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Tuesday, 17 September 2019 04:20

Sixth day of the General Chapter 2019

The second week of the Chapter began with a day of recollection and discernment. Morning Prayer and Eucharist were presided over by William Harry, provincial of the American Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary. In his homily, reflecting on the Gospel of the day, Fr. William drew the attention to the fact that we often find experiences and expressions of faith where we least expect them.

Anne-Marie Bos, a sister of the Dutch Province, gave two meditations to the chapter members. The morning meditation was on the Way of the Cross written by Bl. Titus Brandsma in his prison cell of Scheveningen. Sr. Anne-Marie commented on Titus’ text placing them in the context of Titus’ own experience during the period when he wrote it and of other writings of Titus whilst highlighting its meaning for ourselves. This morning session was followed by a period of silent prayer and reflection.

In the evening Session, Anne-Marie reflected on Titus’ concept of mysticism as the beautiful exchange between God and humanity. Mysticism is never completely divine nor solely human. It is precisely the meeting point between both. This is a vocation for all, not just the few. In his spiritual experience Titus was led to be on the lookout for God present in his time and society and to defend and stand up for a true concept of God. All this led Titus to make important contributions in the field of education, convinced that this was a high form of ministry, where the human person could be introduced to the Truth and initiated to a living experience of Faith.

Following Anne-Marie’s input the Chapter members met in linguistic groups for a session of discernment in view of the elections to be held tomorrow. The result of discernment of each group was later shared in a general assembly.

We thank all those who have communicated their active interest and best wishes for the Chapter, together with those who continue to accompany us constantly with their much appreciated prayer.

Monday, 16 September 2019 14:35

Fifth day of the General Chapter 2019

The 14th of September 2019, feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, coincided with the fifth day of our General Chapter, an important feast day ever since the origins of our Carmelite Order. In fact, this feast is mentioned explicitly in our Rule “You are to fast every day, except Sundays, from the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Easter Day, unless bodily sickness or feebleness, or some other good reason, demand dispensation from the fast; for necessity overrides every law”. ( R. 16)

After Father Juan Evangelista Quiroga Castañeda, General Delegate of Colombia, presided the Eucharist we passed to the Chapter’s hall. During this day the sessions were all dedicated to the study and revision of a draft of the Constitutions. Father Michael Farrugia O.Carm. President of the ad hoc Commission set up bring up to date our Constitutions, outlined the long and arduous process all this entailed. In the first phase of the revision, a letter was sent to all the Provinces, Commissariats and General Delegations to present the proposed changes. At a later stage the ad hoc Commission during a period of five years held meetings to present the General Chapter a final draft which is being revised and eventually will be voted. After this introduction we proceeded to vote on the revised articles.

On that same day, Father Roberto Toni O. Carm. Prior Provincial of the Italian Province, invited all the participants of the Chapter to presence on the premises of “Il Carmelo” in Sassone, the inauguration and blessing of a new library set up in honor of the late Father Bruno Secondin O.Carm.. This library contains mainly the books that Fr Bruno collected during many years of research. For the inauguration ceremony besides the participants at the General Chapter there were friends and members of the Lectio Divina group that Fr. Bruno himself had founded at Santa Maria in Traspontina parish. This library is honoring the research and transmission of the Carmelite culture and spirituality.

Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:36

Fourth day of the General Chapter 2019

On September 13, after morning prayer and Eucharist, presided by Bishop Antonio Muniz, O.Carm., the morning session was divided in two parts.

Firstly, Bishop Antonio Muniz gave a talk on “The role of Mendicant life in the Church today”. This was followed by a presentation that summarized the Order's responses to the Instrumentum Laboris of the Chapter. Group works followed to reflect on the question: How can we be faithful to our tradition in order to respond to the challenges of the present and be open to the future? A summary of the workshops was shared with the assembly.

In his talk, Bishop Antonio Muniz reflected on three questions: What are you doing here, Elijah? What are you doing here, Mary? What are you doing here, Carmelite, facing the challenges of our world?

In a simple and fraternal style, he invited us to be surprised by God who reveals himself to us in an unexpected "gentle breeze", as he did with Elijah. Strengthened by the divine bread, the prophet was able to get back on track and continue his mission. Rooted in the true heavenly bread which is Jesus Christ and nourished by it, we too can continue our work in the Church, at the service of the Kingdom.

Mary invites us to leave our securities and take up the journey, announcing the presence of the Word. She, who reflects eminently other women in Salvation History, is also a model of the Church, of Carmel, "in mission", with a welcoming attitude, accompanying and serving, as Mary did with her cousin Elizabeth.

