Question and Answer Series #13

Lay Carmelite Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Dear Lay Carmelites!

November 1 • All Saints Day • 2019

This month, in a special way, we remember in prayer those who have passed away from this life; the ones we have loved the most and perhaps even those we have never met but are in desperate need of our prayers. This is the month we can shine (in a quiet and hidden way) for after all, this is our charism and special gift to the Church.

Cindy Perazzo

As an update, the appendix forms for the 2015 Community Manual have been turned over to our webmaster. He is currently working on setting up these forms so that they can be filled in online as well as printed out.

There is a new Carmelite Institute Advent Webinar scheduled for December 14, 2019. The title of the webinar is “ God in Life’s Journey” and will explore the Spirituality of Bl. Titus Brandsma. I’ve included the link below for more information and to register. These webinars are a very affordable $10 for an hour of continuing education in Carmel. Very much worth your time and financial support. Here is the link:


Now for this week’s Q&As.


How do you encourage community members to volunteer?


I think the best way to encourage a member to be a vital part of the community is to bring the subject up at the very beginning. In my own community, it is brought to the attention of Candidates – Phase I, Lesson 1. It’s an assumption really, that each person will contribute something unique to the community. We all won’t necessarily be directors, formation directors, or councilors, however, we all can bring something to the table for our Carmelite Family.


Partial Attendance. Our community’s partial attendance is high for about 4-6 members. Will you please give us parameters to work within for our policy?


In January 2019 I addressed partial attendance in a letter that was sent to all directors. I’ve included this information below:

Attendance: I still hear from Community Directors who have difficulties with members who attend meetings sporadically or arrive late/leave early, missing a good portion of the meeting. This partial attendance is harmful to those who are absent in this way on a regular basis and to the community who sees this behavior and wonders why it is allowed. Since there is no Provincial Statute or policy right now that covers this issue of arriving after the meeting begins and/or leaving before the last element is completed (partial attendance), I have given each community council permission to create a local policy which may include a partial attendance percentage given. Your Director should relay to the community when a policy like this has been developed and when it is to take effect. You should be given ample notice prior to any policy implementation. Should you have extenuating circumstances you should discuss this with your director or one of your elected councilors in order to come to an agreement.”

It would be fair for your council to consider that if members miss any significant part of either the first half of the meeting (typically, prayer, Lectio, Homework from the Order, and business) or ongoing formation that attendance could be considered 50%. Please contact me with any special circumstance you feel needs special consideration.

Cindy Perazzo's picture

About the author

Cindy A. Perazzo, T.O.Carm, is the Coordinator of Lay Carmelites for the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary.