“‘See, I am making all things new.’ (Rev 21:5)
From the 29 of April to the 1 of May, 2014 the first Provincial Chapter of the new Province of "Aragon, Castile and Valencia", erected by the Prior General on October 15, 2013, was held in the convent of St. Andrew of Salamanca.
The new province is the result of the union of the former Province of Aragon and Valencia of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, and the former Castile Province of St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross. The Province of "Aragon, Castile and Valencia", erected under the patronage of St. John of the Cross, currently has houses in Spain, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Argentina.
The history of these provinces dates back to 1281, when in Spain the "Province of Aragonia or Hispania" was founded, from which the other Spanish provinces were progressively born. The painful process of "secularization" and the suppression of religious orders in Spain, in 1835, was followed by the "restoration" of the Carmelite presence in 1890. The Spanish Carmel flourished, and in 1906, the Province of Aragon and Valencia and the Province of Andalusia were born. The Province of Aragon and Valencia grew considerably during the 20th century and saw the birth of two new realities in Spain: the Commissariat of Catalonia, in 1932, and the Commissariat of Castile in 1948 Both later became Provinces.
A new spirituality for change
A friar of the new Carmelite province was asked: "Why the new province ? " His answer: "Because we wanted it." Then he explained: "That may seem a short and curt answer, but I believe it's a matter of will” It is easy to change when the brothers want it, and complicated when the brothers do not want it. "Because we wanted it", there is no clearer answer. These are new times. "Wanting" always brings joy. The theme of change and mission depends not only on the leaders or the government. It is a matter in which the "wills" of all the members of the province are involved. What are you willing to do to promote change? What are you willing to change to live in fidelity to Christ, to the charism of the Order and to the discernment of the signs of the times? The renewal of Carmelite life requires "hard work " and concrete "decisions" .
Those who allow themselves to be touched the Holy Spirit are seen immediately to be available for "displacement" and "change", understood in several ways: change of mind, community, ministries, securities, habits, etc.. "Wanting" means being subject to provincial community discernment and not being concerned solely about the organization of my life. The power of the Holy Spirit enables people to be "born again" even when they are old (cf. Jn 3:1: Nicodemus). This process of unifying provinces has not been a survival process, nor simply a strategy for feasibility. In the Provincial Chapter we stated, with a certain sense of humor, that we wanted the province to be a "new creature" that integrates tradition and the future, old and new, avoiding that the result of the union should be a "stunted creature" made of recycled material with patches and sticking plasters, under the patronage of St. Frankenstein.
The main issues that were discussed at the Chapter were: a) vocations, 2) formation and internationality, 3) the life of prayer and spirituality, 4) community life and mission, 5) restructuring presences, 6) our provincial project, and 7) the approval of the provincial statutes.
Conclusion: “Back to our first love” Rev 2:4
The slogan that accompanied each of the chapter sessions was: ‘See, I am making all things new.’ (Rev 21:5)
In the book of Revelation the greatest battle is not the one between the Lord of history and the powers of this world. Do not be afraid, these have already been defeated in the Paschal Mystery. The bigger battle is, paradoxically, the one that the Lord has with his own Church, to get her out of despair, hopelessness, and mediocrity. The main problem, then as now, was not so much the secularization of the world as the lack of hope and the secularization of the believers themselves. That is often the case when "we forget our first love" (Rev 2:4). Carmel in general, and our province in particular, are no strangers to this apocalyptic description (in any sense of the word!). The more we worry about ourselves and our own conservation the more superfluous we make ourselves and the more we begin to fall apart, despite having great organisation and competent government.
The joy and the future of the Province of Aragon, Castile and Valencia does not come from its achievements as such, its strength is rooted in the Father who sent his Son so that he might “makes all things new.”
for more information about the province
C/ Ayala, 35