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89° Capitulum Generale Ordinis Carmelitarum Discalceatorum
28th April ­ 18th May 2003

Information * N. 14 




News Issue No. 14  - 9 May 2003 

The French-speaking religious led our prayers this day.  Father Robert Paul, the definitor from Quebec, spoke about Jesus´ Eucharist in his homily.  It is bread given for us; the Living and life-giving Bread; the Bread that strengthens us for life’s journey as well as for our work at the Chapter. 

The day’s discussions, whether in the plenaries or in our groups, centered on the Secular Order: we attended to its current situation, possibilities for the future, and the challenges arising in different places.  Some factoids by Father Aloysius Deeney, General Delegate or the Secular Order are: It began the same day the Carmelite Nuns were founded by Bl.

John Soreth back on 7 October 1472; its first Statutes were issued in 1607; now the Secular Order numbers some 42,000 persons; countries in which it exists are all around the world, even in some countries where there are no friars at all.  One encounters significant diversity from country to country.  Numbers are on the rise overall, and some places attract young people who receive serious formation.  They also receive calls to apostolic commitments.  Most recently the number of communities has augmented by 168 groups.  Many of them have arisen from familiarity with the writings of our Founders in a process that involves a search for intense spiritual development.  They have not always met religious of the Order before entering, and usually see friars only two to three times a year at formative encounters.  The rest of the time they organize themselves on their own.  Still other communities meet at one or another of our monasteries, either of the friars or the nuns, where they share liturgical and silent prayer oftentimes more than once a week.  Representatives of Mexico, Italy, Spain and the Philippines explained their individual experiences and informed the Chapter of the communities at home. 

Some results of the discussions were renewed emphasis on a solid formation that is well organized; training for leaders who will in turn train the other Secular members in their own commitment and founding of more communities; and conducting groups of spiritual reflection and reading the writings of our saints. 

The friars of the Aragon-Valencia gave out two nice books of the Order’s history in Venezuela and in Central America. 

NB The joke is on the Scribe. . .because we spelled the name of Our Lord in Spanish.  It should have been “Jesús” with that pesky accent on the “u” not on the “e”.  As the saying goes, “Poor old Homer sometimes nods off.”       


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