whole world is saddened by the disaster that struck in S.E.
Asia,Communicationes can let you know that,
according to the news we have received, our priories
and convents in that area (Sri Lanka, S.E. India and
Indonesia) have not lost anyone nor has there been any
noteable damage. We thank God and our Lady
of the Sea@.
VISITS BAGHDAD (IRAQ) FOR CHRISTMAS
Luis Arostegui, and the Definitor responsible for the
Middle-East, Fr Robert Paul, wanted to spend Christmas with
their brother Carmelites in Bagdad and with the Christians
On the 23rd
December they joined in a pre-Christmas get-together of
representatives from the various Christian churches (Chaldean,
Orthodox...) present in Baghdad, which was held at the Roman
The next day,
more than 350 people, adults and young alike, came to
Church at 4 o=clock
in the afternoon. Fr Ghadir, the superior of the local
community, presided. The choir, musicians and the
different people involved prepared a beautiful ceremony on
this wonderful occasion. At the end of the Eucharist Fr
General gave a short address, which was translated into
arabic, expressing the communion between the Order and the
Iraqi people, especially the Christians, at this time of
suffering. He recalled how on this night, of the birth of
Christ, that the glory of God is the joy and peace of
humanity. After the celebration everyone wished each
other well, in the various languages.
At the same
time, the RC Archbishop, Mgr Sleiman, celebrated the
eucharist in his cathedral with his people.
day, Mgr Jean Sleiman and the Carmelites came together to
celebrate the eucharist in the cathedral. Once again
Fr. General was invited to address the assembled Christians.
And again after the service people wished each other a happy
feast. It was a good opportunity for the General and the
Carmelites to see the fraternity that exists among the
Catholics in Baghdad.
In the priory,
Frs. Ghadir, Manuel Hernandez, from the Castile Province
(Spain), our deacon Thomas and five postulants (these
received the scapular from Fr. General on December 24 thus
marking the beginning of their postulancy) made their
visitors feel very welcome. The Iraqi Carmelite
student, Imad Naser, from the Lebanese Province, was
visiting Baghdad at this time and celebrated Christmas there
with his brother Carmelites. The times of prayer, as well as
of meals, of sharing, of recreation and music gave life and
hope to the place so that the occasional noise in the
background of machine guns did not cause disturbance.
The Carmelite community in Iraq is supported by the Paris
Province and our missionary presence has been there, in
biblical Mesopotamia, since the XVII century.
The war and
the insecurity are ever present in this town of 5-6 million
inhabitants, forced to live and make do as best they can in
difficult circumstances. We pray that they will never lose
confidence nor hope in the way ahead. These people have a
long history of hospitality and have always been welcoming.
Still today you will find many people of good will.
to Iraq and in order to get there the General went to Amman,
Jordan, where he met the RC Bishop Mgr Selim Sayegh and some
of his collaborators. He learnt a lot from them in a short
time about the Middle-East.
Fr Luis and Fr
Robert experienced great and unexpected graces from their
time spent in Iraq. There they could see the strength and
the importance of the Order.
ANNIVERSARY OF THE TERESIANUM
1955 - 2005
anniversary of the official inauguration of the Teresianum
will take place on April 24, 2005. When the idea of
constructing such a college was first aired to accommodate
the students at the OCD International College, then situated
on the Corso d=Italia,
number 39, no one thought of the Teresianum.
Second World War the need to construct and rebuild was
apparent. The Order was also aware of the urgent need
to develop its principle centre of culture and formation,
that had managed to survive the war.
A project was
agreed to establish a centre which would allow a larger
number of Carmelite students to study in Rome, with
sufficient space for academic work and at the same time
respond better to the need for theological and spiritual
After the 1947
General Chapter the new General Curia began to look for a
suitable plot of land and for funds. The choice was
made of some land next to the Basilica of St. Pancrazio and
next to the Seminary for our Missions. Within a few
years the enthusiastic commitment of Fr. Silverio and the
Definitory General, as well as the collaboration of the
provinces and the whole Order, brought the project to a
satisfactory conclusion. The hand of divine providence
was evident on various occasions, so that, four years after
laying the foundation stone (October 5, 1950), the Order was
able to celebrate the official inauguration of the new seat
of learning, the Discalced Carmelite International College,
in Piazza St. Pancrazio, 5a.
