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

Information * N. 18 
2003.05.14

 

 

 

News Issue no. 18 - 14 May 2003 

Presider at Morning Prayer with Eucharist was Father Zdenko Krizic, the new Vicar General.  The Chapter heard several Central European languages, viz., Polish, Hungarian and German, along with Latin and Italian for the homily.  During the latter Father Zdenko pointed out that the Apostle Judas was called to friendship with Christ.  In spite of the lack of fidelity involved human sin cannot destroy God’s plan of salvation, so Matthias took Judas’s place.All of us are called to collaborate with fidelity and accountability with our God-given vocation.  The vestments were red, as this was the Feast of Saint Matthias. 

During the day people reported on different realities run by the Order in general, with attention being paid to their missions, personnel, financial sources, outlook, etc.  In particular the “operations” under consideration were the following. 

The General Delegation of Israel and Egypt

 Father Ernest Nizza gave an historical sketch of the OCD presence in the Holy Land, particulary the beginning year of 1631, then the various implantations at Stella Maris, in Haifa City, Muhkraka, Jerusalem, Cairo and Alexandria.  He paid attention to the shrines, to pilgrimages, service to local religious communities, a school, a parish, the hospitals, a kindergarten, etc.  He did not cover over the difficulty inherent in contacts and ministries that need to be conducted in so many different languages (in Hebrew, Arabic, English, French, Italian, as the settings require).  He insisted more pressingly on the vital importance of our presence in the Holy Land, a presence that shows forth a living memorial of our roots, an open door to the origins of our Christian faith, and conctact point with the cradle of our religious tradition.  Astutely (methinks) he stressed the fact that people are ready to open houses in mission territories where the languages must be mastered but complain about the same requirement in this part of the Order, and then went on to urge a real commitment from the circumscriptions to offer personnel at this time (to offset an ageing population of friars and limited possibilities of local vocations). 

International Theological College of St. John of the Cross in Rome

 Father Silvio Báez laid out statistics for this seminary (at present there are four formation personnel for twenty-nine students) as well as the criteria & methods for the formation process.  He laid claim to a significant advantage for the Order in maintaining this institution, such as language training, experience of catholicity, closeness to the general administration, shared experiences across borders, etc.  He invited the sections of the Order to be generous in sending either personnel or persons in formation. 

Specialization Community at Santa Maria della Scala

 Father Damasus Zuazua (seen later on speaking in Basque with Father General) informed the group about the origins and functioning of this center, adding that only solemnly professed religious are admitted here, not for initial formation but for advanced studies.  Eighteen of the twenty rooms are now occupied.  The monastery is conveniently located close to the graduate schools of the Urbe, and it provides a good milieu of prayer and international exchange.  He treated, really it was a treat, to the historical importance of the monastery from the days of its founding as the second house in Italy of the OCD reform up to the presence.  It is now again under the wing, as it were, of the general administration, having been loaned by the Roman Province for its current purpose. 

Teresianum

  The Rector, Father Dario Cumer, reported about the permanent community with its thirty-five members involved in either teaching or to related activities.  He impressed everyone with a long list of formation centers affiliated or otherwise related to our school.  From another angle he showed the utility of the house to the Order as a host for congresses (Scribe once conducted the OCDS Congress of 1996 there), continuing education courses, lodging for visiting friars, etc.

  Then, Father Bruno Moriconi, former President of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology and Institute of Spirituality spoke of the classes, publications, retreats, library services offered to the public at the Teresianum.  Since its opening day the Teresianum has welcomed 8,688 students and graduated 1,056 persons with the licentiate degree and

Granted 264 doctorates.  Currently 461 students with 60 nationalities attend classes, though our own students number only 40.  Alma mater floreat! 

International Center of Teresian/Sanjuanist Studies (CITeS)

 Father Francis Xavier Sancho returned a second time to the Chapter (you undoubtedly recall, in spite of the now lengthy list of these foreign correspondent reports, that he was here to present the newest volume of Edith Stein’s works in the Spanish edition) to explain several things about the Avila center up the hill from this retreat house. He first set out the evolution of this promising center, from its inception in 1986 till the present .  By able use of  a smooth, effective power point presentation he showed the activities of CITeS, its curricula, statistics (40 teachers for 58 students), covenants with various universities and institutions, and the pièce de résistance, a project to build a new building complex .  This project is underway, with the blessing of the outgoing general administration which is the actual patron of the center, to allow an expansion of activities and to meet the increasing requests for admission to the school. The clarity and dynamism of the presentation hightened the hopes and dreams of many of his audience.  

Intertwined among all these reports were languague group sessions that had to continue prioritization of the practical conclusions of the Chapter.  (Whew, for once a drole aside does not emanate from your Scribe but from the author of these news notes who penned the next sincere sentence!)  Pray for the poor chroniclers, secretaries, translators, members of commissions for messages and documents. . .so that the Lord might provide sustain us in our arduous work.  (Amen, brother.)

 
    
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