In December 2006 the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Fr. Joseph Chalmers, received a request from a group of Discalced Carmelites of the Latin Rite in India who wished to pass over to our Order. Following a careful evaluation with the General Council of the reasons for the request, and a lengthy exchange with the then Provost General of the Discalced Carmelites. Fr. Luis Aróstegui Gamboa, the two Supreme Moderators, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law, granted permission to the group to pass over to our Order, following a trial period. Given the exceptional nature of the request by such a large number, the two Supreme Moderators sought and obtained reassurances from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life (CIVCSVA).
In the early stages of the trial period, the group was organised into four communities, three in India and one in Italy. They wanted to devote themselves to the task of building houses, and, more importantly, their internal organisation, the parish and academic apostolates, pastoral work, including in Germany, and the recruitment and formation of new candidates. In addition, in this period every friar was given the opportunity of getting to know our Order more closely by living for a period of some months in communities of our Order in Europe and in the U.S.A. Each of these communities, at the end of the experience, sent an evaluation to the Prior General. Finally, the group made contact with the Indian Province of St. Thomas, with whom it is hoped there will be a relationship of increasing communion and cooperation.
With a view to a more intense preparation for solemn profession, on the 10th of February, 2011 Fr. Anthony Scerri, of the Province of Australia-Timor Leste, was appointed as Special Delegate General. Fr. Scerri, believing the group to be ready for the change to our Order, asked the Prior General to accept their request for admission to Solemn Profession. In Session 231, on the 12th of October, 2011 the members of the group were admitted to profession, which will take place on the 5th of November, 2011.
In view of the constitution of the group as a General Delegation, in Session 234, on the 27th of October, 2011, the houses of Carmelaran, Kannur and Trivandrum were canonically erected, with the nulla osta of the respective bishops of the dioceses of Kottapuram, Kannur and Neyyattinkara.
At the moment, the Indian Carmelites of the Latin Rite have 19 solemnly professed members, one member with simple profession and four houses: Carmelaram, Kannur and Trivandrum, in India, and Pietrasanta, in Italy.
Having considered the positive nature of the passage and incorporation into our Order through solemn profession, the General Council in session 234, on the 27th of October, 2011, decided it would be right to constitute the group as a General Delegation.
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