The primary and principal aim of Carmelites, as expressed in our Rule, or norm of life, is to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ day and night. Prayer as our great objective and aim is, in the words of Teresa of Jesus, being friends with God, frequently alone with him, knowing that he loves us. It is from here that we spread our charism throughout the Church with spirituality centres (houses of prayer, deserts, our monasteries …). We assist the various local Churches throughout the world by the parishes given to our pastoral care, in cities and missionary countries. Another aspect of our charism is to spread it by means of writings on spirituality (we have various publishing houses), retreats and spiritual direction …

The Discalced or Teresian Carmelites are spread throughout the world. According to the last statistics (2012) we have 3,994 friars, including those in training. Since its birth, the bulk of the Order has been in Europe, a fact that is gradually changing – Asia, America and Africa are now emerging. Of the almost 4,000 of our friars, more than one thousand come from India. This fact demonstrates that the centre of gravity of the Order is no longer in Western Europe but Asia. In old Europe we are in a process of restructuring, while in Asia it is quite the contrary, a process of expansion.

The Order is divided into fifty-six areas of jurisdiction which are called by various names: Provinces, Semi-provinces, Commissariats and General Delegations. As relevant data reveals, there are twenty Carmelites ordained as Bishops, who carry out their Carmelite mission in the various dioceses given to their care. The Province with most friars is Manjummel with 263 members and the one with the least is Holland with 17 friars. These are figures and names which hide the Teresian Carmelite mission, in love with Christ and his Church and which tries, through its particular charism of prayer and intimacy with God, to make him known wherever the Church needs.