"Carmel Teaches the Church how to Pray." - Pope Francis


Mission Statement

The Carmelites of the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, in allegiance to Jesus Christ, live in a prophetic and contemplative stance of prayer, common life, and service.  Inspired by Elijah and Mary and informed by the Carmelite Rule, we give witness to an eight-hundred-year-old tradition of spiritual transformation in the United States, Canada, Peru, Mexico, and El Salvador, and Honduras.

The first sentence of the Carmelite Rule (oldest existing fragment)


This photo was taken during the 2023 Provincial Chapter in Darien, IL


Carl J Markelz, O.Carm.
Prior Provincial

A native of Joliet, Illinois, and a graduate of Joliet Catholic (Carmelite) High School, Father Carl entered the Carmelites and professed first vows in 1985.  He has served in our high schools in Encino, California, and Chicago, Illinois, and as General Bursar of the Carmelite Order in Rome.

David D McEvoy, O.Carm.
Vice Prior Provincial

Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Father David grew up in St. Joseph Carmelite Parish there. He professed first vows in 1983 and was ordained a priest in 1988.
Fr. David has served in parish ministry in California (1983-85), New Jersey (1988-1990), and Kansas (2000-2020), in vocation ministry (1990-1994; 2020-2023) and as the Province’s novice director (1995-2000). He has served as the Province’s Vice Prior Provincial since 2020.

Nepomuk Willemsen, O.Carm.
First Councilor   

Father Nepi started in the German Province of Carmelites (born 1977 in Stadtlohn) professing for vows in 2012, moving to the U.S., he professed final vows in 2012 in this Province, and was ordained in 2017.  He is Director of Formation and Prior of Whitefriars Hall (Carmelite House of Studies) in Washington DC.

Luis Jesús Paz Acosta, O.Carm.
Second Councilor

The youngest member (born in 1982) of the Provincial Council, Father Chuy is from the Carmelite Parish of the Transfiguration in Torreón, Coah., Mexico.  He professed first vows in 2014.  He has degrees from the Universidad Centroamericana (San Salvador), University of Commillas (Madrid), Universidad Intercontinental (Mexico City).  Currently he serves as the pre-novice director for the Province in El Salvador.

Jorge Monterroso Mérida, O.Carm.
3rd Councilor

Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Father Jorge professed first vows in 2011 and solemn vows in 2016. Since his ordination in 2019, he has served primarily in Carmelite parishes in Tucson and Phoenix, AZ. Father Jorge enjoys a good read, especially while having a cup of coffee. His favorite Carmelite quote comes from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, when she explains that prayer “is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”

Samuel Citero, O.Carm.
4th Councilor

Fr. Sam was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He professed his first vows in 1979 and ordained in 1984. He is currently in his 13 th year as pastor of St. Therese Parish in Cresskill, NJ. Previously he served the province as a teacher at Joliet Catholic High School and Director of Vocations. He was also a campus minister at De Paul  University in Chicago and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. He previously served on the provincial council from 2011 until 2017.