V EUROPEAN MEETING OF CARMELITE
This meeting took place from August 29 to
Sept 6 in our Priory in Viano do Castelo, Portugal, with 111
students taking part, from 17 different countries: Italy,
France, Spain, Poland, Croatia, Cheque Republic, Portugal,
Germany, Malta, Egypt, India, Byelorussia, Iraq, Colombia,
Vietnam, Senegal, Cameroon.
The overall theme of the meeting was:
The Challenge of the European Culture to the Church, to
Religious Life and to Carmel
The themes and speakers were:
The Challenge of
European culture to the Church: what kind of evangelization
in this European culture?
(Dr. José Policarpo, Cardinal of Lisbon)
The Challenge of
european culture to Religious
Life: what kind of witness? What kind of religious and
community model? (Brother
Benito Arbuées Torralba, ex General of the Marists).
The Challenge of
european culture to Carmel: what
kind of witness and appeal? What Carmel has to offer
(Fr. Luis Arostegui, the General of
spiritual heritage can hope to gain from the modern
ecclesial movements in Europe
(Sr Monique-Marie of the Holy
Faith, Beatitude Community).
There was time for a day dedicated to
Mary and Carmel, then pilgrimages to Fatima, to Coimbra,
where we visited the Friars and Sisters; there we greeted
Sister Lucia, (one of the seers of Fatima) who gave us all a
small memento, Aveiro, and the shrine in Braga.
Throughout these days there was a genuine
atmosphere of fraternity, enriched by the mutual getting to
know one another on a European level We
left greatly encouraged to live and share the Carmelite
charism with the people and the youth of today.
A very special mention of the Provincial
of Portugal, Fr Alpoim Alves, who was with us at every
session and other Fathers who were our hosts for this event,
whose generosity and service made this event such a success.
The long applause of all those who took part spoke clearly
of the sincere gratitude felt towards the Portuguese
Province who welcomed us one and all with open arms.
May Mary Mother of Carmel and Fatima repay them with many
EUROPEAN MEETING OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
OF OCD VOCATION PROMOTERS
This meeting took place from September 7
to 11 in our priory in Marco de Canaveses, Portugal with 31
promoters taking part, from 11 countries.
The first day was dedicated to the
general focus of the meeting, by Fr. Giovanni Salonia OFM,
who spoke on the theme of The Youth in Europe Today.
Afterwards there was an interesting exchange of
questions and answers.
The second day was dedicated to the
Experience of Vocational Work of the various Provinces, with
a particular input from Mexico, as a possible model to
The third day was dedicated to seeing
what concrete choices could be made by the Provinces, what
fundamental options and directions. In the end all the
findings were written up in a document entitled: Final
Report of the Congress for OCD Vocation=s
Promoters, that can be read on
our Website, and which will be sent to the Provinces.
We would like to thank again the
Portuguese Province for the wonderful
hospitality which made all this possible. It
was the first encounter of such a kind, and has given all
the vocation promoters much enthusiasm and will hopefully
lead to a much needed flowering of vocations in the Order in
Europe today. May the Mother of Carmel watch over and
protect this vine.
AFRICAN CONGRESS ON FORMATION
The Congress on Formation took place from
September 5 to 11, in our Priory in Yaoundy, Cameroon, for
Africa Francophone and Madagascar. It was arranged by Fr
Zacharie Igirukwayo, General Definitor, for Africa, and the
General Secretary for the Missions. The basic theme
was: The Integration of Carmelite culture in the process
of initial formation. There were 20 participants,
who included Superiors and those responsible for formation,
originating from Rome, Madagascar, Bukino Faso, Rwanda,
Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Central Africa and Senegal.
The General had been due to be present, but in the end it
was not possible. Instead he sent a message that was read
We asked Fr. Luc-Marie Perrier, ocd,
Superior of the Senegal Mission and Fr. Sibde Semporé,
Regional Superior from the Dominicans of West Africa and
founder of the review Pentecote Afrique, both experts
in giving conferences, to use their experience to facilitate
the congress. The former explained how it was
important to have some kind of formation control or check
and the criteria for this. The general theme of the
second facilitator was The
meeting between African culture and religious life in the
The Nuncio for the Cameroon visited the
conference and spent a day with us. In the evening we
celebrated the Eucharist with our Sisters from Yaounde.
The dynamic of the Congress was:
information-communication-collaboration. The final
slogan was: After the conference the meeting continues.
A commission to begin an African review of spirituality
was established. Its function will be to spread
Carmelite literature in Africa and Madagascar. This
will be an important factor in order to strengthen the Order=s
presence on this continent and in the islands of the Indian
PRAYER THERAPY AND PASTORAL COUNSELING
The Carmelite Friars of the Manjummel
Province have ventured to start a center for prayer therapy
and pastoral counseling at Tiruvalla in the diocese of
Vijayapuram, Kerala, India. Ave Maria House, as it is
known now, which was formerly used as the residence of the
Chaplain of our nuns by the Friars of Manjummel, is
remodeled to accommodate more members to exercise the
healing ministry of prayer and counseling. Many people
who are depressed and are suffering from various
difficulties approach our Nuns for prayer. While the
Sisters help them by prayer, the Friars render them the
service of pastoral counseling.
