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

Information * N. 01 
27 April 2003




“Come Holy Spirit.” The solemn Gregorian chant to the Holy Spirit opened the 89th General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites at Avila.  Present are 111 religious (98 chapter delegates, plus secretaries, translators and invited brothers to act as observers) representing the 76 countries where we live.  As they arrived in the city many who knew each other already exchanged fraternal embraces. They gladly renewed acquaintance and filled the hallways of the retreat house “Saint Teresa” with smiling faces.  In spite of the distances that lie them and there diverse languages, they quickly reached out to each other easily and established new  bonding. 

The Provincial of Castile, the first historical province of our Order and the one in which we are meeting, gave affectionate words of greeting and welcome. He evoked the beginning times of the reform work of our Holy Parents in Avila and Duruelo, even as he invited us to take enlightenment from them. 

Father General reminded us that the next three weeks would contain five dissimilar parts. 1) Spiritual Preparation; 2) Reports; 3) Elections; 4) Reflection; and 5) Decision-making.  He asked us to view them from a faith perspective.  He also offered some practical advice about the goals and rules of the Chapter, as well as the Agenda that was distributed in a printed booklet.  Both those documents (Rules and Agenda) were prepared by the General Definitory and submitted to the Extraordinary Definitory in the Philippines.  A show of hands indicated unanimous approval of them, as well as the lists of session moderators, secretaries, working commissions (and this scribe of the English daily news bulletin, Fr. John Sullivan, among other translators).   

One of the secretaries treated the group to information about practical matters such as the post whether by “snail mail” or by letter, telephone communications, FAX messages, laundry facilities (=we have to do our own laundry and hang it out to dry), etc., etc.  After some final words about the next days scheduling the group repaired to the dining room for a light supper and then on to the (rather) narrow retreat bed rooms for some well-earned rest after, for some of us, trips in that lasted more than two days. 

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Updated 29 apr 2003  - Page maintained by O.C.D. General House