to vote in their new community after the probationary requirement.

    * Members wear the habit of Carmel which is the Brown Scapular. The community may also adopt as uniform for certain occasions any appropriate brown apparel taking into consideration the culture and traditions of the Community’s locality.

    * Deceased members are remembered20 in the prayers of the whole Carmelite Order.  

     Leave of Absence. Definitive Promise members who desire to take a leave of absence (LOA) for three (3) or more months and Temporary Promise members, novices and aspirants for two (2) or more months, should ask permission from the Council in writing, stating the definite period of the intended leave. The Council’s response shall  also be in writing.

    * A Definitive Promise member who would be absent for less than three (3) consecutive months may ask permission, preferably in writing, from the President or in his/her absence from any Council member.

    * When the absence exceeds one (1) year and the member has not kept in touch with the community and/or is not aware of developments in the Order, the Council will require the Definitive Promise member to update himself/herself on such developments. This may consist of retreats, seminar-workshops, lecture series modules and other formation programs recommended by the Council.

    * Aspirants, Novices and Temporary Promise members who would be absent for one (1) month may, for a valid reason, ask permission from their respective formators.  They should file an LOA for longer periods.  The formator may require the formand to attend make-up classes or to fulfill a special assignment.

    * Members temporarily assigned by the Council elsewhere for Carmelite formation and/or the Apostolate of the Order need not file an LOA as they are considered on active status.

     Transfers. The Council may accept on a temporary or permanent basis a transferee applying from another OCDS community21 whose application for transfer has been endorsed in writing  by his/her Council. Applications22 for temporary transfers beyond one year and permanent transfers need the endorsement of the Provincial Delegate and the approval of the Provincial Superior.

    * There is a normally a one-year probationary period for permanent transfers after which the Council makes the final decision to approve or reject the transfer after consulting the Spiritual Assistant.

    * For Temporary Promise members, Novices and Aspirants, the Council may modify and/or extend the subsequent formation program depending on the readiness of the transferee.

    * The Council should assist members in good standing wishing to transfer for a valid reason by endorsing their application. But both the transferee and the community must pray and discern carefully that their intentions are made in the spirit of Christian charity and zeal for the good of the Order, the Community, and the individual member.

    * Members of OCDS founding Communities may transfer to any of their CIFs within one year from its establishment, with the written approval of both Councils.  Such transfers will be deemed permanent.

Fraternal Correction: All our members should show concern for members who may be undergoing a crisis and give them fraternal support in the spirit of the Gospel (Matthew 18:15-20), guiding them with great kindness and patience (2 Timothy 4:2).

    * In case of any complaint against a member, the Council will first seek or facilitate a dialogue in private in order to ascertain the whole truth.

    * If the problem concerns a grave or serious matter and is potentially disruptive to the Community or to the Order, the Council should meet as soon as possible to resolve it judiciously, and seek the help/advice/decision of the Spiritual Assistant/Provincial Delegate/Provincial Superior as appropriate.

    * If the problem is not resolved, the Council may seek the professional help of neutral persons experienced in conflict resolution.

    * In case the complaint is directed against the President or a Council member, the same process of dialogue shall be applied and the Council shall make a decision, but not in the presence of the accused.

    * In case the complaint is against the Council itself or a majority of its members, the knowledgeable members of the Community should seek a dialogue with the Council members to clarify matters. If such a dialogue fails, the knowledgeable members should submit a written report to the Spiritual Assistant or the Provincial Delegate. The Provincial Delegate will then quietly investigate the case, and report his findings to the Provincial Superior for a decision.

    * The accused will be given the opportunity to explain his/her side in writing.  Great care must be exercised to avoid rash judgment which may result in damage to the good name and reputation of persons.

    * Appeals regarding the Provincial Superior’s decision may be brought to Superior General through the General Delegate.

Dismissal. Grounds for Dismissal must be grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven.  Any person who is dismissed has the right to appeal directly to the Provincial and then to the General. The Council, after allowing the accused member to give his/her defense and/or appeal for reconsideration, and after consulting the Provincial Superior, may dismiss any member under the grounds provided in Canons 316 #1 and #2 of the Code of Canon Law or under any of the following grounds considered as “just cause” in accordance with Canon 308:

    * chronic absenteeism;

    * willful violation of the Constitutions and/or Provincial Statutes;

    * involvement in a public scandal; and

    * grave abuse of authority.

Death of Members:

    * The Communities will maintain a registry of Book of Suffrages for their deceased members, preferably with a brief resume or some basic information about them.

