Using the OCDS designation – a clarification
OCDS may be added after a member’s name when the member has made First Promise. It is not used before making the Promise. If a person discontinues initial formation or leaves the Order, the OCDS designation is dropped.
In Print or Online
To the general public, using “OCDS” after a member’s name makes the person the face of the Order. For this reason, we request that OCDS not be used when expressing personal opinions in public forums.
Books and articles on non-Carmelite themes, for example promoting private revelations, should not be signed OCDS.
Side note: Books teaching Christian themes should be sent to the censor librorum at the local diocesan chancery office for the Nihil Obstat and the Bishop’s Imprimatur.
Books and articles for publication outside of Carmelite venues may be signed OCDS, if the member first has the local Council or Spiritual Assistant review them for tone and accuracy. It is important that the document is theologically sound and correctly reflects Carmelite attitudes and teachings.
Members who do not want to wait for approval are free to publish under their own name without the “OCDS” designation. This is not to interfere with free expression, but to protect the Order from misunderstanding.
Notices for events sponsored by an OCDS community obviously would state that the community is Discalced Carmelite Secular, and OCDS speakers’ names may be printed with OCDS after them.
Some Carmelite Seculars have personal apostolates teaching Carmelite topics. Advertisements would not normally list the person as OCDS. However, it would be perfectly fine for the person to talk about his experience in Carmel and for attendees to know that he is a Carmelite Secular.
Persons not affiliated with an OCDS community may not use “OCDS” as a selling point for speaking engagements, book sales, or other activities.
Being a Discalced Carmelite Secular is not a secret. We are free to discuss Carmelite spirituality and the vocation to Carmel with family and friends, co-workers and acquaintances – anyone – as God inspires us and good judgment directs.
This online document is the only one to be considered official.