Order of Carmelites
Order of Carmelites
Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary
Legally incorporated as 'Society of Mount Carmel'
Provincial Office
1317 Frontage Road
Darien, IL 60561
Phone: 630.971.0050
PCM in EL SALVADOR

The presence of Carmel in El Salvador long predates the arrival of members of the province to the small Central American country. Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a part of the culture — one of the most popular Catholic devotions in the country. The Carmelite scapular forms part of the dress of traditional dancers. There are many civil jurisdictions and parishes under the title of Carmen. It is one of the most popular names for men and women. The image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel can be found in most churches, chapels, and hermitages. At the Provincial Chapter of 2014, El Salvador was officially voted in as a ministry of the province.

Archbishop Oscar Romero, beatified by the Catholic Church in May 2015, was a very strong devotee of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. One of the relics preserved as a memorial of his life is his scapular soaked in the archbishop’s own blood at the time of his assassination. There are also three homilies in his teaching as archbishop in which he developed his prophetic message, starting with his tender and pious devotion of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Fr. Peter Hinde, a Carmelite of the PCM Province, went to El Salvador beginning in the 1970s to work with the Base Church Communities (Comunidades Eclesiales de Base) and the popular movements. He served as pastor of a parish for a brief time. In the 80s David Blanchard, O. Carm., returned after his ordination and settled in El Salvador, becoming pastor in a semi-urban area of the northern part of the Archdiocese of San Salvador. In 2007, young Carmelites in formation from the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province in Mexico were sent to study at the Jesuit Universidad de Centroamerica (UCA). Within a few years Centro Xiberta, the Carmelite formation residence, was built.

Today, two members of the province administer the parish of Nuestra Señora de Lourdes. Centro Xiberta continues as the formation center for young Carmelites. At the end of 2016 the residential buildings which comprise Centro Xiberta were reconfigured to accommodate more students. A conference hall, accommodating 70 people, was added in 2016 as well. In 2017, the province purchased land in another section of the archdiocese which will be the location of a formation house for the professed students. Another nearby piece of land was purchased which will be eventually developed into a ministry site. A third piece of land will be developed as a finca (farm) to provide some income to the provincial community and its ministries. A five-year strategic plan has been developed which was created and is annually updated with the input of all the professed Carmelites in El Salvador. One feature of the plan calls for the formation houses to become more self-sufficient with much of the food being raised on the property.

The area where the Carmelites are currently located is poor and the site of youth violence. We attempt to work with the various groups to bring some hope and life to the people. We are a young Carmel that is inspired by the witness of the Carmelite holy men and women as well as the holy people of our country. Our faith is strengthened by the witness of the poor with whom we live and work as well as men and women like Rutilio Grande, Jean Donovan, Silvia Arriola, the Maryknoll religious sisters, and thousands of catechists and celebrants of the Word who have died heroically being Christ to the people.
Order of Carmelites





Order of Carmelites
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At its centenary, the Province had spread throughout the United States with some 300 members
The Carmelites of the PCM Province have been serving the people of Canada since 1875.
The PCM Province is expanding greatly in Mexico and, recently, in El Salvador.
The PCM Province is expanding greatly in Mexico and, recently, in El Salvador.
Once a handful of missions, now rapidly growing in the Order.