The 25th Assembly of the Carmelite Family of the Iberian Region
From July 2 to 5, 2019, the 25th Assembly of the Carmelite Family of the Iberian Region (Spain and Portugal) was held at the "Virgen del Carmen" University Residence Hall in Zaragoza (Spain). The theme of the meeting was: "Let us remain united under the protection of Jesus (Blessed Titus Brandsma)". This year the meeting was prepared by the Province of San Juan de la Cruz (Aragon, Castile and Valencia). The reflection, centring on the life, teaching and witness of Blessed Titus Brandsma, was presented by the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm.
In his lectures the Prior General gave an overview of the life of Titus Brandsma, revealing the most outstanding features of his rich personality, and highlighting areas in which the witness of Bl. Titus was very significant: spirituality, mysticism, Marian devotion, Catholic education, the unity of the Churches, the press and social media and the resistance to National Socialism. Father Alejandro López-Lapuente, O.Carm., traced the relationship between Bl. Titus and certain aspects of the cinema and Fr. Ramón Maneu, O.Carm., spoke about the famous "Obra social del Carmen" (Carmelite Social Services), as something that reflected the attitude of Bl. Titus in uniting contemplation and compassion.
Fr. Desiderio García, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the ACV Province, welcomed the more than 150 participants, especially the Prior General, the Prior Provincials - Fr. Francisco Daza (Prov. Bética), P Luis Maza (Prov. Catalonia), Fr. Ricardo Rainho (Com. Portugal) - Sr. Merry Teresa (Superior General of the HHVMMC), Sr. Rosario González (Superior General of the HHCSCJ), the O.Carm. and OCD cloistered nuns, the Teresian Missionary Carmelites and a large group of lay Carmelites. In his introduction he recalled that this year's meeting was of particular importance because it is its "silver jubilee". The Mixed Coordinating Team of the Iberian Region, in 1994, considered that it was necessary to create some kind of stable meeting that would increase mutual knowledge among the various members of the Carmelite Family.