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All About Mary

Secular Missionary Carmel

Biographical Information

Founder: Marelia Suárez

Foundation: Founded as a lay association of the Carmelite Nuns of the Sacred Heart, Columbia in 1988.

Ecclesial Recognition: Recognized on March 20, 1996 as an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

Membership: Present in 12 countries: Africa (2), Asia (3), Europe (1), North America (3), and South America (3).

Membership: about 500 members
- male/female
- lay only


Lay/Religious: lay

Individual/Community: CMS is organized into autonomous groups, with oversight groups at the national and international level.

Commitment/Vows: No formal vows; members commit to follow the organization's goal of promoting the identity and mission of the lay person in the Church.

Purpose and Activities

Overall Purpose: Comprehensive formation of the lay faithful through a commitment to discover the greatness of Christian vocation within ecclesial communion.

Apostolic commitments: To live a simple, joyful and hard-working style of life; to work for a more just and solidarity based society; to cultivate listening reflecting and contemplating; to adopt an attitude of service to one's neighbor.

Marian Characteristics

Major Inspirations: Carmelite spirituality.

General Marian Characteristics: Mary as a model of prayer, contemplation and service to others.

Spiritual\Devotional Exercises: A prayer life as a sign of friendship with God and an experience of the universality of the Church.

Pastoral/Apostolic Endeavors: Mary is contemplated as model, Mother and companion in the search for God.


Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, Pontifical Council for the Laity, available at:


International Marian Research Institute

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1390

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