Retreats | Sabbaticals | Silence | Solitude | Ireland

Friends of Carmel

IMG_1542-webFriends of Carmel: A contemplative way of life

“I will allure her, and lead her into the desert, and I will speak to her heart.” (Hosea. 2:14)

The Friends of Carmel at Holy Hill is an association of lay people, sisters and priests, who, in response to a call from God want to be his “good friends” by living the Gospel in the spirit of Carmel and under the guidance of the monks of the Spiritual Life Institute.  SLI—SLI means “the way” in Irish. Fada over the I in SLI


This new group was launched on 28th March 2015, with the approval of Bishop John Fleming includes people from different backgrounds ages and nationalities. In the midst of their normal family lives, in the work place, in their social commitments and other relationships, members seek out the hidden way of God. They follow a personal rule of life in order to attain holiness through their own vocation.

Formation and Spiritual guidance is offered to each member through regular meetings at Holy Hill as well as website input.


IMG_1549-webPersonal Rule of Life

     Friends of Carmel each should draw up a personal rule of life.  By incorporating the spirit of Carmel we reach for the heights using the best means possible—the riches of the Carmelite tradition as a way of living the Gospel radically.  

     This means being faithful to your own vocation is primary. And then selecting from the following what best suits you.

    Each day should include:

meditative leisure (writing, music, art, poetry, walking, or other reflective reading)

spiritual reading

contemplative prayer

interior silence and solitude, with a period of physical solitiute, however brief, to be lengthened as time and circumstances permit

whenever possible Lauds at dawn and Vespers at dusk (when the veil between earth and heaven is thinnest) or Office of Readings, Compline

physical exercise, preferably outside

      One’s over-all lifestyle should include:

an effort to live life to the hilt: deliberately, creatively, passionately, and as naturally as possible

monthly meetings if possible

ongoing formation from the Carmelite tradition and saints writings, especially St. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux,

Eucharist several times a week if possible

simplification of lifestyle

a spirit of asceticism and fasting with increased efforts at appropriate ties (Lent, Advent, Fridays, before major decisions, etc.)

a spirit of celebration, especially on the Sabbath and special feast days

a regular soul friend conversation for encouragement, to keep you honest and accountable

yearly retreat, if possible at Holy Hill

consult and/or contribute to regular web-site blogs

also, book recommendations on Holy Hill web site