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Carmelite Nuns’ International On-Going Formation Course, Sassone (Rome) Italy

The Carmelite nuns at the International on-going formation

May 17 to 27,  2017

Daily Chronicle

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Carmelite Nuns’ International On-Going Formation Course opened in Sassone (Rome) in a truly fraternal and ecclesial spirit with the self introduction of each participant.  Subsequently there was the rite of the blessing of the Icon of St Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi, which had been commissioned from Sister Simona Nicita (monastery of San Giovanni la Punta, Italy). This Icon was presented to the Church as an invitation to service of the Mystery of the Love of God for humanity. It was carried in procession to the foot of the altar of the chapel, while the participants sang the Veni Creator, and this was followed by the celebration of the Eucharist.

In the afternoon, Fr Giovanni Grosso, OCarm., (Provincial of the Italian Province) gave a presentation on the impact of St Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi as an inspirationThe Carmelite nun and cradle of the Italian monasteries. This was an invitation to accept the essential message of our Saint as a challenge for us today: to re-read her spiritual life as an experience of renewal for the Church, striving for unity and having the Crucified and Risen Christ as its Centre.

Our guests today were: the hermit Sr Paola Moschetti and Fr Luca di Girolamo, OSM, both scholars of Magdalen de’Pazzi, and Sister Elena, the President of the Philippines Federation, together with three nuns from the Burgos Monastery, on their way to their new foundation in Germany.

Thursday, 18 May, 2017

Thursday began with the celebration of Lauds and Holy Mass. Fr Leopold Glueckert, OCarm., (PCM) took us back to our early history, to those living stones, wFr.Leopold is presenting a talkho were our hermits, and then through to the various European stages which lead to the foundation of the first Carmelite nuns, arriving in renaissance Florence where M. Magdalen began her “ascent to Mount Carmel” entering the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli. This monastery was already familiar with the past reform and this facilitated Magdalen’s spiritual journey.  Fr Leopold illustrated the more important moments of our Saint’s life to help us rediscover her teachings and to reappraise her personality and spirituality.

Our guests today were Brother Carlo (Italian Province) visiting from Romania, Ms Gemma, who joined the Carmel Third Order the previous Saturday, and Mss Emanuela and Elisabetta from our General Curia. Our evening ended with Vespers, in a fraternal expression of our various prayerful cultures, united by faith in the One Spirit, this same Spirit inspiring Carmel rendering us one journeying Church.

Friday, May 19, 2017

After Lauds, Fr Gianfranco Tuveri, OCarm. (French General Delegation) gave us an overall view of the historical, political, social and ecclesial  times of St Magdalen.  In his spiritual- biographical conference, Fr. Gianfranco helped us better understand Magdalen’s spiritual language which enriched her community, Carmel and the Church. Afterwards, Fr Mario Alfarano, OCarm (Neapolitan Province, General Delegate for Sisters and Nuns) spoke about the various holy women with whom our Saint was providentially in contact and who helped her further collaborate with God’s project.

At the end of our study day, we welcomed the members of the General Commission of Formation who concelebrated at evening Mass, presided by the President of the Commission and General Councillor for Formation (and for Asia and Oceania),  Fr. Benny Phang, O.Carm. This was a beautiful occasion of shared formation and fraternity values. In the evening two nuns from our Cerreto (Italy) monastery joined us to share in this richness of all of our communities throughout the world.

Saturday, May 20, 2017Fr Miceal

We began the day with Lauds and Mass and continued with reflections on the parallelisms between the Incarnation and Redemption. Frs. Miceal O’Neill (Irish Province, Prior of CISA) and Charlo’ Camilleri (Malta Province) illustrated the communicative dimensions of God’s excessive love for us which invites us to a return to The Blessed Trinity. The Word becomes flesh and the dry-bled Lamb leads us to the emptying of ourselves and to the infusion of God. These speakers furnished us with interpretative keys to better understand the texts and doctrine of St. Magdalena. Understanding her teachings renders us more familiar with the Word of God. Our speakers gave us texts of our Saint to reflect upon in group sessions, which will later be shared in our communities, which become treasures to be shared with our brothers and sisters.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Our guests were our Vice Prior General, Fr Christian Koerner, Fr Michael Farrugia, Procurator General, and Fr. Conrad Mutizamhepo, General Councillor for Africa and President of the International Commission Justice and Peace. After morning Prayers and Eucharist, our guests joined us for the conference given by Fr Charlò Camilleri (Malta) who invited us to enter the vision of Mary Magdalen on the human Person as “created trinity”. We later reflected on this theme in our group session. In the afternoon Brother Egidio Palumbo (Community of Pozo di Gotto, near Messina) spoke to us about the beauty and purity of God and of Mary as the true icon of divine beauty. We later worked on this in our groups. Today also was a good day in simplifying the teachings of St Mary Magdalen as our teacher and sister and who journeys with us even today.

