On the 15th of December just gone by the bi-annual meeting of our General Council with the members of the General Council of the Discalced Carmelites took place in the O.C.D. General Curia. Since this was the first meeting with the new O.C.D. General Council, it began with the introductions of all the participants. Then, Fr. Saverio Cannistrà gave a brief account of the O.C.D. General Chapter which was held in Avila last May. Following that there was a very positive review of the 4th ALACAR Congress (Association of Latin American Carmelites) which took place in San Salvador last November (Citoc-online 85/2015).
At this meeting it was decided that the two General, would write a letter to mark the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and that both councils would have one common celebration of this event and that more information about this will be given in due course.
In like manner, the two councils talked about the various events that are in the offing such as the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi, the respective plans for the “Carmelite Day” that will be part of the World Youth Day, in Kracow next July, and the work that both orders are doing in relation to the updating of their respective constitutions. Fr. Cannistrà reported on the work that is being done in conjunction with both the local authority in Haifa and the government department with responsibility for archeological sites, in relation to the restoration and conservation of the first foundation in the Wadi es-Siah.
Lastly, both groups set the date for the next extraordinary meeting (which is celebrated every three years, lasting a full week). It will take place in November 2016, probably at Mount Carmel (Israel). The meeting concluded with a meal at which the councils exchanged Christmas gifts in a very joyful and fraternal setting.