JOINT OCD -
O.CARM COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA
On June 4,
1993, the two General Curiae O.Carm and OCD formed a
for Latin America. It has functioned from the beginning with
the following main objective:
develop and support the effort of reflecting and
disseminating Carmelite themes and experiences based on
scripture, theology, pastoral activity and spirituality, in
the context of the present reality and, in order to grow in
communion as a Carmelite family, in all its diversity and
plurality, so as to be at the service of the people of God
in Latin America and the Caribbean@.
At its meeting
in September 2003, in the shrine of St Teresa of the Andes,
Chile, the Commission asked the Peruvian Carmel to put onto
computer all the material that it had produced during the
nine meetings and the ten years of its existence.
brothers have completed their task and produced an excellent
CD, with the history, the aims, the tasks, a photographic
album and all the details from the nine conferences.
meeting a theme is chosen and developed. The speakers are
well known from both Orders: Camilo Maccise, Carlos Mesters,
Bruno Secondin, Maximiliano Herraiz, Silvio Baez, Tito
Rigueroa, Romulo Cuartas, and many others. A sample of
Carmelite Charism in Latin America@,
examples of holiness@,
Apostolic dimension of Carmel@,
Experience of God and communion@,
to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Latin America@,
involvement of the laity in Carmel@,
information we encourage you to visit the new web page:
RECOGNITION OF A DISCALCED CARMELITE NUN
The city of
Legnano, near Milan, Italy, has posthumously honoured Mother
Elizabeth of the Trinity ocd (1935-2004). The decree
recounts the reasons why our sister was considered worthy of
such an honour:
love she showed for her neighbour, her great spirituality,
her deep faith, her awareness of the daily lives of the
local people have transformed the Carmel of Legnano, into a
centre for the whole city..@
lived for 46 years in this convent, where she had been
directress of novices and prioress. At the time of her
death she was the President of the Association of the
Carmels of Lombardy, Emirian and Piedmont. The decree
from the municipality describes Mother Elizabeth as a person
free spirit, and thanks to her spirituality and sensitivity
it was easy to confide in her,... From her cloister she
managed to offer encouragement and kindness to whoever came
to her in difficulty. She loved life till the end, in
spite of her struggles with illness. She gave herself
in service to her Carmelite sisters...@
personality and spirituality of this Italian Discalced
Carmelite has left a mark on the community and on the city.
The document from the municipality ends:
will always remember her radiant smile@.
CICLA is the
Carmelite Conference of Latin America@.
Since its foundation, in the 1970's, it has regularly
organized spirituality congresses. In recent years
there has been one every three years. The last one
took place in Chile, November 21 - 31, 2004. The theme
chosen was the spirituality of St. Teresa of the Andes.
The venue was the spirituality centre next to her shrine.
Representatives gathered from Carmel all over Latin America
as well as the United States: friars, nuns and laity.
Five hundred in all.
began with an introduction to the historical context in
which St Teresa lived. Then followed themes on her
spiritual life, those that can be seen in her writings:
Diary and Letters. After the lectures there was
the chance for personal study of her writings, which was
later shared in group discussions. The fruit of the
Congress will be published in the Review
from the Colombian Province.
(Dr. Rene Meza),
(Sr. Conception Garriag cmt),
(Sr. Maria Paz Riesco),
(Sr. Sandra Henriquez cm),
of the Andes@
(Fr. Marino Purroy, ocd),
(Fr. Felix Malax, ocd),
is God like@
(Fr. Felix Malax, ocd),
(Fr Cristhian Ogueda, ocd),
(Fr. Armando Sejas, ocd),
crosses of Latin America@
(Fr. Camilo Maccise, ocd),
message for the youth@
(Fr Miguel Ortega, dioc. Priest),
(Fr. Felix Malaz, ocd).
There was also
an opportunity to study the places where Teresa lived.
