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

Information * N. 20 




News Issue no. 20  - 16 May 2003  

Father Stephen Watson (the Definitor for English-speaking countries) presided and preached at the Eucharist for today’s feast of St. Simon Stock. Among other things

[including the declaration of his fellow Californian,  Fr. Reginald McSweeney, as “dean” of all Chapter members] Fr. Stephen suggested we “vest” ourselves with the grace of Christ and with love for His mother; then, also, he asked us to work for the defense of life and the promotion of human dignity. 

At the first plenary session the secretaries of the language groups read the results of the reflections they conducted these past few days about the upcoming practical conclusions.  Several brief reports were next offered while the Commission for the Practical Con- clusions went to prepare a new outline as reply to what the secretaries reported. Several brief reports were offered to the Chapter in the meantime. The first of these was the Chapter Message. The text of that Message, devised by another commission, received a fair amount of praise but, like a rose with its lurking thorns, a number of suggestions for revision were also passed on to the commission. 

Father Didier-Marie Golay (Provincial of Paris) informed the group of the Lisieux friary.  The city government issued their official permissions for the building project on 19 March. Work will start at the end of June or at the beginning of September, and the house will have a chapel, library, common rooms, with 10 bedrooms. The bishop has given his approval, hoping our friars will take care of pilgrims to the basilica and give spiritual fellowship to the priest of the area.  The projected cost is 700,000 Euros. Thanks to Fr. Camilo’s letter 160.000 Euros have already come in. We are asked to continue our generosity. It is expected that the community will be international in make-up, and so the provincials should start thinking of interested individuals they might send. 

Father Juan Debono (delegate from Malta) brought up the Centenary of the Death of Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity in 2006.  He feels we ought to prepare the way toward that year by getting translations of her work done, along with studies, and also think of organizing other means to make her better known.  (This brought to the floor the Provincial of Lebanon who said that, thanks to the spread of Arab-speaking people to other countries, he could provide some translated books of our Carmelite authors to anyone who wanted them. He would provide them free-of-charge, too, not because of any hidden oil wells on community properties but as a from of thanking other provinces who contributed money to produce the translations.) 

The Institute of Carmelite Studies (ICS) of Washington sent a letter to the Chapter asking it to study the possibility of asking the Holy See to declare Saint Edith Stein a Doctor of the Church.   

Next the representatives of the two Brasilian semi-provinces asked that they be canonically established as provinces.  The former Definitory and Father Camilo had already studied the happy eventuality and gave it the green light, only they thought it nicer if the official act wait till the celebration of the General Chapter.  The fruits of their examination assured us all that there is a sufficient number of religious and houses with numerous vocations in formation. 

Father Joe Tauro brought in the revised outline of the Practical Conclusions to a reconvened plenary session in the afternoon intended to further refine it through personal comments (with group reactions already submitted to the commission by the language group secretaries).  This was the moment for quite a few interventions at the floor mikes provided for the group. As a matter of fact, the conclusion-by conclusion reading did not end in time for supper, so everyone was called back for a late-night supplementary session.  Pity the poor Chapter Document Commission which has to type out its revisions and get them printed up for a number-by-number votation tomorrow.  A vote will be taken on the Chapter Message, and on a number of other selected proposals tomorrow as well.  If people weren’t so tired one would be tempted to say the tension mounts.   

Contrary to the original plans we will celebrate our Eucharist tomorrow down here in the plain and not up at the La Santa church.  Hour for this liturgy, you wonder?  Half past seven in the evening, followed by a cultural soiree beginning at 9:30pm, with supper in-between. This is Spain, after all. You get this preview now, because tomorrow’s “News from Avila” will have to be done and on the wire earlier than usual, to allow for shutting down our information service. All that seems left to challenge us reporters is the drafting of our memoirs, I guess. 

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Updated 16 mag 2003  - Page maintained by O.C.D. General House