Major Events of the Order 2016
In 2016, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy of the Church, The Carmelite Order was also busy with many major events.
1. The Assembly of the Federal Leaders and Representatives of Non-federated Monasteries
3rd-5th, FEB, 2016: Taking advantage of the congress of federal leaders of all the religious orders, organised by the Congregation for Consecrated Life, at the end of the year dedicated to the consecrated life, the five Carmelite federal leaders (3 from Spain, I from the Philippines and 1 from Italy), along with the coordinator of the monasteries in Brazil and representatives of monasteries in the Caribbean and the U.S.A. were invited by the Delegate General to a meeting that was held from the 3rd to the 5th of February at St. Albert’s International Centre (CISA) in Rome. This assembly was first of all an occasion for getting to know all about the federations and the monasteries outside the federations, and then to promote communication and communion between the nuns themselves and between the monasteries and the rest of the Carmelite Family.
2. The Opening of the 450th Anniversary of the Birth of St. Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi
2nd APRIL, 2016: On the 2nd of April, the date of Mary Magdalen’s birth in 1566, the solemn opening of the anniversary celebrations took place at the monastery of Careggi (Forence, Italy), where her body is venerated. The Cardinal Archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, led the celebration of the Eucharist that was concelebrated by several priests. The concelebrants included, the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, along with other members of the General Curia.
On account of the 450th anniversary of the birth of St. Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi, the Apostolic Penitentiary has granted that all Carmelite monasteries be places where people may obtain a plenary indulgence throughout this year, beginning on the 2nd of April, 2016 and ending on the 25th of May, 2017. The same applies to churches and chapels dedicated to her.
3. Opening of the "Super miro" investigation for Blessed Titus Brandsma
11th JULY, 2016: On the 11th July 2016, at 14.00, at the Curia of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, United States of America, the opening session of the diocesan inquiry into the presumed miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Titus Brandsma O. Carm, will take place. This opening session will be presided over by Msgr. Gerald Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach, who had agreed to introduce the Cause and appoint the Tribunal so that the gathering of the evidence regarding the alleged extraordinary healing may be effectively done and that the witnesses may be heard.
Bleessed Titus Brandsma is choosen to be a model for the Year of Mercy proclaimed by the Pontifical Council for the promotion of new evangelisation, under the title, “A Strong and Merciful Father”, representing a man who could combine a strenuous opposition to Naziism with compassion and mercy towards all, including the nurse who gave him the injection that took his life away.
4. Two Councils - O.Carm and OCD - Pilgrimage to the Holy Door
On the morning of 11 June, 2016 the members of the two Councils, O. Carm. and OCD, assembled at the start of Via della Conciliazione to begin their Pilgrimage towards the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica. They were accompanied by the former Secretary General and Bishop-elect Francisco de Sales Alencar Batista, O. Carm., who led them in five moments of prayer along the way, concluding with a prayer as the group reached St. Peter's Basilica. At the end of the pilgrimage, the members of the two councils came together at Santa Maria in Traspontina and sang the "Flos Carmeli" in front of the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The Prior General of the Carmelites, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral O. Carm together with the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites, Fr. Saverio Cannistrà, OCD., have sent a message to all the members of the whole Carmelite family throughout the world on the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy, entitle: May God be Blessed forever, He who waited for me so long!, the text is available in many languages and is available online.
5. The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Letter of the Prior General
16th JULY, 2016: Every Year, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is most important event celebrated in the whole Order arround the world, in many Parishes and many countries which take her as Patronage. The Celebration ussualy begins with the Novena to Our Lady, 9 days before.
