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CITOC Archive

CITOC Archive (588)

Thursday, 29 August 2019 14:55

Electoral Chapter of the Monastery of Porlamar, Venezuela

Written by
No:
60/2019 – 29 – 08

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Porlamar, Venezuela, was held 17 August 2019. The following were elected:





  • Prioress: Sr. Norma del Carmen Sánchez Mora, O.Carm.




  • 1st Councilor: Sr. Ana Violeta de la Trinidad Pereira Montilva, O.Carm.




  • 2nd Councilor: Sr. Ludis Emilia de Cristo Rey González, O.Carm.




  • Director of Novices: Sr. Mariela del Carmen León León, O.Carm.




  • Treasurer: Sr. Ludis Emilia de Cristo Rey González, O.Carm.




  • Sacristan: Sr. Ana Violeta de la Trinidad Pereira Montilva, O.Carm.




Image:
the Monastery of Porlamar
Monday, 26 August 2019 14:54

Carmelite European Youth Gathering

Written by
No:
58/2019 – 26 – 08

Some 40 participants from the provinces of Malta, Italia, Poland, Britain, Ireland, Arago-Castile-Valencia, Betica, the General Commissariat of Portugal, the French Delegation and some young people on behalf of the Hermanas de la Virgen Maria del Monte Carmelo (Orihuela, Spain), took part in the third section of the Carmelite European Youth project “Awakening” at the “The Friars”, Aylesford, England from the 14th to the 18th August, 2019. Two previous gatherings had taken place, one in Fatima and the second at San Felice del Benaco, Italy.

Each day addressed a different theme and the main speakers were Carmelites, Fr. Miceal O’Neill (Contemplation and Action), Fr. Michael Plattig (Incarnated Spirituality and the schools of spirituality), Fr. Desiderio Garcia Martinez (Paths of transformation: Teresa of Avila – a woman who comes out of her comfort zone) and Sabrina Rubio Perez and Javier Bernabeu Almela (Leadership). There were also recorded video interviews relating to three significant Carmelites saints as witnesses in their time; the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millan Romeral (on Blessed Titus Brandsma), Fr. Lucio Maria Zappatore (on Blessed Angelo Paoli) and Sr. Olivia Kelly, OCD (on Therese of Lisieux). The programme was both dynamic and interactive. As part of the programme, the young people had the opportunity of participating at Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral. The event was organized by the Carmelite European Youth Committee, Frs.
David Oliver (ACV), Luca Sciarelli (Ita), Dave Twohig (Hib), Bro. Joao Costa (Lus), Sabrina Rubio Perez (ACV) and Daniela Pereira (Lus) and led by Fr. John Keating (Curia).

The committee are deeply grateful to the Prior Provincial of the British Province, Fr. Kevin Alban, the Prior of Aylesford, Fr. Francis Kemsley and the Aylesford community for their generous support of this gathering and the wonderful welcome they received from the Aylesford staff and administration.

 


Image:
Carmelite European Youth Gathering
Sunday, 18 August 2019 05:38

Carmelite celebrations in Sicily

Written by
No:
57/2019 – 17 - 08

Last Sunday, August 4, the Prior General, Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., led the solemn celebration of the Eucharist in the diocesan sanctuary of San Ángel de Licata (Sicily, Italy) in which Father Roberto Toni, O. Carm., Provincial of the Italian Province and the Rector of the shrine, Don Angelo Pintacorona, were concelebrants, along with other priests. After the celebration, the Prior General announced some of the numerous acts (religious, cultural and catechetical) that are being scheduled for the celebration of the eighth centenary of the martyrdom of San Angel, and in an extraordinary way (by a special concession) he venerated the saint’s relics and laid a floral wreath before them. The Eucharist was attended also by the city authorities, headed by the "Vice-Mayor", a large representation of the Carmelite Third Order members from Licata and other Sicilian cities, as well as confraternities and associations dedicated to the Saint: “Pro Sant’Angelo”, “Portatori di Oltreponte” and "Vivere Licata." The next day, accompanied by the Provincial, he visited the Cardinal Archbishop of Agrigento, Francesco Montenegro, who took great interest in the centenary program and expressed his affection for the Carmelite family.

