Members and Associates
Notre Dame de Vie (NDV) Institute comprises three autonomous branches, which share the same spirit and tend towards the same ideal. These are the consecrated lay men and lay women (Men’s and Women’s branches, respectively), and priests (Sacerdotal Branch). The basic orientation of an NDV member is given in the Prologue of the Constitution of each branch:
… the Carmelite Institute of Notre Dame de Vie wants to stand in the presence of the living God and to burn with zeal for His glory; it loves the desert and returns to it to find God and to drink at the fountains of living water which He causes to spring up there, but it also leaves it to be the witness of the living God in the world, to reveal Him to all and to orient them towards the depths of His friendship.”
The life of the members is anchored on an initial formation to prayer at a Center of Solitude, where they acquire a taste for God and learn to cling to him. During the initial formation of two years, NDV members learn how to pray according to the Carmelite tradition. After their formation, members are sent for a mission which engages them in the world as ordinary Christian laypersons or as priests engaged in ministry in a parish. They learn to harmonize a life of action with extended hours of prayer, i.e. the integration of action and contemplation.