We are in communion with the Order of the Most Holy Mary Theotokos (http://www.osst-abbey.org). While we share in a conservative view of the Old Catholic Church, we both have unique charisms. The Celtic Carmelites live in the tradition of the ancient Celtic Church prior to Roman domination of the British Isles, and in the "active/contemplative" spirit of the early Carmelite Brothers and Sisters. To know Jesus is to share Jesus in word and deed. To get to know Jesus requires solitude and intimacy with Him - through reading Sacred Scripture, participating in the Sacraments, and in contemplation of Him in the recesses of our hearts. We seek to share our rich history with others and, through the Holy Trinity, help to heal the world.
In a nutshell, the ancient Celtic Christian communities were isolated from the European influences of power and politics, and therefore enjoyed a love of the Gospel without an agenda. In Celtic theology, the fall of Adam and Eve represented a veil cast between mankind and God, and the consequences described in Genesis 3:14-19 did not include a complete separation from God. If one reads the Old Testament, it is plain to see even from the time of Cain and Abel God's relationship with man and creation.
So the Celtic Christian communities enjoyed an equality between men and women unheard of on the European continent, a love and respect for nature as a gift from God and a means to know Him more intimately, and an absence of "original sin" - rather, the Celtic Christian knew that Christ saved them from themselves and not a generational curse. A great analogy would be to see a baby and believe you are looking into the face of the divine. In a few years, you could look at the same child and know he needed a Savior. The Celts had an unmatched devotion to the saving work of Christ on the cross. They simply saw that the world needed saving because of the propensity of mankind to choose evil and not because mankind was inherently evil.
WHY WE ARE CELTIC:
1) We hold to the position that God, mankind, and creation are united relationally. We support this view with Biblical texts such as Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork" and Jesus assures us in Luke 12: 24, "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse or barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?"
2) The early Celtic Christians had a great respect for women and children in society, unlike the European continent. Male and female monasteries could be found side by side, and it was not uncommon for a women to hold leadership roles in both church and clans. We are Celtic for the reason that God created man "in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Gen. 1:27). In the Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church women are ordained to the priesthood.
3) We believe in the Genesis account that God created the heavens and earth as "good" and humans as "very good." We choose to live with optimism that God loves man and creation - He always has and always will. He gave His only begotten Son to redeem us. What greater reason to love God, creation, and each other than that?
WHY WE ARE CARMELITE: The Carmelite Order traces its history back to the prohet Elijah who on Mount Carmel stood up against the priests of Baal as told in 1Kings 18:20-40. In New Testament times hermits inhabited the caves of Mount Carmel and lived lives of holy prayer and contemplation of the Word of God. In the thirteenth century, they formed what we now know as the Order of Carmelites. in the 16th century, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross set about reforming the Order and bringing it back to its roots of contemplation and prayer. Both of these great saints were mystics, and both were honored as "Doctors of the Church" because of their insights into Sacred Scriptures. The fact that they worked together (male and female) and their mysticism ties in well with Celtic tradition.
WHY WE ARE OLD CATHOLIC: Briefly, the Old Catholic Church separated from the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th century when Rome declared the Pope as infallible. The Old Catholics believe in the ancient Catholic Church and hold to the first seven Councils. We do not recognize the anathema's rendered on Protestants at the Council of Trent in the 16th century, and we believe in local Bishops overseeing geographical areas, yet God alone is the head of the Church.
We are sacramental, and believe Holy Scripture supports our reason for this. More will be published on the Old Catholic Church at a later date.