Tuesday 23rd May, 2017

After Lauds and Mass, our morning session, led by Brother Egidio Palumbo, invited us to accept Magdalen’s great desire to collaborate, on a personal and community level, with the work of God through the Word and the Spirit to renew the Church in all times. This requires us to undertake a life project which is authentic, open, fraternal and poor, but abundantly rich in its essence. In the writings of Magdalen this desire is according to the heart of Christ, Spouse of the Church. In our group work we shared about the various human and spiritual aspects of formation.

In the early afternoon, our guests were Fr Carlo Cicconetti, Fr Carl Markelz, General Bursar and Fr Raul Maravi’, General Councillor for the Americas. In our second working session, Sr Mihaela Catana (Carpineto Romano, Italy) presented to us the image of fraternity in our Rule, as a way of love, uniting Mary and Martha to God and our brothers and sisters. Our group work on Magdalen’s texts helped us revise our personal and community life styles. We also, like Magdalen, can contribute to the renewal of the Church, by living our daily reality with love, in love and for love.

Wednesday, 24th May, 2017

The day opened with the celebration of Lauds and Mass.  We were then invited to reflect on the importance and value of initial and ongoing formation in our communities. Reflecting on the texts of Mary Magdalen, Fr Mario Alfarano shared with us these values. Accepting a candidate into our communities is not only an investment in our future, but it should rather be seen as a commitment, an exercise of docility in accepting a new life offering herself as a fledgling to be nurtured. Mary Magdalen was a meek and prudent formator, allowing God to bring forth the hidden beauty of a soul, listening to her candidates as a mother, friend and sister. Mediating divine grace is an art rooted in personal prayer, in the listening of the Word, in living fraternity and in purity of heart. Magdalen invites us to always discern what is the real interior motivation of a soul. And she herself always operates what she gives first in herself.  So from her texts, which Fr Mario made available to us this morning, we see how in Magdalen it is always and only the interior love of God to enflame her actions in herself and in her neighbour. Our group work underlined the value and the good quality time that we dedicate to the formation of whoever comes to Carmel seeking its charism.  In the evening we were visited by our Prior General, Fernando Romeral Millan. Today our other guest was Fr Bruno Secondin who will return Friday morning to give us his talk.

Friday May 26, 2017

This was the concluding day of our course. After the celebration of Lauds, Fr Bruno Secondin spoke to us about the inspiration that Magdalen’s spirituality can give us Carmelites today. This entails living the Gospel in our own times, in our own cultures, rendering it ever more actual and personalized in imitation of Magdalen’s  simple, transparent and receptive style. Afterwards some nuns shared their views and reflections with the Assembly. In the afternoon, Fr General Fernando Romeral Millan shared with us about the work of the Order over the last three years. Fr Mario Alfarano, General Delegate for the nuns, then invited us ask questions about what we had heard. The course came to an end with the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Fr General and concelebrated by Fr Mario, Fr Matias and Brother Adrian, a student of the Italian Province. After dinner we celebrated a festive period of fraternal recreation with songs, dances, thanksgiving, and greetings (see the photos on our site). We trust that this intercultural and international experience, with St Mary Magdalen’s spirituality at the heart of Carmelite life, may bring abundant fruit of peace and joy to our communities, with whom we share this experience as the bread of life. May the spirit which animated St Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi continue to live within us today, as we accept it with purity of heart, allowing this spark of our charism, a gift of the Spirit, to render in us what the Spirit performed in the Virgin Mary through her own nature and by grace.

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enstory | by Dr. Radut