In this Solemnity, the Prior General of the Order, Fr. Fernando Millán Romero, every year sent out a letter to the whole Carmelite family to express his best wishes and invite all members to celebrate the Feast, beginning with the Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel from 7 to 15 of July 2016. This custom of the Novena of Our Lady of Mount Carmel before the feast is a long tradition and is observed by many Catholics throughout the world. The Letter is avaialbe online at http://ocarm.org/en/content/citoc/letter-prior-general-solemnity-our-lady-mount-carmel-2016
6. Carmelite Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, 2016
27th JULY, 2016: In preparation for the official opening of the World Youth Day with Pope Francis in Krakow, Poland, young people from our Carmelite communities around the world gathered in the beautiful garden of our Carmelite community in the centre of the city on the 27th July. In all, around 350 took part in this special Carmelite gathering of young people, hosted by the Prior Provincial, Fr. Bogdan Meger, the Prior of Krakow, Fr. Zbigniew Czerwien, the main organizer Fr. Marcin Siemek, members of the Krakow community and a wonderful team of young people. Among those present were Carmelite young people from Malta, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Portugal, USA, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and the largest group present were from the Italian Province with fifty-five young people. Most of the groups were led by Carmelite friars who were accompanying them to the World Youth Day.
As part of the day’s programme, the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral presented his letter entitled “Young Carmelites: sowers of mercy” for reflection and discussion. He also presided at the Eucharist in our Basilica with a liturgical celebration of two Carmelite martyrs, Blessed Titus Brandma and Blessed Hilary Januszewski. Short presentations were also given by Fr. John Keating, Councillor General for Europe and by the Polish Provincial. The day afforded the young people an opportunity to meet and to get to know each other and to build up Carmelite contacts.
7. The Episcopal Ordination of Frei Francisco de Sales, O.Carm.
4th AUGUST, 2016: The episcopal ordination of Frei Francisco de Sales Alencar Batista, O.Carm. bishop of Cajazeiras (Paraiba, Brazil) was celebrated in Araripinha (Pernambuco, Brazil). The celebration was led by Dom Frei Antônio Muniz Fernándes, O.Carm., Archbishop of Maceió as the principal ordaining prelate, along with many Bishops and Carmelite Bishops. The Prior General, Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., the Councillor General for the Americas, Raul Maravi, O.Carm. were there also along with Provincials and several Carmelites from Brazil and from elsewhere in Latin America, along with a large number of priests from the different diocese.
The new bishop, at the end of the celebration, spoke about his gratitude to God, to his family, and to the Carmelite Order and he underlined his intention to serve with great hope and generosity the diocese that has been entrusted to him. The Prior General spoke of the three recent appointments of Carmelites bishops as a recognition of the generous service that the Order has given to the local and universal church and he thanked Frei Francisco de Sales for the service he gave to the Order as its Secretary General.
8. The 5th Centenary of the Death of Blessed Baptist Spagnoli
24th AUGUST, 2016: The Celebration of the 5th Centenary of the Death of Blessed Baptist Spagnoli begins with the canonical recognition of the Incocurpted body of Blessed Baptist Spagnoli, in the Cathedral of Mantua (Italy). Presence at the celebration was the General Posulator and several Carmelite Friars of the Italian Province. On the following 1st of September, the body will be transferred in solemn procession from the Mantua Cathedral to the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in San Felice del Benaco, where it will remain exposed for the veneration of the faithful until the 15th of October.
On the 10th and 11th of September, the Prior General, Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., led the celebration of the Eucharist in the Carmelite house of San Felice del Benaco (Brescia, Italy) where body of the blessed is venerated. The Prior General spoke about the importance of seeing in these centenary celebrations an occasion for renewal, building on these important figures, towards a revitalisation of our witness in the world of today. The following Sundays, those who led the Eucharist included Fr. Tiberio Scorrano, O.Carm., Vice-provincial of the Italian province, Fr. Christian Körner, O.Carm., Vice General of the Order, Fr. Giovanni Grosso, O.Carm., Provincial of the Italian province and Bishop Giuseppe Zenti, of the diocese of Verona. During this period, a number of cultural events are taking place, aimed at exposing the literary and humanistic contribution of Blessed Baptist, known in his own time as the “Christian Virgil”.