A SPIRITUALITY COURSE
Three days of
spiritual reflection, organized by the Carmelite secular
order of Mendoza, Argentina, was held in the foothills of
the Andes mountains, between 25th - 27th
The title of
the course was:
intimacy of your heart: the art of prayer with the Carmelite
were part of an annual series of events for the diocese.
Members of the Secular order came from near and far, some
hundreds of kilometres, to attend this event which was
announced on radio and television and in all the parishes of
the diocese. The local Bishop was happy to give it his
seminarians were specially invited and came in large
numbers, showing great interest.
discussed were on the Carmelite Doctors of the church, and
given by Fr. Andres Castineiras, ocd (Delegate for the OCDS
in Argentina), and Fr Ricardo Prado, ocd (Second councillor
of the Delegation).
At the end of
these days the secular order community, of St Joseph, from
Mendoza, came together for four days of spiritual retreat,
in order to give thanks to God for the blessings He bestowed
upon this Carmelite initiative, within and beyond the
diocese, and to pray for more blessings.
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BASILICA
On July 12th
eleven Carmelite friars of the Paris Province led prayers in
the crypt. They
were only too
happy to respond to the invitation to give thanks for the 50th
anniversary of the dedication of the Basilica, and to add a
special Carmelite touch.
Lisieux grew up on Carmel=s
soil, she was a
in the garden, but at the same time she is a treasure for
the whole Church, which her title of Doctor confirms. The
presence of the Discalced Carmelite friars at Lisieux
reminds one that Thérèse was a Carmelite, and shows that, in
cooperating with others, Carmel is of and for the Church.
delegation represented the various priories of the Paris
Province, and even further, Bagdad, thanks to the presence
of Brother Thomas on a visit to France. This spiritual
animation put into practise the resolution of the provincial
chapter of April 2002, in Avon, which wanted to renew and
intensify our presence in Lisieux. The presence of
Bro. Robert Paul, Definitor, also signified the support from
the centre of the order in this male Carmelite presence in
celebrations for Thérèse were celebrated from 25th
September to 3rd October. The new Carmelite
community was present. Brother Philippe Hugelé is the
prior. This year, the celebrations preceded the
pilgrimage of Thérèse=s
relics to Spain and to Colombia. Mgr. Jesus Garcia Burillo,
bishop of Avila, wwas present. Brother Raphael Leon,
of the Aragon-Valencia province, led the prayers, during
which Sonia L. Rivas-Cabellero sung some of Teresa of Avila=s
poems accompanied by music from the XVI century.
Brother Jorge Humberto Restrepo of the Colombian province
was also present. He had come to accompany the relics
on their six week pilgrimage to Colombia. The friars
were responsible for taking the relics from the nun=s
chapel to begin the festivities.
and the extension of the new Carmelite priory has been
completed and the new community are now fully involved in
pilgrimage ministry and give pastoral reflections.
We entrust to
this new presence of the Order in Lisieux.
DOCUMENTS FOR THE PROCESS OF EXPELLING FR. GRACIAN
On November 24th
2004 there was a presentation in the Teresianum, Rome, of
the volume Expulsion del P. Gracian. Documentos de un
Proceso 1587-1601. MHCT, 21 (pp. 712+4O,
edited by Fr. Juan Luis Astigarraga,ocd, now completes all
the most important historical sources relating to Fr.
Gracian. Fr Juan Luis explained in his presentation the
characteristics and content of the tome and Fr. Ildefonso
Moriones, the Postulator General, explained the importance
of this work, in order to begin the Beatification process of
Fr. Gracian, according to the decision taken on December 15,
2000 by the Definitory General, following the resolutions of
the General Chapter of 1991. Fr General presided at
this presentation, with Fr Luis, Fr Ildefonso and the rector
of the Teresianum, Fr Dario Cumer. Fr. Otilio
Rodgriguez was remembered with gratitude, who in 1971 began
to take steps that would eventually lead to the setting up
of the Institutum Historicum Teresianum. The
fruits of this Historical Institute are at the Order=s
disposition. There is also today the Monumenta Historica