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Displaying items by tag: General Councillor for the Americas

Thursday, 28 January 2021 13:15

The Americas

Global Plan of the General Council 2019-2025

Luis José Maza Subero, O.Carm.

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new [...] through the power of the Gospel (EN 18-19).

The geographical and political dimensions of the Ameri­can continent are very varied. This continent is the sec­ond largest of our common home, possessing a plurality of cultures and the most varied ecosystems and natural re­gions of the world. It is also the scene of enormous social inequality, of a un-even economic development, in which in some countries an adequate standard of living cannot be maintained, which means that there is a constant flow of migration from the developing countries into the de­veloped countries that in some way control the financial and political conditions of the majority of the countries of the American continent. The continent, North-South, is marked by the presence of different religions, with a sig­nificant expansion of ideology based religions.

That is the pluralistic reality in which Carmelites live today, spread out into various countries, which themselves have a variety of geographical areas and cultures: Brazil, the United States of America, Canada, Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean. At the moment, we have four provinces there, 2 in the United States of America and 2 in Brazil, a General Commissariat in Brazil, three provin­cial commissariats in the Antilles (ACV), Venezuela, (Baet) and Peru (PCM), the General Delegation of Titus Brandsma in Colombia as well as a number of communities that depend directly on provinces in the U.S.A., Malta, Italy and Spain.

Despite our limitations, Carmelites in this geographi­cal area work very well. They are open to the interchange of personnel as a way of supporting weaker communities. They share the work of initial formation, and they promote the spirit of the Carmelite Family.

Plans

  1. Create a secretariat for this geographical area, which will help in the organisation of events aimed at root­ing, strengthening, and consolidating Carmelite life in America.
  2. Encourage meetings within countries that will help the spirit of fraternity to grow among the different Carmel­ite groups and foster the shared mission that will lead to the spreading of Carmelite spirituality.
  3. Examine the possibility of organising meetings of the Carmelite Family in the different areas within the Americas, North America, South America (Brazil and the Spanish speaking countries), Central America and the Caribbean.
  4. Undertake visits in order to get to know the Carmelite realities in America with the purpose of encouraging the members of the Carmelite Family in their pastoral work.
  5. Programme in the six-year period, two meetings of the leaders, men and women, of the Carmelite Family, to talk about the common projects that might be devel­oped in this geographical area.
  6. Programme in this six-year period two meetings of FO­CAL (Carmelite Formators of Latin America) as mo­ments of formation for Carmelites in the geographical area.
  7. Foster the relationship between Carmelites, O.Carm. and O.C.D. by taking part in the ALACAR and the Car­melite Forum.
  8. Raise awareness of the need for collaboration to strengthen the presence of Carmelites in this geograph­ical area.
  9. Promote the conclusions of the Synod of the Amazon in our pastoral activities, focusing our thoughts and reflections as a Carmelite Family, as a Church that is going out on mission to the poorest and most margin­alised in our society.
  10. Develop a formation Project (long, short, and medium term) for the members of the Carmelite Family to help them be witnesses in and respond to the demands of today’s society.
  11. Draw on our history and memory in regard to our pres­ence in America. Hand on to the new generations our story and experience as Carmelites in this continent, bearing in mind that where memory is lost the direc­tion for the future of the journey is also lost.

Global Plan of the General Council 2019-2025

Luis José Maza Subero, O.Carm.

“The People of God ecclesiology underlines the com­mon dignity and mission of all the baptised, in the exer­cise of the pluriform and ordered wealth of their charisms, their vocation and their ministries. The concept of com­munion, in this context, expresses the Deep substance of the mystery and the mission of the Church, that finds its Summit and source in the Eucharistic banquet. This con­cept defines the “res” of the Ecclesial Sacrament: the union with the Trinity that is God and the unity among people that is the work of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ. Synodal­ity, this this ecclesiological context, points to the specific form of living and working (modus vivendi et operandi) of the Church as People of God, that shows forth and accom­plishes its communion in concrete ways, in walking with others, in coming together in assembly and when all its members share actively in the mission of evangelisation.” (Synodality in the Life and Mission of the Church, International Theological Commission, 2018).

Carmelites are people who walk together, in ways that express the values of our spirituality. The multiform in­carnation of the Carmelite charism is a great treasure for society. Its theological dimension and its values lead to bal­ance, harmony, and justice, and very often, when these are the focal point of the incarnation of Carmel, they help us to discover our prophetic role, our way of becoming part of a dialogue with the world, especially the world of the very poor.

