Within the context of community, the friars observe a simple life of prayer and solitude, which are balanced with daily liturgy, work and love of neighbour. Today the order is focused on the spiritual. Even though it has experienced a drop in its congregation over the past few years, its location has allowed it to remain more active than most churches.

We have six Masses a day, and we do nearly 30 hours of confession every week. Because of the location we get a lot of tourists in, and often receive requests from bus tours to have Mass. We also get a lot of people in on a Sunday afternoon. They pop in to light a candle. A lot of that goes on. It’s a lovely place to just take a breath.

The Discalced Carmelite community at St. Teresa’s, Clarendon street comprises of 10 friars, ranging in age from 31 to 94. Fr. Vincent O’Hara is the Prior of this community. The post of Prior “is an office you hold for three years, and it can be held for another three,  in that you have a contribution to make and then someone else has another contribution to make.”

Fr. Vincent has fulfilled diverse roles within our Order, including serving as Provincial Superior and acting as the Spiritual Guide for the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. Recently, he has also authored an exceptional new book titled ‘The Wonder of the Word,’ which compiles his reflections, homilies, and musings from his 52-year priestly career.

The Discalced Carmelite friars have also reached out to a modern audience through social media. They have almost 4,000 followers between Facebook and Twitter – but remain focused on their main remit of a life of prayer.

“We are strongly community based, stronger than most religious orders. We live a common life together. We gather to pray and for recreation. We get up around 6.30am and are in the prayer room at 7am. We then have the office readings and quiet prayer, after which we’d have morning prayer. Then somebody might have a Mass, so that would have to be covered. At 1.15 we have midday prayer, then lunch, evening prayer, and night prayer.”