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No:
46/2019 – 30 – 06

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Utrera, Spain, was held 26-27 June 2019. The following were elected:




  • Prioress: Sr. Rosermary Nduku Mbithi, O.Carm.

  • 1st Councilor: Sr. María de Lourdes Lario Reverte, O.Carm.

  • 2nd Councilor: Sr. M. José Navarro López, O.Carm.

  • 3rd Councilor: Sr. M. Felista Syokau Maithya, O.Carm.

  • 4th Couniclor: Sr. M. Antonia Barbancho Aranda, O.Carm.

  • Director of Novices: Sr. Anastasia Syombua Mbithi, O.Carm.

  • Treasurer: Sr. María de Lourdes Lario Reverte, O.Carm.

  • Sacristan: Sr. M. Lucy Mutio Mbithi, O.Carm.


Image:
the Monastery of Utrera, Spain
Sunday, 30 June 2019 10:51

Lectio Divina July 2019

Pope's Prayer Intentions for July 2019

Universal – Justice

That those who administer justice may work with integrity and that the injustice which prevails in the world may not have the last word.






























 

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Image:
Pope's Prayer Intentions for July 2019
No:
45/2019 – 28 – 06

During the Provincial Chapter of the Province of Australia and East Timor held on 24-28 June 2019 were elected:




  • Prior Provincial: Fr. Paul Cahill, O.Carm.

  • First Councilor: Fr. Hugh Brown, O.Carm.

  • Second Councilor: Fr. Bruce Clark, O.Carm.

  • Third Councilor: Fr. Martinho da Costa, O.Carm.

  • Fourth Councilor: Fr. Denis Andrew, O.Carm.


Image:
Provincial Chapter of the Province of Australia and East Timor 2019
No:
44/2019 – 25 – 06

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Guiguinto, Philippines, was held 21 June 2019. The following were elected:




  • Prioress: Sr. M. Rescelia Garcia, O.Carm.

  • 1st Councilor: Sr. M. Fatima B. Faustino, O.Carm.

  • 2nd Councilor: Sr. Benedicta Mary Jenifer B. Navales, O.Carm.

  • 3rd Councilor: Sr. M. Teresa E. Santos, O.Carm.

  • 4th Couniclor: Sr. M. Liza G. Jeremias, O.Carm.

  • Director of Novices: Sr. M. Fatima B. Faustino, O.Carm.

  • Treasurer: Sr .M. Liza G. Jeremias, O.Carm.

  • Sacristan: Sr. M. Ruth Alethea Clavio, O.Carm.


Image:
the Carmelite Monastery of The Holy Family-Guiguinto
No:
42/2019 – 21 – 06

Electoral Chapter of the Monastery of Madrid, Spain

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Madrid, Spain, was held 14 June 2019. The following were elected:




  • Prioress: Sr. M. Inmaculada Ochoa Blázquez, O.Carm.

  • 1st Councilor: Sr. M. Noemí Temprano Reguilón, O.Carm.

  • 2nd Councilor: Sr. M. Brunilda Rodriguez Velasco, O.Carm.

  • 3rd Councilor: Sr. M. Teresa Grimaldos Escudero, O.Carm.

  • 4th Couniclor: Sr. M. del Carmen Ruiz Navas, O.Carm.

  • Director of Novices: Sr. M. Noemí Temprano Reguilón, O.Carm.

  • Treasurer: Sr. M. del Carmen Ruiz Navas, O.Carm.

  • Sacristan: Sr. M. Brunilda Rodriguez Velasco, O.Carm.



 



Electoral Chapter of the Monastery of Dumaguete City, Philippines

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Dumaguete City, Philippines, was held 19 June 2019. The following were elected:




  • Prioress: Sr. M. Melba P. Bruno, O.Carm.

  • 1st Councilor: Sr. M. Joseliza B. Pagao, O.Carm.

  • 2nd Councilor: Sr. M. Agripina Pacaña, O.Carm.

  • 3rd Councilor: Sr. M. Victorina C. Olmoguez, O.Carm.

  • 4th Couniclor: Sr. M. Glenda E. Carredo, O.Carm.

  • Director of Novices: Sr. M. Glenda E. Carredo, O.Carm.

  • Treasurer: Sr. M. Joseliza B. Pagao , O.Carm.

  • Sacristan: M. Victorina C. Olmoguez, O.Carm.


Image:
the Monastery of Dumaguete City
No:
41/2019 – 19 – 06

On June 14, the closing ceremony of the academic year was celebrated in our International Center of San Alberto (CISA) in which the members of both international communities (Curia and CISA) present in those days in Rome participated. Like every year, during Solemn Vespers, the Prior General shared with the members of the community some of the latest activities of the Order and dwelt on some points related to the next General Chapter this coming September. This being the last meeting of this type of this sexennium, the Prior General thanked the Prior of CISA (Míceál O'Neill), the Sub Prior (Noel Rosas), the bursar (Jan Wozniak) and the Regens Studiorum (Giovanni Grosso ) for their great work at the service of this international community. He also thanked those in charge of the various services and entities that have their headquarters in the CISA (the Institutum Carmelitanum, the General Archive, the libraries, etc.) and the employees for their service in support of culture and formation in the Order. He also highlighted the good atmosphere that exists in CISA and stressed that everyone has contributed to make this happen. The Prior General had a special mention for Fr. Ton Van der Gulik, librarian of the Carmelite Library (who ends his service in September, to return to the Dutch province) for his excellent work in charge of this great Carmelite library and the Carmelus bibliography. The celebration concluded with dinner in an atmosphere of fraternity and joy.