The Carmelite Family includes sixteen congregations spread throughout the five continents, men and women who by their commitment and dedication to evangelisa­tion, strive to understand and penetrate the culture of the people in order to inculturate the Gospel.

Plans

  1. In this six-year term, hold two meetings of the Superiors General of the Congregations affiliated to the Order, and foster their participation in the Carmelite Family.
  2. Foster, the reciprocal collaboration of the Congregations affiliated to the Order, in the areas of vocation ministry, formation, deepening our spirituality and evangelisa­tion. (cf. Con 113.)
  3. Study how there can be more effective communication among the Congregations and between the Congrega­tions and the General Curia.
Thursday, 28 January 2021 08:47

General Coordination of New Foundations Commission

Global Plan of the General Council 2019-2025

Luis José Maza Subero, O.Carm.

“Go and make disciples of all nations (…) I will be with you always until the end of time.” (Mt 28,19). Evangelisation is a demanding task. However, Jesus will always be present with his consoling and comforting presence in all the situations that are part of the mission of evangelisation.

A Carmelite community is a community of witness: it is a living memory of the death and resurrection of Christ. In living in allegiance to Jesus Christ (Rule 2) the Carmelite discovers the meaning of mission, in its relationship to the Reign of God to be proclaimed to the poor and the mar­ginalised. Carmelites as contemplative people have compassionate hearts. When love becomes weaker, everything loses its flavour. A love that is attentive and creative is like balm for the weary and exhausted (cf. Mt 11,28), for those who suffer and are abandoned, those for whom God appears to be silent, those whose hearts and souls are broken (…). Those who love God must seek him in the poor (Pope Francis address to the Carmelites 2019)

Carmelites are sent to a world that is thirsting for God. In the words of Pope Francis, “Carmelites, masters of prayer, can help people to escape from the noise, the hurry, the spiritual dryness. Of course, this does not mean helping people to accumulate more and more prayers, but rather that they become men and women of faith, friends of God who walk the ways of the Spirit”.

Evangelisation is the primary mission of the Church. [...] today it represents the greatest challenge for the Church [...] we cannot be content to remain in our temples and wait passively for something to happen.» (EG 15). Carmelites share in the task of evangelisation, they engage in pastoral work as a way of proclaiming the Good News to the geographical and existential peripheries, looking at “immense opportunities in such areas as charity, evangelical proclamation, Christian education, culture, and solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, and those who suffer discrimination” (Con., 109).

New Carmelite foundations must be guided by a sense of Carmelite presence in the place where a foundation is to be considered. That means that it may be best to open a foundation within reasonable distance of other Car­melite presences, in order to give support to or receive support from other members of the Carmelite Family. In this way Carmelites can work together to renew peoples’ lives through our discernment and commitment on the peripheries.

Plans

For all of this, the 2019 General Chapter approved the setting up of a General Commission that will work closely with the General Council and with provincials who are re­sponsible for new foundations. The tasks of the Commission will be the following:

  1. Examine the new presences of the Order evaluating the resources and the needs of each one of them.
  2. Establish a system for the distribution of the economic resources available for our missions. Examine the requests made, and the financial help received by each project.
  3. Promote collaboration, especially in formation, and in other areas such as ministry and administration.
  4. Find new forms of financing in the New Foundations, not only with pastoral activities, but also training religious, according to their abilities, in other areas that could be sources of income for the community or for missionary endeavour, for example, teaching, crafts and trades, science, manual work.
  5. Receive applications for new projects, evaluate them, and carry out a feasibility study regarding their missionary objectives, possible collaboration, support within the Carmelite family and financing.
  6. Study and suggest possible ways of resolution for those Provinces that have difficulties in financing their missions.
  7. Make recommendations, after the appropriate study, regarding suitable processes for the independence of a mission with respect to its province of origin.

Members

  • Luis José Maza Subero, O.Carm.
  • Altamiro Tenorio da Paz, O.Carm. (Pernambuco, Brazil)
  • Francisco Daza Valverde, O.Carm. (Betica, Spain)
  • Carl Markelz, O.Carm. (PCM)
  • Victor Alphonse Biramoto, O.Carm. (Tanzania)
  • Joseph Hung Tran, O.Carm. (SEL, Vietnam)
Thursday, 28 January 2021 07:58

General Secretariate for the Laity

Global Plan of the General Council 2019-2025

Luis José Maza Subero, O.Carm.