9. The Episcopal Ordination of Paul Horan, O.Carm.
On Saturday, the 17th of August, in Marymount Teachers College in Mutare, (Zimbabwe) the episcopal ordination of Fr. Paul Horan, O.Carm., named as bishop of the diocese of Mutare, took place. It happens that in the same place in 1957, Donal Lamont, O.Carm., was ordained as the first bishop of that diocese.
The celebration was led by the Archbishop of Harare, Robert Christopher Ndlovu, the principal ordaining prelate. The concelebrants included the Apostolic Nuntio, Marek Zalewski, all the active bishops of Zimbabwe, the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., the Councillor General for Africa, Fr. Conrad Mutizamhepo, O.Carm., the Provincial of the Irish province, Fr. Richard Byrne, O.Carm., and several Carmelites from Zimbabwe and from elsewhere in Africa, along with a large number of priests from the different diocese.
The very joyful celebration included typical African dancing and singing, with an enormous attendance of which different groups of lay Carmelites, the Handmaids of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, (a congregation of sisters founded by Bishop Donal Lamont) and the cloistered nuns from the new monastery of the Holy Family were part.
10.The Episcopal Ordination of Henricus Pidyarto Gunawan, O.Carm.
On Saturday, the 3rd of September, in Gajayana Stadium in Malang – Indonesia, the episcopal ordination of Fr. Henricus Pidyarto Gunawan, O.Carm. took place. This solemn mass was attended by 38 bishops from all over Indonesia, one Indonesian Cardinal and the Apostolic Nuncio, Antonio Guido Filipazzi; also around 15.000 faithful from all over the diocese of Malang and from outside. The main celebrant was Mgr. Ignasius Suharyo, the Archbishop of Jakarta. The concelebrants included a large number of priests from within the diocese and from other dioceses, among them were Fr. Benny Phang Khong Wing, O.Carm., the General Councillor of Asia-Australia-Oceania, the Provincial of Indonesian Province, Fr. Ignasius Budiono, O.Carm., the Provincial Commissary of Eastern Indonesia, Fr. Yohanes Bosco Djawa, O.Carm. and many Carmelites from Indonesia and Hong Kong.
The solemn and joyful celebration included the attendance of Carmelite students, different groups of lay Carmelites, the Hermanas Carmelitas, Putri Karmel, Carmelites of St. Elijah, and the cloistered nuns from the monastery of Flos Carmeli – Batu. The dignitaries from the local, provincial and national government were also present after the mass to congratulate the new bishop and to show their support.
11.The General Congregation 2016 in Fatima
The General Congregation, bringing together the members of the General Council, Prior Provincials, Commissaries General and Provincial, General Delegates and Presidents of the Regions, takes place in the Hotel Casa São Nuno, Fatima, Portugal, from 18th September to 1st of October 2016. The theme of the meeting will be:
“… more by our life than by our words” (Const. 24) - Missionaries of God’s tenderness and love”.
The principal speakers are Louis Antonio Cardinal Tagle from the Philippines, who spoke on “Missionaries of God’s tenderness and love”, Fr. Claudemir Rozin, O.Carm. (Par) who addressed “The peripheries of Carmel today” and Fr. Míceál O’Neill, O. Carm., (Hib-CISA) who spoke on “If you knew the gift of God (Jn 4:10) - The Carmelite wisdom of St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi”.
12.All Africa Carmelite Family Conference
Representative members of the Carmelite Family in Africa (O.Carm), met at St Teresa of Avila Spiritual Centre, Boko, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 21-28 July 2016. The 38 participants were drawn from the following countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroun, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. All branches of Carmel were represented: laity, consecrated religious sisters and the friars. The theme of the Conference was: “United, Heart and Soul (Acts 4:32): Being Carmelite in Africa – One Rule, Multiple Expressions”. The Conference consisted of expert input, personal and group reflection. Sanny Bruijns from the Dutch Province led three of the reflections: 1. The Historical Origins of the Carmelite Rule and Its Spirituality; 2. The Rule in relation to Mary in Carmelite Spirituality; 3. The Rise of Women (Nuns and Laity) in the Carmelite Tradition and Its impact on Carmelite Spirituality Today.