Contemplating the example of Elijah and Mary, Carmelites are called to form prayerful, fraternal and Samaritan communities, capable of taking care of the brothers and sisters we encounter, both in our communities and in society. This requires a process of personal conversion, centered on personal and community meditation of the Word of God, and of pastoral-ecological conversion, as we learn to prioritize our activities, with the joy that springs from the encounter with God. Only He will give us confidence and make us creative.

In the afternoon, Christian Körner (administrator pro tempore) reported on the financial state of the Order. Then, Michael Farrugia reported on his work as Procurator General during these six years. Finally, the two of them, together with Dr. Merlini, legal advisor to the Curia, reported on the closing down of the Domus Carmelitana. Each report was followed by a fraternal and open dialogue.

Friday, 13 September 2019 20:16

Third day of the General Chapter 2019

During the morning session, Michael Casey OCSO, basing himself on the biblical texts on the prophet Elijah, gave a reflection on how to pass on our tradition in today’s world. Tradition is alive and it must be continuously reinterpreted so that, faithful to our roots we may bear fruit in today’s world and respond to its challenges from our spirituality. In this way we may become credible witnesses in a world that needs witnesses rather than teachers.

In the afternoon, Professor Bruna Costacurta spoke on “Prophetic Witness for today’s generation”. Elijah’s role as a prophet in a time of religious syncretism was to denounce hypocrisy and increase the awareness of the truth, thus leading to conversion. Meeting with resistance, Elijah experienced a feeling of powerlessness and abandonment. Yet, while he laid down to sleep desiring to die, an angel brought him food and drink. Moses, on the threshold of the promised land, instructed the people to ‘Listen’. Faith is based on listening to the Word of God, and as Mary teaches us, it must be lead into actions. Just as Tobit had to reinterpret his faithfulness to God in a new situation, so we are called in this present generation to decipher the news signs of God’s presence.

Later in the evening, three reports were given:

Sebastian Benchea reported on the development and activities of Edizioni Carmelitane. In his report Sebastian highlighted the work done in promoting the Edizioni Carmelitane on the internet, the list of recent publications, the good financial state of the Edizioni, and prospects for the future that include the opening up of new markets while maintaining the custom of each community of the order taking on the responsibility to buy Edizioni’s books.

Giovanni Grosso spoke about the change of President in the Carmelite Institute and about the publications and events organized by the Central committee. He highlighted the desire to increase the collaboration between the various cultural institutes of the Order. The Institutum offers two scholarships, one of which is addressed to historians in memory of Joachim Smet, and the other to archivists in memory of Emanuele Boaga. Dr. Giovanna Brizi spoke of her appointment as Postulator General and then went on to explain the present status of a number of important causes, notably those of Blessed Titus Brandsma, Sr. Maria Israel Bogotá Baguero and Jean de Saint Samson.

Thursday, 12 September 2019 15:38

Second Day of the General Chapter 2019

The second day of the General Chapter was filled with the reports of the four General Councillors. Each councillor gave a detailed report on his own geographical area and on his area of particular responsibility. The first to report was Fr. John Keating, councillor for Europe. He described the present situation of the Order and the Church in Europe and urged that the Order would take the radical steps necessary to ensure the continuation of the Carmelite tradition in Europe irrespective of the number or the identity of provinces. In his report on the work of the General Commission for Evangelisation and Mission, John explained the link between the work of the commission and the apostolic exhoration, evangelii gaudium which led to the publication of three booklets of meditations combining the apostolic exhortation with the conclusions of the last General Chapter 2013. He further explained the nature and purpose of the workshop on preaching organised by the Commission in Fatima in January, 2019.

The first report was followed by that of the councillor for Africa, with responsibility for the area of justice, peace and the integrity of creation, Fr. Conrad Mutizamhepo. This report gave a detailed account of the development of the Carmelite presence in Africa and pointed to the need for formation and resources for study in order to strengthen and give direction to that presence. In the afternoon, Fr. Raul Maravi gave his report on the Americas and his area of responsibility which is lay carmelites and Carmelite schools. He spoke of the three major divisions in his geographic area, North America, Brazil, and the Spanish speaking countries of Central and South America.  What is most noteworthy is the increase of vocations in this area since the 2013 General Chapter.

There has been a continuation of good relations with the Discalced Carmelites and a question about the organisation of Carmelite presence in these countries, where the problem of distance makes it difficult to form viable unites of administration and support. Finally Fr. Benny Phang got the opportunity to report on the situation of the order in Asia, Australia and Oceania. This was a story of steady development of the Order in eight countries in Asia, many with a significant number of vocations.  The work of formation is seen to be a priority. Christianity is a small minority in Asia and in order to communicate with the members of the major religions of Asia, a more mystagogicical approach to Christian and Carmelite formation, initial and ongoing, is needed.

