Who are you?
Michelle Arnold, and I’m pleased to meet you too. You can read more about me here.

What do you do for a living?
I am a staff apologist for Catholic Answers. Since I can already predict your next question, I will answer it by saying that an apologist is someone who explains and/or defends an action, viewpoint, or position. A Catholic apologist explains and defends the Catholic faith.

Is this one of Catholic Answers’ web sites?
No. Please read my disclaimer.

How did you get to be an apologist?
In a nutshell, through apprenticeship with Catholic Answers. You can read more in this essay, Secrets Your Apologist Won’t Tell You.

Do you do speaking engagements?
No. My strength is writing, not public speaking. I appreciate the opportunity to edit (and re-edit, and edit some more) everything I write before anyone else sees it.

Is your writing published elsewhere?
Yes. I contribute to the Catholic Answers Blog and Catholic Answers Magazine. I answer apologetics questions at the Catholic Answers Forums and the web site of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). I micro-blog at my personal Facebook page and I maintain a Facebook page for this blog.

How can I contact you?
Please see my contact page. If that’s all. . . .

Wait! Didn’t I read somewhere that you are a Carmelite?
Probably. One place you may have read about that was here. I am a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS). Currently, I have made my First Promise. If everything progresses according to schedule, I hope to be invited to make my Definitive Promise in 2015, the year of the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila.

That’s nice, but I was wondering why you don’t use the initials “OCDS” after your name.
Personal preference. Some secular Carmelites do use the initials “OCDS” after their names in all aspects of their life, in much the same way that secular members of other religious orders and congregations use the initials of their order or congregation. In the secular Discalced Carmelites, members are permitted to use the initials once they make their First Promise. In my case, I choose to use the initials only within the Discalced Carmelites (e.g., correspondence between Carmelites).

I was enrolled in the brown scapular. Does that mean I’m a Carmelite too?
It means that you are affiliated with the Scapular Confraternity and are associated with the worldwide Carmelite family. You can read more about the brown scapular in A Catechesis on the Brown Scapular, which was produced in a collaboration between the Carmelites of the Ancient Observance and the Discalced Carmelites. For more information on the lay Carmelites (Ancient Observance) and the secular Carmelites (Discalced), and how to discern a vocation to the Carmelites, I recommend calling your local diocese to ask if there is an active group of lay or secular Carmelites in your area.

Thanks! One more question. . . .

Do you know everything about the Catholic faith?

2 Responses to FAQ

  1. Pingback: The Carmelites and Their Scapular | Peace, Joy, Pancakes

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