General Chapter: Feast Day of Saint Albert the Lawgiver - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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This morning, the Chapter, together with representatives of the Carmelite Family, listened to Father Josef Jancar described the situation with the Carmelite Family for the last six years.

In May 2011, there was an International Gathering of the Carmelite Family at Sassone in Rome. Immediately following it was a meeting between the General Council and General Superiors of the congregations affiliated to the Order.

Some accomplishments for the Carmelite Nuns were the erection of an Italian Federation named in honor of Saint Mary Magdalene d’Pazzi. Two new monasteries were erected, one in the Dominican Republic and the other in Kenya, while foundations for two in the Philippines and one in Venezuela were laid. Four monasteries in Spain, Germany and Italy were suppressed.

In March 2011, there was a meeting of the provincial delegates for the laity in Sassone. This was continued into a meeting held in September 2012 again for the delegates. Then, from September 17 to 21, 2012, was the Fifth International Lay Carmelite Congress, developing the theme, “The Formation of Lay Carmelites for the Apostolate.”

After the presentation, the Chapter members met in linguistic groups with other Carmelite Family members, discussing the proposal regarding the Carmelite Family and considering the question, “What can we do as a Carmelite Family to promote our Carmelite presence in the world?” There responses called for a genuine adherence to our contemplative charism of prayer, community and service.

In the afternoon, the Chapter members met to vote on the proposals on the Carmelite Family, while the other Family members met in small groups to share their experiences and hopes with each other.

In the evening, the Chapter opened the observance of the 800th Anniversary of the death of Saint Albert of Jerusalem, our Law-giver. At the end of the liturgy, the Prior General, Father Fernando Millán Romeral, blessed and distributed copies of the Icon of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that was written expressly for the Chapter.

Finally, after dinner, the former Prior General, Father Falco Thuis, presented a video on the Memorial to Blessed Titus Brandsma in the Netherlands.

The plan tomorrow is to go to Rome and attend the Audience of Pope Francis, and then to have dinner at the Domus Carmelitanus.