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

Information * N. 21 




News Issue no. 21 - 17 May 2003  

After Morning Prayer, and breakfast [after all the Chapter doesn’t march only on its feet], the morning’s work session took place in the Chapter Hall.  Birthday greetings were delivered to Father Daniel Taillieu (Flanders Province and General Vicar for Congo where he has worked for 32 years)-–today he turns sixty-two.  While the Commission for the Chapter Document was putting the finishing touches on their final draft and printing it out in a format ready for voting, several persons gave updates on local activities, either underway or in the planning stage. 

Among the items being delivered for information were the following.  Decrees of establishment in Brazil of the Province of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (South Brazil) and of the Province of Saint Joseph (Southeast Brazil) were read out (see vote below).  The brethren of the Malabar Province are asking to be able to found monasteries in the Syro-Malabar Rite in the territories of other Indian Provinces wherever faithful of their rite live. They had already presented this petition to the (last) General Definitory and they forwarded it to the Congregation for the Oriental Rites.  This Chapter entrusts this question to the newly elected Definitory for further study and for suitable decisions.  The Malabar men requested something else, viz., the promotion of their mission territory

(in Punjab) to the status of Semi-province.  The Chapter asks the Definitory to conduct a visitation and study whether the proposal is wise. 

Next we heard about lay groups related to the Order with ecumenical or interreligious interests that lead them to undertake social or cultural projects in places like France, Poland, Spain, Germany, Holland, the USA, Rumania, etc.  The undertakings of these groups challenge us and call for openness and creativity in the search for new forms of communion and collaboration. 

Thereafter, by unanimous decision the Chapter granted its approval of the Chapter Message.  Regarding other texts, the two examiners of the Chapter Acts (they get bound in big folio tomes, one set deposited in Rome, the other in Sant’Anna monastery in Genoa) expressed their approval of the work of the recording secretaries.  A brief coffee break was taken after this.  By unanimous approval the Chapter then made the two semi-provinces into provinces of the Order.  Each of their representatives rose to express their    

moving sentiments of gratitude, one claiming that  Father General should be considered grand-father of the new jurisdiction since it was founed by the Burgos Province and Burgos had been started by Navarra, Father Luis’s province.  [Let’s hear it for genera- tivity.] 

Back in the Chapter Hall the papers necessary for votation on the Chapter Document arrived and a decision was made to read aloud the Practical Conclusions in Part III.   The format of these papers was: 1) General Outline; 2) Text of Part III, “The Teresian Carmel on its Way of Renewal, Practical Conclusions (55 propositions voted); and 3) Sheet with either Yay or Nay for each of the 55 propositions.  The result of the votation is posted separately on this website. [Unabashedly, of interest to the Scribe was No. 36 which reads: “The General Chapter notes with gratitude all the efforts underway to promote knowledge of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein); and it looks forward to the full edition of her writings, translations of them, scholarly study of her life and of her Christian thought, so that her theological-spiritual contributions may become ever more evident to one and all.”]  

In the evening a solemn Eucharist, presided by Father Luis Arostegui, concluded the 89th OCD General Chapter. Tomorrow the Mass will be celebrated in French and the chapter members will depart for their homelands or their adopted homes. After these days of such intense sharing, prayer, and work, we can only give thanks to God and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen Beauty of Carmel, for the many graces bestowed on our family. 

A parting word is called for: the Scribe might be haunted by the fact that a dozen years ago he published an article (in a Dominican publication, if you please) about  “Humor in Edith Stein:” Ever since, he has struggled to inject a bit of that humor into what he says and writes. You, dear readers of these bulletins, even if you expected more solemn musings, have come upon a haunted house of sorts, and have been exposed to attempts at humor interspersed among notes on important matters in the history of this Order of ours.  For me it’s been fun, all the way. If only we could have completed things earlier than late at night, you might have had error-free reports. Keep well in all events. . .and study those accents over the exotic Spanish words.


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Updated 17 mag 2003  - Page maintained by O.C.D. General House