The four councillors ended their reports with word of thanks to the Prior General, the other members of the Council and the Carmelites they had encountered in their time of service on the General Council.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019 10:07

First Day of the General Chapter 2019

Yesterday, 10 September 2019 at 9:30 am at the “Il Camelo”, Sassone, Rome, Italy, the Prior General, Fr Fernando Millán Romeral, presided the Holy Mass of the Holy Spirit, and thus begun the General Chapter of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, (the Carmelites). The members of the General Council concelebrated with him.

In his homily the Prior General shared some reflections about the chapter structure of the Order. The Order is characterized by its chapter structure on an organizational, spiritual and theological level. The celebrant pointed out that Revelation is a dialogical event, and that understanding revelation grows through dialogue. Carmel lives by means of a spirituality of listening, sharing and discernment and it is realized in the fundamental structures of the Order, which favour community discernment. The General Chapter is the highest expression of this spirituality.

This charismatic project is only possible through the action of the Holy Spirit. It is He who purifies, renews and transforms us. By means of chapter structure we are called to enter into an authentic and dynamic conversion and transformation.

After the celebration of the mass, Fr Augustin Barbuţ, Director of “Il Carmelo” of Sassone welcomed all the participants. Fr Edison Tinambunan then explained the logo of the Chapter.

The first session of the Chapter was then held according to clause 271 of the Constitutions. The roll call of the Gremiali and guests was read out and also of the officials of the Chapter. Then the election of the President of the Chapter, who will preside until the election of a new Prior General, was held. Fr Miceál O’Neill (Hib) was elected President of the Chapter and he accepted

The second session of the Chapter started at 16:00. The participants approved the Ordo Capituli. The Prior General made his presentation, underlining the growth of the Order; the General Commissions, especially of Justice and Peace, Liturgy and Revision of the Constitutions; formation, intial and ongoing; protection of minors and vulnerable persons; the Carmelite Family, the concept of Carmelite Family, the nuns, recent foundations and closures; the Donum Dei family; the hermits belonging to the Order; the Third Order; the Carmelite bishops; the relationship with other ecclesial organizations like USG and CIVCSVA; the economy of the Order; the schools of the Order; the causes for beatification and canonization; and relations with the Discalced Brothers.

The Prior General expressed his gratitude for these 12 years of service to the Order. All present expressed their appreciation to the Prior General with a standing ovation.

Sunday, 08 September 2019 19:39

First monastery in Mozambique opened

On the 22nd of August, the first monastery in Mozambique was opened, dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima, located next to the formation house of the Carmelite friars. This foundation, the desire of the monastery of Moncorvo (Portugal), is formed by two Portuguese nuns and three nuns from the Kenyan monastery of Machakos; it became a reality thanks to the Province of Pernambuco, responsible for the Mozambican mission, that donated the land, and to the financial contribution of the General Commissariat of Portugal. The inauguration celebration, led by the Archbishop of Maputo, Francisco Chimoio, OFMCap, was attended by the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, the General Delegate for Carmelite Nuns, Fr. Mario Alfarano, the Councillor General for Africa, Fr. Conrad Mutizamhepo, the Provincial of Pernambuco, Fr. Sormani Barbosa, the Commissary of Portugal, Fr. Ricardo Rainho, the Superior of the Mozambican mission, Fr. Altamiro Tenorio da Paz, along with other priests, religious men and women, and numerous faithful.

In the same vein, on the 31st of July, the Holy See approved the new foundation of Kitui, in Kenya. The foundresses, all from the monastery of Machakos, will move to the new monastery as soon as the construction, which the bishop of Kitui is situating next to the new diocesan shrine, is completed.

Also on the 31st of July, the Holy See approved the entrance of the "Mater Unitatis" monastery of Montiglio, in Italy, into the Federation of St. Maria Maddalena de 'Pazzi. This monastery, the desire of Card. Pellegrino and of Sr. Maria Paola of the Holy Spirit, was founded in 1971 by the community of Florence and continues to have a strong connection with the spirituality and teachings of the Florentine saint.

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.

the Monastery of Porlamar
Saturday, 31 August 2019 20:58

Lectio Divina September 2019

Pope's Prayer Intentions for September 2019

Universal – Politicians, Scientists and Economists

That politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.







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Lectio Divina September 2019
Monday, 26 August 2019 14:54

Carmelite European Youth Gathering

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.


Carmelite European Youth Gathering
Page 9 of 204

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