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Ceremony honoring the Carmelites interred at Dachau

54/2018 – 05 – 08

On this past 2 August, a commemorative ceremony took place in the concentration camp of Dachau, Germany, to honor the ten Carmelites buried there, among whom were Titus Brandsma and Hilary Januszewski, beatified in 1985 and 1999 respectively.

This ceremony concluded the international course of formation for Carmelite students which took place in Holland and Germany, and which Citoc-online will presently describe. The celebration began with a welcome by the prioress of the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Dachau, called the Carmel of the Precious Blood (“Karmel Heilig Blut”). She illustrated for the participants the history and the motive of the nuns’ presence in such a place: reparation and prayer for reconciliation and peace.

The Carmelites present were then led in procession to the Memorial of the camp, where the Prior General, Fernando Millan Romeral, O.Carm., unveiled a stone which recalls the ten Carmelites, eight Poles and two Dutchmen, who had been in this place of suffering and oppression. There, they had the opportunity to greet the director of the Dachau memorial, Doctor Gabriele Hammermann.

Afterward, the participants experienced a touching moment of common prayer at “Barracks 26” (where most of the Carmelite prisoners lived), and then celebrated the Eucharist in the chapel of our Discalced Carmelite Sisters, who hosted this large group of young Carmelites with great joy and fraternity. In the name of the preparatory commission, Father Benny Phang Khong Wing, O.Carm., General Councilor for Formation thanked the sisters for their presence in the camp, and for their incisive witness.

with the prioress of the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Dachau

The Prior General concluded the celebration asking that “the witness of Blessed Titus Brandsma and Blessed Hilary Januszewski would help the Carmelites of the Twenty-first century to be men and women of reconciliation and signs of God’s love for every human being.”

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As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."