Taking advantage of his stay in Sicily, the Prior General celebrated the Eucharist in the Shrine of the Virgin of Trapani, on the occasion of the feast of St. Albert. Following the traditional, he opened the silver cover where the skull of the saint is located and blessed the "water of St. Albert." He also participated in the popular procession that takes the image of the saint, both to the town hall, where they were received by the mayor, and to the cathedral where the bishop, Monsignor Pietro Maria Fragnelli, pronounced a beautiful prayer before the patron of the city.

May Saint Angel and Saint Albert, the first saints of the Order, help us to be faithful to our charism and generous and creative in our Carmelite life.


Image:
Carmelite celebrations in Sicily
Wednesday, 14 August 2019 15:37

Electoral Chapter of the Monastery of Jaboticabal, Brazil

Written by
No:
56/2019 – 14 - 08

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Jaboticabal, Brazil, was held 30 July and 8 August 2019. The following were elected:




  • Prioress: Sr. Francisca Marlene Rocha, O.Carm.

  • 1st Councilor: Sr. Maria do Carmo Silveira Moraes, O.Carm.

  • 2nd Councilor: Sr. M. Solange Nicácio de Melo, O.Carm.

  • Director of Novices: Sr. Maria do Carmo Silveira Moraes, O.Carm.

  • Treasurer: Sr. M. Solange Nicácio de Melo, O.Carm.

  • Sacristan: Sr. Vera Lúcia Alves, O.Carm.


Image:
the Monastery of Jaboticabal, Brazil
No:
55/2019 – 13 – 08

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Cabanatuan, Philippines, was held on 13 August 2019. The following were elected:




  • Prioress: Sr. M. Dolores of the Crucified Jesus Asuncion, O.Carm.

  • 1st Councilor: Sr. M. Dorotea of the Soul of Christ Santiago, O.Carm.

  • 2nd Councilor: Sr. M. Herminia of Jesus dela Cruz, O.Carm.

  • 3rd Councilor: Sr. M. Regina of Jesus Gutierrez, O.Carm.

  • 4th Couniclor and Treasurer: Sr. M. Teresa of Jesus Canillo, O.Carm.

  • Director of Novices: Sr. M. Dorotea of the Soul of Christ, Santiago, O.Carm.

  • Sacristan: Sr. M. Raquel of the Divine Mercy Ylagan, O.Carm.


Image:
the Monastery of Cabanatuan, Philippines
Sunday, 28 July 2019 08:26

A Meeting of North American Lay Carmelites

Written by
No:
53/2019 – 28 – 07

From July 19-21, the so-called “Lay Convocation” was held at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago (USA), organized by the PCM and SEL Provinces. Nearly 400 people from various parts of North America took part. In addition to the laity, there was a representation of the Carmelite Sisters and the contemplative nuns of various monasteries. The theme of the meeting, "Elijah: Inner fire, outward zeal", was developed by various speakers: Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm. (Prior General), William Harry, O.Carm. (PCM Provincial), Nicholas Blackwell, O.Carm. and Glenn Snow, O.Carm. Likewise, a series of workshops were run in which the prophetic dimension of Carmel was reflected upon in relation to various issues and situations. At the final banquet, the Prior General received an affectionate farewell tribute from the American laity at the end of his period as Prior General of the Order.


Image:
A Meeting of North American Lay Carmelites
Monday, 15 July 2019 07:28

SOLLEMNITATE B.V. MARIAE DE MONTE CARMELO

Written by
No:
52/2019 – 15 – 07

Flos Carmeli, vitis florigera,

splendor caeli, Virgo puerpera singularis.

Mater mitis, sed viri nescia,

Carmelitis esto propitia,

stella maris.




IN SOLLEMNITATE B.V. MARIAE DE MONTE CARMELO



Fernando Prior Generalis

Domusque Generalis Communitas

16. VII. 2019




Image: Romae, Oratorium Curiae Generalis, Imago B.V. Mariae de Monte Carmelo


Image:
B.V. MARIAE DE MONTE CARMELO
Saturday, 13 July 2019 16:50

Appointment as a member of the Congregation for the Clergy

Written by
No:
50/2019 – 13 – 07

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has today (July 13th, 2019) appointed as a member of the Congregation for the Clergy the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts H.E. Msgr. Filippo Iannone, O. Carm,.

