Joachim Smet, born in Chicago, Illinois (USA) in 1915, has been a member of the Carmelite Order since making his profession of vows in 1935. He became noted for his original poetry and expert translations. Fr Joachim completed a Master of Arts degree at Catholic University of America in 1943. The General Chapter of the Carmelite Order, held in 1947, decreed that Fr. Joachim should write the history of the Order, an early recognition of his talents. He earned a doctorate degree in 1951 from the Pontificial Gregorian University in Rome. In 1959 Fr Joachim was elected Assitant General of the Carmelite Order to serve under Fr Kilian Healy. Fr Joachim "served with distinction" during those years according to Fr. Kilian, a term of office which ran concurrent with the Second Vatican Council. In 1975 the first volume of Fr. Joachim's long awaited A History of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel was published in English. The four volumes have now been translated and published in several languages. The work has been described as "the road map for future historical scholarship on the Carmelites". Other writings of Fr. Joachim include numerous articles, book reviews, contributions to encyclopedias and translations.