Fifth day of the General Chapter – September 7, 2013

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Today, following the request made by Pope Francis for people to fast and pray for peace, the chapter members decided upon forms of fasting and moments of prayer.

The chapter members met in the main hall for the first session of the day. The theme of the day was, "Carmel in Mission, Windows of Hope". The session heard four presentations by different members of the Order, representing the four geographical areas.

Fr. Boniface Kimondolo (Kenya) talked about what is happening in Africa, underlining the aspects in which we Carmelites can offer some contribution to hope. He listed four points, simplicity of life, poverty, communion and peace, especially in relation to tribal conflicts.

Fr. Enrique Laguna (Peru) spoke about what is happening in the American continent where Carmelites are working. In his presentation he used the image of Bethany to describe what Carmel is being called to be in those lands, a place of welcome, simplicity and prayer.
Fr. Christian Buenafe (Philippines) gave a broad overview of the Asian continent, highlighting the vastness and complexity of the continent. He identified a series of values that characterize the presence of Carmelite in that part of the world: silence, poverty and simplicity.

Fr. Francisco Daza (Spain) gave a very clear description of what is happening where Carmelites are living today. Carmel in Europe today is being called most of all to enter into dialogue with this very secularized society, and to take every opportunity to give a word of fraternity and communion to the men and women of our time.

In the afternoon the chapter members went into regional groups and this was followed by a general session in which   the four speakers reacted to questions and comments from the floor, on the various topics they had treated and the points that emerged from the group-work.

In the evening, the members gathered in the chapel for Eucharistic adoration and  silent prayer to pray for peace following the request made by Pope Francis. Sunday, 8 September, was a restday. The work of the Chapter will begin again on Monday.