This Question-and-Answer Series was begun in the attempt to clarify questions and/or concerns that came up during the 2019 Lay Carmelite Convocation in Chicago, IL.
Someone asked me this week how many of these Q&A e-mails I expect to send. Well, I probably have enough questions to last the rest of the year! From the response I've gotten so far it seems like they’ve been helpful. I hope you all feel the same! Now for the question of the week:
Who can be a Spiritual Assistant?
We have Carmelite friars, Carmelite sisters, diocesan priests, religious sisters, and deacons on our listing of Spiritual Assistants (SA). Proper procedure can be found in the Community Manual (page 10) in regard to requesting approval of a SA from the Provincial Delegate. The term for the SA is 5 years. After that time a request for renewal must be made to the Lay Carmelite Office.
One note on the SA. ONLY CARMELITES may receive or profess candidates. If the SA is not a Carmelite the portion of the ceremony for reception or profession is performed by someone who is. Usually, this could be a Regional Coordinator, past Regional Coordinator, or the director of the community or neighboring community. The SA can perform the remainder of the ceremony however.