    * The community will offer Masses and recite the Office for the Dead in memory of their deceased members at least once a year preferably closest to November 15.

    * The community will remember their deceased members in their daily prayers.

    * Members who learn of the death of a fellow OCDS should notify the Council.  The President or Secretary of the Council will inform the Provincial Secretariat of a member’s death.

    * The Secretariat will inform the different Communities in the Philippines so that they may offer Masses and recite the Office for the Dead.


Formation in the Secular Order
     We undergo initial and on-going formation including formation for the Apostolate based on the teachings of the Church, of Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross and the other Saints of the Order, to develop in us our human, Christian and spiritual maturity, and to help us live our commitment as members of the Church and the Order. 

  • Initial formation generally takes six years—one year of Aspirancy, two years of Novitiate, and three years of Temporary Promise leading to the Definitive Promise. 
  • On-going formation should continue for life.
  • The OCDS Provincial Council in the Philippines (OCDS Philippines) specifies the formation programs by providing a manual to serve as a guide for all OCDS Communities. 
Observation Period. A person interested in Carmel may be allowed to sit as Observer in the monthly meetings of the community after securing permission from the Director of Formation and the approval of the President. Should the Observer desire to pursue membership in the community, he/she may apply in writing to the Council for admission and attend the monthly community meetings for at least three (3) consecutive months prior to acceptance to the Formation Program. 

Aspirancy. Aspirancy gives both the community and the candidate an opportunity to make an adequate discernment. This period usually lasts one year from entrance to the Formation Program until invited for clothing as a novice. 

Novitiate. The Novice is one who has been clothed with the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and will undergo two years of deeper formation until admitted to make the Temporary Promise. 

Temporary Promise. After making the Promise, 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 Definitive Promise for life. 

Definitive Promise. After making the Definitive Promise, a member shall continue with life-time formation to nourish one’s prayer life. 

Vows. A Definitive Promise member may be permitted to make the vows of chastity and obedience in the presence of the community after fulfilling all the following requirements:
  • the member manifests a strong desire to live a deeper commitment of his/her Promise and be of greater service to the Church and the Order;
  • the member’s immediate family gives its full consent;
  • the member’s personal Spiritual Director gives a favorable written recommendation;
  • the Council gives its consent;
  • the Provincial Superior gives his written approval upon the recommendation of the Council. 
      The formation period may be extended or shortened by the Council if it is for the best interest of the Community: 
  1. Aspirancy and Novitiate Programs may be extended by one year at each level. Temporary Promise may be extended by a maximum of two years. Exceptions to the above may be granted in cases where the formand takes a leave of absence for a valid reason and is allowed to come back at a later time to resume or even repeat formation, subject to the Council’s approval, under more favorable circumstances (e.g. improvement in health, family or job stability, among others)
  2. The formation period before the Temporary Promise may be shortened by the Council with the permission of the Provincial Superior for a good reason.
  3. Formators should evaluate their formands at least every six (6) months as a tool for assessing their growth. The evaluation reports shall be confidential and given to the Director of Formation who shall apprise the Council of each formand’s progress and the possible need for special attention and/or action.
  4. At the end of each level of initial formation, the formator will recommend for the Council’s approval the formand’s acceptance to the next level, or extension at the same level, or dropping from the formation program. The Council will deliberate on the recommendation of the formator and vote upon the formand/s in the following prescribed manner:
  • Proceedings must be held in a place where confidentiality can be preserved. The Secretary will also be present but will not be allowed to vote. The manner of voting should be such that the others cannot see how each Council member votes.
  • Each Council member will be given two (2) “buttons”, one black and one white; two containers will be provided, one white and the other black;
  • For a 'yes' vote, the Council member will drop the white button in the “white” container, and the black button in the “black” container. For a “no” vote, the council member will drop the black button in the “white” container and the white button in the “black” container.
  • A majority color in the white container will be considered as approval (white) or disapproval (black). A tie shall be construed as disapproval.
  • The Secretary will tally the votes in the presence of the Council and record the results in the Book of Council.
     The President should inform each formand of the Council’s decision in person and in writing. The formand not favorably voted upon should be informed in a constructive and charitable way. However, the Council and the Secretary are duty bound to maintain confidentiality of the deliberation and the voting process.

     When a candidate cannot attend ceremonials on the scheduled day for a valid reason, his/her ceremonials may be rescheduled in coordination with the Spiritual Assistant or Provincial Delegate.

               - Excerpts from the OCDS Philippines Provincial Statutes Chapter II

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