The Chapel of the center was blessed by
the Bishop of Vijayapuram and the building by the Bishop of
Tiruvalla on April 29, 2004. A good number of people,
from the surrounding area - including non-Catholics and
non-Christians were present at the function.
Our nuns came to Tiruvalla on February
28, 1948 and on the 8th of September of the same
year, the enclosure was erected. At present there are
This joint apostolate of the brothers and
sisters of Carmel is hoped to produce a lot of good fruit.
THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COMMISSION
The entire commission met on September 13th
in Rome at the Generalate, together with Fr General in order
to look at the accounts for the first six months of 2004.
They noted that economic crisis in Europe was reflected in
the offerings made to the Generalate; there was a slight
improvement from the contributions of the Provinces and
Circumscriptions; the cost of daily administration has
remained fairly stable; and there has
not been any extraordinary expenses. All this has
meant a slight improvement in finances, in spite of the
financial help given to some priories, students and convents
who found themselves in need. Once again we regret the
lack of security when sending money by cheque: you are
invited to send money either through a bank or by postal
Just to remind you again fo the
international codes: Bank Post: IT44 P O7601 03200
00003151004 BIC:BPPIITRRXXX and
Bank Credit Bergamasco: CREBIT22 F O3336 03200
000000001519. Everything should be addressed to
ACasa Generalizia Padri
A decision was made for the Commission to
meet just once a year, given that there are no particular
problems at the moment. Besides there are two
sub-committees: one for the new Centre of Spirituality in
Avila, Spain and the other for the Stella Maris Project,
The next meeting has been arranged for February 7 2005 in
ATTACK ON THE GRAND BASSAM CARMEL,
IVORY COAST, AFRICA
On the 15th July, the feast of
Our Lady of Mt Carmel, masked men broke into the convent of
the Carmelites of Grand Bassam. They shook and slapped the
Sisters who were in the choir at the time and shoved them to
the ground where they were told to remain prostrate.
The sisters who made the least resistence they were beaten
up. They broke three of the Prioress=s
toes. Another sister was given a black eye.
The violent visitors demanded to be given
all the money that the community possessed, straight away.
The Sisters who were shaking with fear gave them what ever
they thought might be of value that they had on their
person. Then the theives left. But the Sisters
are frightened as to what might happen next time. We
hope that they will be able to overcome their fears with the
typical Teresian fortitude of our missionaries and be able
to forget this most unpleasant of incidents.
SANCTIFIED BY ILLNESS, THE PATH TO
Brother Inmaculado José of Jesus
15.08.1923 - 13.04.1989
The life of Aldo Brienza was very
special. He was born in 1923, Campobasso, Italy.
Aged 15 he suffered terrible pains in his legs. From
June 27 1938 he remained crippled and would remain lying in
a bed for the rest of his life. He put his faith in
God and was sustained by the Eucharist. He offered up
his sufferings for priests, for their holiness. He also
consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin.
In 1946 he became a secular Carmelite.
But two years later the Holy See granted him the privilege
to make solemn vows as a Discalced Carmelite. He
continued to live at home with his family. As one of
our Religious he was first called Brother Inmaculado José of
Our Lady of Sorrows. In 1950 the religious title was
He lived in close union with the Order through prayer and
the Eucharist and attending those important events of the
Order as his condition allowed. He never stopped
reading the lives of the Saints of Carmel.
Many people came to see him at his home.
He received them always in his bed. His serenity and
happiness left a deep impression. He wrote to many
people and kept a spiritual diary. Even during his
lifetime he was considered a Carmelite saint. He died
on April 13 1989. Almost straight away his cause was
encouraged, especially by the local people.
And on the 11th October this
year the Archbishop of Campobasso announced that the
canonical cause for the beatification of this exceptional
Carmelite was to begin.
BRAZIL. NEW ASSOCIATION COUNCIL
The elections for a new Council of the
Association of Our Lady of Carmel, South Brazil,took place
at a General Assembly from the 7th to 9th
August, this year, in the presence of Fr General.
Coordinator: Maria Teresinha
do Menino Jesus (Sâo Leopoldo)
1st Councillor: Maria José de Jesus
2nd Councillor: Teresa de Jesús (Giruá)
3rd Councillor: Celina do Menino
4th Councillor: Lourdes de Jesus
Verônica da S. Face (Caixas do Sul)
4th CENTENARY OF THE FIRST
CARMEL IN LATIN AMERICA
This year we celebrate the first
foundation of Carmelite Sisters in Latin America. The
first convent was given the title Puebla de
los Angeles in Mexico.
This joy is to be shared by the whole Order.
A programme has been arranged to
celebrate this historic event with dignity, and will include
a solemn eucharistic celebration,
conferences etc., from 13th to 15th
October 2004. The early days of this Carmel,which
was not linked to any other convent, was due in great part
to two Spanish ladies from Veracruz. The brief for the
foundation was issued by Pope Clement VII, on July 5 1602,
but the actual foundation did not begin until December 27
1604. (Carmelos del Mundo,
Ad multos annos.