To Msgr. Filippo Iannone we offer our warmest congratulations on behalf of the whole Carmelite Family.


Image:
Appointment as a member of the Congregation for the Clergy
No:
49/2019 – 08 – 07

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.

 


Image:
The 25th Assembly of the Carmelite Family of the Iberian Region
Saturday, 06 July 2019 09:43

The Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel July 16th, 2019

Written by
No:
48/2019 - 06 - 07

LETTER OF THE PRIOR GENERAL ON THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL 2019



Dear brothers and sisters of the Carmelite family,



One more year, the solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is approaching and, therefore, I would like to send very warm greetings to all those who, in one way or another, are part of the great family of Carmel.  On these days we not only remember and celebrate the Mother of the Lord under the beloved title of Carmel, but we also feel part of a family that lives its faith with that special aspect, "as Carmelites", at the service of the Church and of humanity.



This year, my greetings have a special tone, since, after twelve years of service to the Order as Prior General, I will soon leave this post in the General Chapter that we will celebrate in Sassone (Rome, Italy) from September 9 to 29. And this is the first message that I would like to send you this year: that all of us (religious, contemplative nuns, active women religious, tertiaries, lay people of different groups, etc.) will feel and be very united in prayer that the General Chapter will be a time of grace, of deep reflection, of discernment and fraternity.  The theme we have chosen for our Chapter, as you probably already know, is: "You are my witnesses" (Isa 43:10); from one generation to the next: called to be faithful to our Carmelite charism”. This theme that has been proposed came about by the reality that the Order has grown a lot geographically in recent decades. This growth has been a true blessing for the Order and a source of joy for all of us. But these "missions" or new presences are also a challenge, especially with regard to the formation of future Carmelites, a formation that should combine the specificity of local cultures with the most genuine tradition of the Order to which we must be faithful and of which we must be transmitters.



It is, without a doubt, a fascinating challenge, but also a complex one. Likewise, it is a great responsibility that we must face with great seriousness, since the configuration and vitality of the Carmel of the 21st century will to a large extent depend on it.  For this reason, it is important that our Chapter discuss this question (among others) with depth, with evangelical criteria, with seriousness and generosity.



Likewise, the Chapter of 2019 will address the task of reviewing the Constitutions that was entrusted to it in the 2013 Chapter.  As I have repeated in many different areas, it is not a question of elaborating new Constitutions, but of including some aspects that were absent (and of which we have become aware over time) or to add some references to the latest official documents of the Church, or to better outline some numbers that -with the passage of time- may have been out of date or insufficient for the new problems and challenges of our society.



It is not necessary to point out the importance of this task.  The Constitutions are not just a legal or administrative document, but they must show what we are and, even more, what we want to be.  They are not empty and disembodied norms, the fruit of an outdated legalism, but they show our humble determination to live as Carmelites of the 21st century who - with joy, generosity and creativity - put themselves at the service of the Church and of Evangelization.  In addition, although they directly affect the religious, in a certain way they also influence the vitality of the entire Carmelite family.



Likewise, the Chapter must elect the brothers who will animate the life of the Order in the next six years.  From now on, we put ourselves in an attitude of generous and affectionate collaboration with the brothers who will be chosen for this delicate task and who will assume the challenge of leading the Order so that it will be ever more faithful to the mission and the charism it has received.



On many occasions I have stressed the importance of our Chapter structure, typical of the mendicant orders.  It is not only a way of organization or administration (as valid as others), but it entails a whole "Chapter culture" and, even more, a "Chapter spirituality".  Even this Chapter dynamic involves a theology, a way of understanding the signs of the times in which God manifests himself, a way of understanding spiritual discernment, authority, synodality, etc.



