The Convocation of The General Chapter 2013

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25th of May, 2012
Feast of St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
Prot. 104/2012

To all Priors Provincial,
Commissaries and Delegates General,
Commissary Provincials,
and the Prior of CISA

c.c. to     Most Rev. Carmelite Bishops,
Mother Prioresses of Carmelite Monasteries
Superiors General of Affiliated Congregations

THE CONVOCATION OF THE GENERAL CHAPTER 2013

Dear brothers,
Following the consultation of the major superiors of the whole Order concerning the location and date of the next General Chapter, during the General Congregation held in Canada last September, with this letter, I, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, Prior General of the Order of the B.V.M. of Mount Carmel, in accordance with no. 260 of the Constitutions of our Order, convoke the next General Chapter. 
It will take place in the Carmelite house of Sassone (Rome) from the 3rd to the 20th of September 2013, The participants are expected to arrive on the 2nd of September and depart on the 21st.
The General Council has chosen the following as the theme for the Chapter:

“A Word of Hope and of Salvation” (Con. 24)
- living the charism and the mission of Carmel today

Objective

In the “Motu proprio” Ubicumque et semper, Benedict XVI stated “that at the root of all evangelization lies not a human plan of expansion, but rather the desire to share the inestimable gift that God has wished to give us, making us sharers in his own life”. In the last fifteen years our Order has made this desire its own by spreading rapidly to new countries and areas of mission. In regard to the friars, in this present sexennium, new presences were established in Tanzania and in Papua New Guinea. Between now and the next General Chapter, new communities will be opened in Hong Kong and Singapore, while work is continuing on foundations in Lithuania, Uganda and Cuba. During the General Congregation it became clear how the face of the Order is changing in terms of numbers, places where it is present, and cultures. All of this, in the current context of new evangelisation, offers us a number of challenges that include: the way in which today we express our identity and mission in the Church; the effort to inculturate the charism in new contexts and with appropriate styles of living; the need to consolidate our missions in terms of formation, structure and finances. It is obvious that the “mission of Carmel” and “its missions” are two realities that are closely connected. The General Chapter provide an opportunity for looking at them together, in a spirit of discernment and fraternal dialogue, beginning with the question: what word of hope and of salvation do we want to have in our lives and to announce today in the Church? Of us Carmelite, too, it is asked that we make our contribution so that “the entire Church, allowing herself to be regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit, may present herself to the contemporary world with a missionary impulse in order to promote the new evangelization.” (Benedict XVI)

Preparation

In agreement with the Council, I have convoked the Chapter a few months ahead of time, in relation to what is laid down by the Constitutions, in order to give the Preparatory Commission sufficient time to plan and prepare its work. The members of the Preparatory Commission have already begun their work and shortly they will communicate the steps to be taken in order to get all of us prepared for this appointment, through prayer, reflection and the proposals that will come from you.

No. 258 of the Constitutions lays down who will be the members of the Chapter. The date that is to be used in order to calculate the number of members is the date of convocation of the Chapter (25th of May, 2012) The Priors Provincial are called upon to have an election to chose the delegates of each province, in accordance with their own Statutes (Con. 256). The names of the delegates and their substitutes should be communicated as soon as possible to the Secretary General (seggen@ocarm.org). I would like to draw your attention to no. 258 par. 2 of the Constitutions that determines the number of delegates for each province, and in particular, those provinces that have one or more provincial commissariats.

An invitation to pray

The General Chapter is of enormous importance for the whole Order because, apart from being the supreme authority, it is the principal sign of unity of the Order in all its diversity. It is the fraternal gathering in which we reflect together, in community, to strengthen our faithfulness to the Gospel and to our charism, and our sensitivity to the needs of time and place. By means of the General Chapter, the entire Order, allowing itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, seeks to know the will of God at a particular moment in history, so that we may best serve the Church. (Con. 255)

Aware of such importance, I invite everyone, and in a special way, our contemplative sisters, to pray for the success of this event. Let us pray, through the intercession of Mary, our Mother and Sister, and of Elijah the Prophet, that this Chapter may truly be a moment of grace for the whole Order.

I offer each one of you my warmest good wishes,
Yours fraternally,

Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm.
Prior General