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Meeting of the General Commission and Secretariat for the Laity, Rome, 1-4 September 2008

The first meeting of the new General Commission and Secretariat for the Laity took place under the presidency of the General Delegate, P. Josef Jančář, from the 1st to the 4th September 2008. The Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral welcomed the participants as guests of the General Curia, which is at the "centre of life of the Order". In his presentation he underlined some of the tasks of the Commission in the coming six years, for example in the fields of formation and communication, and also the deepening of the awareness of the laity regarding their identity as members of the Carmelite Family.
The Commission examined the Global Plan of the General Council for the laity for the coming six years, and Fr. Josef Jančář informed the members of the Commission and the Secretariat of their main responsibilities.
During the meeting various topics were addressed, among these were the planning of the International Congress of Carmelite laity, to take place in 2012, and a meeting of the Provincial Delegates for the laity. The meeting went on to discuss the apostolate and formation, which has been chosen as the theme of the congress. Other points addressed were: communications – either at national level between individual groups or at international level by means of the bulletin "Isidoro Bakanja"; the drawing up of a handbook for formation, that might serve all the communities but especially in those countries where one does not exist; the updating of the Directory of Carmelite Laity with a classification of the lay movements which do not form part of the Third Order. Much attention was also given to the topic of the financing of the permanent Secretariat for the Laity.
The next meeting of the General Commission and the Secretariat will take place in November 2009, in order to continue the preparation for the meeting of the Provincial Delegates and the preparation of the universal handbook for formation, and to plan the international congress of the laity.

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."