Therefore, in the festivities that we are going to celebrate, keep this intention in mind before our Mother and Sister, before the Star of the Sea, who has guided and accompanied us for eight centuries and who, undoubtedly, will continue to do so as we enter this third millennium, full of challenges, needs of all kinds and also of hopes.  To a great extent, the success of the General Chapter will depend on the sincere and fraternal prayer of all of us. 



*****



I would also like to take advantage of this letter on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to share with you some feelings at the end of my term as Prior General of the Order.  Allow me this personal note without pretensions and done in a fraternal and informal tone.



If I had to highlight what I feel right now, the word that would best express it is "gratitude": gratitude to the Lord for having called me to Carmel and for having had the opportunity (the enormous honor) to serve the brothers internationally;  gratitude for the beautiful experiences of fraternity, mission, service and solidarity that I have had the opportunity to experience during these years. I confess that (without denying the problems, the shortcomings and the difficulties that have occurred in these years) on many occasions I have felt the deep pride of being a Carmelite and of belonging to this family.  I do not want to highlight any concrete experience (there would be so many!), but I can tell you that many Carmelites, with their generous, happy, simple work, without much publicity and even almost anonymous ... have edified and enriched me, have helped me to continue walking and I have been renewed in my vocation.  For all of them, for our contemplative sisters, for the sisters of the active life who give themselves to teaching, to the missions, to the sick, for our lay people who often live with enormous enthusiasm and generosity their belonging to Carmel ... because of all of this, it is worth continuing to sow and to continue to grow as Carmelites of the 21st century!



I would also like to apologize to those who at some point may have felt disappointed or expected something different.  Those who know me well know that this apology is not a formality, a literary genre that is always used at the end of a mission, but I say it with all my heart.



Carmel follows very diverse processes in different parts of the world where we are. While Asia has become the largest geographical area of the Order, Europe and North America for the last several decades have experienced a lack of vocations and alarming decrease in the size of the provinces.  Latin America continues to grow at a sustained pace and the young presence in Africa, despite their fragility, are strengthening,  which suggests a very promising future.



In each case, the strategy of the Order must be different.  The general government cannot act only from the criteria or from the situation in a certain geographical area.   It would be frustrating to let ourselves be carried away by pessimism, disregarding the areas of the world where Carmel grows with great force.  It would be irresponsible to ignore that there are shortcomings and difficulties due to the lack of personnel (and that this means restructuring our presence) in other areas of the world.  Although the General Curia is in Rome, in Italy, in Europe ... it is the Curia of the whole Order, in its richness and diversity.



But, in any case, in all these processes we must maintain an evangelical style, typical of men of faith who act moved by other values. With great humility, realism, courage and hope, we are proud and grateful for that internationality, for that diversity of cultures and languages that we consider a blessing and an enormous wealth and we assume the challenge of offering and sharing the Carmelite charism with everyone.



In this sense, I have tried to maintain during these years a healthy balance between active presence in Rome and presence in the peripheries of the Order (to use the expression so dear to Pope Francis), from where the ecclesial life can be seen with other sensitivities, with other accents and other nuances, which (undoubtedly!) enriches and completes our service to the universal Church.  For this, I have counted on the inestimable help of the various councilors and of Fr Christian Körner, Vice-General, who has maintained with great generosity and efficiency, the work of the curia.  Likewise, those who maintain this contact with the various living realities of the Carmelite family - the Procurator General, the Delegate for the Nuns, the Webmaster and the General Postulator -  have been of great help. My most sincere gratitude is addressed to all of them.



 



*****



Finally, and as I usually do every year, I would like to remind you of some anniversaries that we celebrate this year, which are still significant for our history and identity (especially in relation to the Marian dimension of the charism) so that, at the same time, they may project us towards a future full of challenges.



First of all, I would like to mention the first centenary of the canonical coronation of the image of Our Lady of Mt Carmel (Nossa Senhora do Carmo) of Recife, who was at the same time named Patron of the city and the Ecclesiastical Province of Pernambuco, in the Northeast of Brazil.  I do not think I exaggerate if I say that it is the most massive festival of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in the world.  Each year, around the solemnity of July 16, hundreds of thousands of people participate in the celebrations and the procession and honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel with great devotion.  A few kilometers from Recife is the convent of Olinda, considered the first Carmelite foundation of the American continent and whose restoration and rededication we celebrated solemnly some years ago.