Image:
The End of the 2018-2019 academic year at CISA
No:
39/2019 – 14 - 06

The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of Machakos, Kenya, was held 10 June 2019. The following were elected:




  • Prioress: Sr. M. Winifred Katunge Mbui, O.Carm.

  • 1st Councilor: Sr. M.Magdalena Medrano Jimenez, O.Carm.

  • 2nd Councilor: Sr.M. Jacinta Wayua, O.Carm.

  • Director of Novices: Sr. M. Therese Ndinda Mutisya, O.Carm.

  • Treasurer: Sr. M. Therese Ndinda Mutisya,O.Carm.

  • Sacristan: Sr. M. Jacinta Wayua, O.Carm.


Image:
the Monastery of Machakos, Kenya
Wednesday, 12 June 2019 14:08

Nicodemus: Carmelite in Formation

Fr. Raymond Maher, O. Carm

This homily was delivered by Fr. Raymond Maher, O. Carm. on April 30, 2019 in the chapel of Stella Maris Monastery on Mount Carmel to a group of his fellow pilgrims visiting the Holy Land.  The Gospel for the day was John 3:7b-15.




The photo above:  Fr. Raymond Maher, O. Carm. (SEL) with pilgrimage director Fr. James Wallace, C.Ss.R. at "The Cave of Elijah" on Mount Carmel.




Sisters and brothers, so here we are on Mount Carmel, the first stop on our pilgrimage and significant to all of us for its place in the Books of Kings as the place where the prophet Elijah successfully challenged the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal to a contest of sacrifices.  I must say it is downright thrilling for me to be here, as this is where the Carmelites began.  The origins of the Order are somewhat obscure, but we know that in the Middle Ages (and perhaps, earlier) hermits had gathered on Mount Carmel (which means “God’s Garden” in Hebrew), dwelling in caves in the Wadi ‘ain es-Siah, near the Fountain of Elijah.  They were probably Europeans who had come to the Holy Land on pilgrimage or to fight in the Crusades and had decided to stay and pursue a life of prayer in the land where Jesus had walked.  It is very likely that most were laymen.  In time they realized that they needed some structure to their life, so they asked the local patriarch, later known as Saint Albert of Jerusalem, to give them some guidelines for their communal solitary life.  Some time between the years 1206 and 1214 Albert composed a Formula of Life for the hermits.  This Formula Vitae was fairly simple, exhorting them to “live a life in allegiance to Jesus Christ (in obsequio Jesu Christi), serving Him zealously with a pure heart and a stout conscience.” Other organizational issues were addressed as well.  This document morphed into The Rule of Saint Albert after we became an official religious order some forty years later.  The Carmelites also claimed Elijah as the founder of the Order!  How and why that happened is a long story, but the prophetic spirit of Elijah, along with the model discipleship of the Virgin Mary, has been an inspiration for Carmelites for over eight hundred years. 



The first words that we hear out of the mouth of Elijah in the First Book of Kings (17:1) are spoken to the wicked King Ahab, who had forsaken the One True God for the worship of the Baals, false gods:  “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”  Taking a cue from Elijah’s self-introduction, Carmelites view our spirituality as a matter of standing in the presence of the living God with an open heart, attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, with a good conscience.  That is Carmelite life in a nutshell, if you wish, and, of course, it is enfleshed in many different ways.  The early Carmelites considered John the Baptist a Carmelite (at least, in spirit), and a fourteenth century Carmelite document called The Book of the First Monks makes mention of Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to Mount Carmel for picnics when He was a child!



I wonder then whether we could not consider Nicodemus in today’s Gospel as a Carmelite in process as well.  As a “leader of the Jews,” he stands in the presence of the living Son of God seeking enlightenment with a sincere heart. He does not understand what Jesus says about being “born of the Spirit,” so he asks for clarification. His attitude is one of humility and openness.  He comes to Jesus at night.  This is usually understood as caution on Nicodemus’ part, so as not to be seen by anyone, especially other Pharisees, as he approached Jesus.  But the phrase “at night” may also connote spiritual unrest and a longing for “the light of all people,” as John refers to Jesus in the prologue to his Gospel (1:4).  Carmelites are said to have a special affinity for the night.  You know the joke:  “How many Carmelites does it take to change a light bulb?”  The answer: “Oh, those Carmelites, they don’t even bother to change the light bulb; they love “the dark night!” In the dark night of the Carmelite mystics, the Lord invites the soul into deeper relationship with Him.  Maybe something like that may be said of Nicodemus in today’s Gospel. In the end, we don’t know how zealously Nicodemus served Jesus Christ in the days after this nighttime visit, but later we find him bringing the myrrh and aloes to prepare Jesus’ body for burial (John 19:39).  His final gesture in John’s Gospel is one of reverence for the body of Christ. 