13.A Convention of the Superiors General of the Carmelite Institutes of Consecrated Life
From the 14th to the 16th of October, at the “Maria Madre del Carmelo” Centre in Focene (Rome), the 7th Convention of the Superiors General of Carmelite Institutes of Consecrated Life took place. The Superiors General, or their representatives, of 12 of the 16 Institutes that are part of the Carmelite Family met with the Prior General and other members of his Council. At this time there are 13 institutes of sisters, one institute of male religious, one secular institute and one Third Order Institute. The gathering, which was coordinated by the Delegate General for Carmelite Nuns and Institutes, had as its theme the mission of consecrated people and of Carmel in the Church and in the world of today, in the light of the “Year of Consecrated Life”. The principal speakers were, Sr. Nicoletta Spezzati, APC, the undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and Fr. Bruno Secondin, O.Carm. The convention was also enriched by a number of accounts of collaboration between institutes and of the work of Carmelite women in the international organisations of the Church and of the world. The event closed with the participants attending the canonisation of Elizabeth of the Trinity in St. Peter’s Square.
14.International Course for Formators and Vocation Promoters
From October 31 to November 12, 2016, the International Course for Formators and Vocation Promoters of the Order organized by General Formation Commission took place in Batu-Malang, Indonesia. Fifty formators and vocation promoters, from eighteen countries took part.
The two-week course was centered on the theme: “Walk with us: Growing in the contemplative dimension of life,” (RIVC #10). A number of experts in the Order were invited to speak on the theme of contemplation. Fr. Berthold Anton Pareira (Indo) spoke on the Sacred Scriptures as the Source of Contemplation; Fr. Michael Plattig (Ger) spoke of Contemplation in the Carmelite Tradition; Fr. Quinn Conners (PCM) gave two conferences on the themes, Ability to Give Love and Give of Oneself, and The Capacity for Responsible Care and Stewardship Expressed in “Service in the Midst of the People.” Fr. Desiderio Garcia Martinez (ACV) gave two conferences on the themes, Accompanying Formandi in a Multi-Cultural Community in Growing into Contemplation, and Accompanying Simple Professed Formandi in Growing into Contemplation in the Midst of Technology Influx. During the meeting, two vocation promoters were also asked to share their experience of formation promotio: Br. Daryl Moresco (PCM) spoke about the Theological dimension of Vocation Promotion while Fr. Irvin Mangmang (Phil) spoke on the Practice and Experience of Vocation Promotion. All the conferences were in the morning while the afternoons were spent in the practice of contemplative prayers.
15.The 88th Assembly of the Union of Superiors General
From the 23rd to the 25th of November, 2016, the 88th Assembly of the USG (Union of Superiors General) took place at the Salesianum in Rome. The main theme of the gathering was “The Fruitfulness of the Prophetic in Religious Life”. Talks were given by Fr. Bruno Cadoré OP., Master General of the Dominican Order (who coordinated the topics), Fr.Michael Perry, OFM., Minister General of the Franciscans, and our Prior General, Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., who spoke about the challenges in the leadership of Religious life today in view of ministry both “ad intra” and “ad extra”.
16.A Meeting of the O.Carm. and O.C.D. General Councils on Mount Carmel
From the 27th of November to the 2nd of December, a meeting of the O.Carm. and O.C.D. General Councils took place at the Casa "Stella Maris" on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. With the help of Fr. Agostino Montan, CSI, a professor at the Pontifical Lateran University, the time was dedicated to a reflection on the church practice of the relationship between hierarchical gifts and charismatic gifts. Much time was also provided for a sharing between the two Councils on a variety of topics that affect the Orders.