Second day of the General Chapter


Day 2 of the General Chapter began with Mass led by Fr. Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., the elected President of the Chapter.  During the day, the four General Councilors of the Regions of the Order, discussed their ministry over the past six years.


Fr. John Keating, O.Carm., described the reality of Europe where over half of the friars are over 70 years of age.  John identified the problems that include lack of mobility, challenging “comfort zones” and searching for vision over management.  He offered pathways of hope, which include the spiritual life, simplicity, internationality, and the laity.  John also spoke on the importance of Formation, on all levels in the Order, with the hope that the next General Council may appoint an Administrative Secretary for Formation.


Fr. Désiré Unen Alimange, O.Carm., first reviewed the geographical areas of Carmel in Africa.  Formation is an important dimension in the life of this region.  Strengthening community life and existing foundations, along with cooperation among members of the Carmelite Family remain challenges for the future.  Desire also reported on the “New Evangelization” around the world with special attention to communication media as a new opportunity to reach the human heart.


Raúl Maraví Cabrera, O.Carm., presented on this region, which can be divided into three groups categorized by language:  North America – English; Brazil – Portuguese; Hispanic America – Spanish.  There were many meetings in the region that included all members of the Carmelite Family.  He also spoke about bringing some of the small commissariats together to make a province somewhere in Hispanic America. Raul also reported on the hopefulness of Carmelite Schools and Carmelite Youth movements around the globe, which include “green” initiatives and World Youth Day gatherings.

Asia / Oceania / Australia

Fr. Albertus Herwanta, O.Carm., spoke about development and cooperation, along with challenges and opportunities in the region.  He spoke about the growth of the Order in this region, and the establishment of the Blessed Titus Brandsma Province in the Philippines.  The challenges include Formation, Fundraising, and Finances.  Also emphasized was Carmelite Identity in community and in ministry.  Albertus also discussed Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation activities that are happening around the world, with special emphasis on a document regarding inter-religious dialogue, while witnessing to the Kingdom of God.

The day ended with evening prayer as the brothers gathered in the Chapel.