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

Information * N. 05 
2003.05.01

 

 

 

The Indian delegates took up the duty of guiding the Chapter´s prayer in common on this Labor Day in Spain.  They taught the group some beautiful songs in Bajan-Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Conkany and other local languages. Fr. Augustine, Provincial of  the Malabar Province, explained in his homily how, like St Joseph the Worker, our aim in life is not success for fidelity to God. 

After breakfast Fr. Camilo read out a detailed report containing topics such as current statistics, what is happening on the different continents, the main accomplishments of the sexennium drawing to a close, relations with the O. Carms, the Secular Order, religious institutes affiliated with our Order, projects and challenges, etc., etc.  The same report was sent to the monasteries already in the form of an attractive booklet.  At the end of the session the Chapter members were given a book prepared by the staff of the Generalate and financed by a kind benefactor, that contains articles, interview texts and other writings of Father General.  It was designed  to show appreciation for the service he has rendered to the Order during the past twelve years (the hard-bound volume is 640 pages long).  Lengthy and warm applause crowned the presentation of the book titled “Roads of Liberty.”  The two languages found in  the book are Spanish and Italian; it is more or less a private edition and, thanks again to the benefactor, a copy is now on its way to every monastry of friars and nuns. 

Father Attilio, General Treasurer, next gave the financial picture of the Order in a candid, transparent way.  The International Economic Commission met periodically with him (two times a year) and a smaller commission took pains to review the account books every month.  Thanks to Divine Providence, and thanks to generous offerings from our Nuns, some Provinces of the Friars and lay benefactors that have been ably managed by Fr. Attilio, real progress has been made on retiring the steep debt that a number of ill-advised and ingenuous operations of the previous sexennium left in their wake.  (Without going into great detail, it is worth noting that the current indebtedness is only 1/12th of what it was at the end of  1997.) 

After the noonday meal (taken, actually, a la española at 2:00pm) the language groups met to pick a representative to the Steering Committee that is expected to “facilitate the flow of Chapter sessions and treatment of the work themes" (Chapter Norms, no. 14).  Father Alfted Grech, Provincial of Malta,  was elected. Another task for the language groups was to identify for reporting to the whole Chapter the most evident positive and negative developments of the past sexennium, as well as priorities for the next six years. These were then read out at a plenary session, at which two kind souls were designated as readers of the Chapter Acts (once they are written down by two recording secretaries.) 

At the end of the day’s work the names of those who have sent messages of support with promises of prayers to the Chapter were announced to the group: they came from monasteries, affiliated congregations and from other members of the Carmelite Family.  With the celebration of Evening Prayer the day dedicated to the “reports” ended.  Tomorrow the Chapter proceeds to the election of a General Superior of the Order.

(Strange PS:  the scribe often thanks his computer for the spell check it provides.  In haste he had tried to type the word “monasteries” and out came “monsteries.”  The immediate underlining saved the day.)

 
    
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