Jesus talks to Nicodemus about “being born of water and the Spirit,” a clear reference to Baptism. Indeed, each of us has been “born from above” in the sacrament of Baptism.  But we know that in the spiritual journey Baptism is the easy step.  (Most of us were literally carried to the waters of Baptism as infants!) It is the days and years after Baptism that require focus and commitment and on-going repentance, as we submit our stubborn hearts and wills over and over to the control of God’s Spirit.  At the start of this pilgrimage we, no doubt, seek many blessings for ourselves and for others.  Perhaps the first prayer each one of us offers might be for the grace of repentance – a change of heart, a fresh start – just as Nicodemus came to Jesus seeking a change from his pharisaical ways of thinking and behaving, and the early Carmelite hermits repented of whatever lifestyle they had left behind for the solitude of this mountain.  



Let us end with a story.  A tale circulated in the Middle Ages about a young woman who managed to be expelled from heaven! As she left, she was told that if she would bring back the gift that is most valued by God, she would be re-admitted.  She brought back drops of blood from a dying patriot. She brought back some coins that a destitute widow had given to the poor. She brought back a Bible that had been used for years by an eminent preacher.  She brought back some dust from the shoes of a missionary laboring in a remote wasteland. She brought back many similar things but was turned away repeatedly.



One day she saw a small boy playing by a fountain.  A man rode up on horseback and dismounted to take a drink. The man saw the child and suddenly remembered his boyhood innocence. Then, looking in the fountain and seeing the reflection of his hardened face, he realized what he had done with his life. Tears of repentance welled up in his eyes and began to trickle down his cheeks. The young woman took one of these tears back to heaven and was received with joy and love!


Image:
Fr. Raymond Maher, Fr. James Wallace
No:
37/2019 – 11 – 06

On May 21, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life established the new Federation "Nuestra Señora del Carmen" which includes the Spanish-speaking monasteries of the American continent. They are the seven autonomous monasteries: Trujillo Alto and Mayagüez (Puerto Rico), Santiago de los Caballeros, La Vega, Santo Domingo and Monción (Dominican Republic), Camaná (Peru) and Porlamar (Venezuela). The foundations of Barinas (Venezuela) and Azua (Dominican Republic) are associated with these. The same Congregation also approved the Statutes and appointed the first Assistant: Fr. Jorge Luis Rivera Maldonado (ACV-Antilles). This federation joins the five already existing: three in Spain, one in the Philippines and one in Italy.


Image:
A new Federation of Carmelite monasteries on the American continent
No:
36/2019 – 09 – 06

From May 21 to 29, at the Carmelite Centre in Sassone in Italy, the second assembly of the Federal Presidents and representatives of the non-federated monasteries of the Carmelite Order took place together with the Commission for the updating of the Constitutions of the Carmelite Nuns. Some provincial assistants and delegates also attended the meeting. The first three days were dedicated to the presentation of the documents, Vultum Dei Quaerere and Cor Orans, linking them to the tradition and spirituality of Carmel. After the initial report of the General Delegate, Fr. Mario Alfarano, who led the whole meeting, there were some introductory communications regarding, the updating of the Constitutions of the friars (Fr. Michael Farrugia, Procurator General), the experience of the Dominican friars and Dominican nuns (Sr. Claudia Benigno, OP), and the history of the Constitutions of the Carmelite nuns (Vera Frantellizzi). Archbishop Filippo Iannone and Fr. Rafal Wilkowski, OCD, gave their input on the first three parts of Cor Orans, and that was followed by some items of communication relating to a number of concrete themes: the federal leader (Sr. M. Sagrario Lorite, VAL), the foundations ( Sr. M. Clare Kasichana, MUT), the suppressions (Sr. M. Dolores Dominguez, COR) and the affiliation of monasteries (Sr. Miriam Tamiano, CER), the enclosure (Sr. Lourdes Aviles) and the media (Sr. Marianna Caprio, VET). The theme of formation was treated in relation to the formator (Sr. Madonna Morales, WAH), the ongoing formation of a community (Sr. Carmen Izquierdo, BAR) and leadership in a federation (Sr. M. Elena Tolentino, BUR).

On May 25, all 35 participants went on pilgrimage to the places associated with St. Mary Magdalene de 'Pazzi in Florence. The Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán, led the celebration of the Eucharist in the monastery of the Saint. For lunch, all were guests of the community (the friars and families) of the Carmine in Florence. The last three days were devoted entirely to the work of the Commission on the Constitutions.


Image:
A meeting of the Federal leaders and the Commission for the Constitutions of the nuns
Page 11 of 204

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