The Carmelite Institute of North America came into existence in 1993 with Fr. John Welch, O.Carm President and Sr. Angele Sadlier, O.Carm as Executive Director. In due time, the five provincials, three delegates of the nuns and a delegate of the sisters and lay delegates constituted the Board of Directors. Our mission was developed; hence, we began our evolution into the present-day Institute.
Initially, the Institute developed a Carmelite studies program which progressed into a graduate certificate in Carmelite studies through the Washington Theological Union with a number of Carmelites from different countries and provinces continuing on for an MA in theology. Back in their own provinces and countries, many became formation directors, spiritual directors, a provincial or two and a bishop.
As well as the studies program, the Institute held periodic conferences and published a few books. The idea was to make the tradition available and encourage scholarship in North America.
The Carmelite Forum, which began in 1983 when eight O.Carm/OCD Friars and Sisters got together to study the tradition. They decided to offer summer sessions at St. Mary’s College, Indiana. The Forum and Institute functioned separately from one another. After 25 years, the Carmelite Forum disbanded. Fr. Patrick McMahon, O.Carm (now deceased) who became President of the Institute agreed that the Institute would continue this program in some format.
With the renewed support of the entire Board of Directors, the Institute has begun a new phase in its evolution and our history continues as we sponsor programs and events to teach the Carmelite tradition and carry out our mission in North America.