Never be afraid to go and bring Christ, into any environment, reaching out to the existential peripheries, and those also who appear to be farther way and more indifferent …. The Lord seeks everyone, wanting everyone to be able to feel the warmth of his mercy and love. The Lord tells us to be mis­sionaries in the place where we live …. Because it is always good the share the joy of the Gospel. (Christus Vivit, 117)
Every lay Carmelite is like a spark of love thrown into the forest of life: they must be able to enflame anyone who ap­proaches them. (Third Order Rule, n.44)

The fruitfulness of the Carmelite charism is a reason for great joy. It is a proof of creative fidelity of people who un­der the influence of the Holy Spirit accept it with discern­ment and gratitude. Many people today take their inspira­tion from the Rule of St. Albert, thus adding to the Carmelite Family. In that family we find a plurality of ways of living in accordance with the charism: friars, nuns, affiliated congre­gations, Third Order and different expressions of lay life that seek their inspiration in Carmelite spirituality.

The diversity in the ways of living out the charism of our Order is an encouragement to us to open up new spaces for lay Carmelites, to foster their lay vocation which includes the three elements of formation, prayer and action aiding them to become witnesses to the lay mission in our society. Lay Carmelites are called to share in the mission of the Church and of our Order. In the words of Pope Francis, “we walk together, learning to listen and to discern, through our listening and our sincere dialogue with everyone”.

The mission of the lay Carmelite is caught up with the preferential service of the poor, living in close contact with the vulnerable and marginalised in our society. The Lay Carmelite must walk the streets, and be a Gospel leaven to those we meet there, supporting the initiatives of the Church and of our Order, as a Church that goes out, acting like the Prophet Elijah who defended the true face of God, denounced injustices and lived in the presence of the God revealed in the gentle breeze, prophets who know how to discern, where the Lord is, receiving from the Lord the gift of discernment (…) for the mission (…). “When the Lord chooses to give us a mission, and has work for us to do, he prepares us so that we can do it well, in the same way that he prepared Elijah” (Francis, Homily, 13th of June, 2014)

Plans

  1. Provide, through the Secretariat for Laity, a formation manual for lay Carmelites, making it available to all the lay communities, to help them in their formation in such aspects as mission, prayer, fraternity, solidarity, and care for our common home.
  2. Organise gatherings of formation directors of Third Or­der groups and of other expressions of lay Carmelite life on local and regional levels.
  3. Accompany the Carmelite Family in a spiritual process of synodality and discernment that will be an impetus to a pastoral and missionary conversion of the lay Car­melite faithful.
  4. Organise an International Meeting of Lay Carmelites during this six-year period, as a space for sharing experi­ences of the Carmelite vocation, its formation processes, and the ways in which in different situations, the Car­melite spirit is lived out. The Congress will be prepared with the help of an instrumentum laboris and will be held before the next General Chapter of the Friars 2025, with a view to formulating proposals for that Chapter.
  5. Develop communication and collaboration with the In­ternational Commission for Youth, in order to work on aspects that are common to both working groups.
  6. Foster the Carmelite charism among the people, with our preferential commitment to the poor, the vulnerable and the excluded.
  7. Raise awareness in our shared mission in the different situations and places that the Carmelite family finds it­self, to promote the kind of evangelisation that will help us to grow in communion of life, of goods, sharing who we are, what we have, the great gift of the Carmelite charism.
  8. Update the register of groups of Lay Carmelites, as a way of increasing communication and collaboration be­tween them.
  9. Develop, for Lay Carmelites, a strategic plan of commu­nication in order to face the challenge of a digital cul­ture, as a means of evangelisation, with a view to help­ing formation and communication among the different lay Carmelite realities in our Order.

Members

  • Luis José Maza Subero, O.Carm.
  • Maria Monica Feifei Enhudjiana, TOC (Indonesia)
  • Amos Ochieng, TOC (Kenya)
  • Michele Bonanno, TOC (Italia)
  • Rosario María Vera Martin, TOC (Betica, Spain)
  • Paolo Daher, TOC (Brazil)
  • Aideen Ryan, TOC (Ireland)

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