That deep connection between the mission and a healthy Marian devotion should motivate us to continue working in our day on that same line. Popular Marian piety cannot distract us from the fundamental mission of the Christian which is to announce the good news of salvation.  Moreover, this piety -if it is authentic- sends us, challenges us, impels us to be living witnesses of the Gospel and to live it with gratitude and generosity.



Congratulations to the Carmelite Province of Pernambuco and to the entire Brazilian Carmelite family on this centenary and we pray that Our Mother of Carmel may help the Order and the Carmelite family to grow in those lands.



Secondly, I would like to point out that - as you already know from the official communications of the Order - the commemorative acts of the eighth centenary of the death of Saint Angelus of Sicily are beginning, for which a series of religious and cultural celebrations have been organized and will be developed in the coming months. St. Angelus is undoubtedly one of the leading figures of the early days of the history of our Order.  Because of the scant data we have of his life, we know that he probably came from the Holy Land (in fact, he is also known as St. Angelus of Jerusalem) and that he dedicated his life to preaching.  Likewise, he is usually linked, even iconographically, with Saint Dominic Guzman and with Saint Francis of Assisi, thus emphasizing the inclusion of Carmel among the mendicant orders.



The figure of St. Angelus invites us to a genuinely evangelical preaching (precisely now that we are preparing to celebrate the Novena in honor of the Our Lady of Mt Carmel) and reminds us of our origins in the Holy Land, in the land of the Lord.  May the celebration of this centenary help us in our mission and make us, also, announcers of the Mystery of salvation.  Congratulations to the universal Carmel and especially to the Italian Carmel for this centenary, as well as to the city of Licata that jealously guards the memory of the Carmelite saint.



This year we also celebrate 50 years of the restoration of the British Province, one of the oldest of the Order and suppressed in the sixteenth century, after the break in the time of Henry VIII.  For this reason, I will celebrate there (in Aylesford and then in Wales, one of the places where the Irish Carmelites began their restoration work) the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel this year.  The Province (now known as Britannia Maioris) is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Marian mystery that reminds us that the Virgin precedes us on the path and that She is a pledge and guarantee of that universal call to salvation.  In countries where Catholics are a minority, but also throughout the world, the Church asks us today to make an effort to live our Marian devotion with authenticity, with ecumenical sensitivity and with the same humility that made Mary great (Lk 1:48-49).  Perhaps in these countries it becomes more evident that God acts in small ways and that, only from these small ways can his Kingdom can be built.  With this motive I want to congratulate the British Province for this anniversary and for the Province of Ireland that, with great generosity, embarked on this adventure of restoring Carmel in Great Britain.



Finally, I would also like to mention the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the beatification of Isidore Bakanja, the young Congolese who was savagely beaten for refusing to give up his faith and taking off the scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel that he wore around his neck, which for him was a tangible sign of the faith he professed.  Moreover, that scapular that became a small reminder of his baptism, led him to the truly heroic attitude of forgiving the one who had mortally wounded him and led him, ultimately, to the sublime testimony of evangelical charity taken to the highest degree - to martyrdom.  His testimony, proposed to the Church 25 years ago at the solemn beatification ceremony that took place in Rome, must continue to be a true inspiration for us today. The humble, like Isidore, show us the most genuine and the most authentic aspects of our Marian devotion.



******



In 2020, there will be a new Prior General who will sign this letter of congratulations for the feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Our Mother and Sister, the Domina loci that is at the center of our lives and that inspires and encourages us to live our Carmelite charism at the service of the Gospel, for the people of God and for all humanity.

 



From now on I wish you all the best and a fruitful service to the family of Carmel. We place under the maternal protection of Mary both the General Chapter and the next six years. She will guide us with sweetness and affection and, like Stella Maris, she will show us the way of salvation to which She, Mary of Nazareth, gave her whole life.





A big hug to everyone and ... Congratulations!





Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm.





Prior General


Image:
The Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel July 16th, 2019
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