no. 2 april - june 2005
Joseph Wallroth, O. Carm., has always been a unique minister. As pastor of St. John’s Parish in Leonia, New Jersey (USA) he also served as one of the town’s firefighters. Before joining the military as a chaplain, he learned to fly.
He currently serves as the Wing Chaplain at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland (USA). One of Chaplain Wallroth’s numerous responsibilities is the spiritual care of the men and women of the Presidential Airlift Group, those who pilot and maintain the aircrafts used by the President of the United States and his staff. As a Colonel in the United States Air Force stationed at Andrews AFB, Fr. Joe has greeted the US President, the US Vice President and various civilian members of the cabinet and military officials arriving and departing from the airbase as part of his ministry.
At Andrews, he is responsible to the commanding general for all religious programs and issues on the military base. There are four chapels and a staff of 24, including eight other chaplains, nine enlisted people while the rest are civilians.
Being the only Catholic priest on the base means he has built up a team of lay Catholics as Ministers of the Eucharist to the base medical center. "The staff and the team of lay minister are great. The whole job has been wonderful and enabled me to do many different things."
Large Number Participate in International On-Going Formation Course
Twenty-seven Carmelites from the various parts of the Carmelite Family participated in the on-going formation course "Living Sources: The Early Carmelite Spiritual Writings." The course was held at the Domus Carmelitana from January 30 – February 12, 2005. Each region of the Order was represented except Africa.
The course was organized by the On-going Formation Subcommittee of the International Formation Commission. It used the methodology of lectio divina throughout.
Among the writings studied were the Rubrica prima, Ignea Sagitta, De Institutione Primorum Monachorum and the Carmelite figures John Baconthorpe, Michele Aiguani, and John Soreth. Presenters included Emanuele Boaga (Ita), Paul Chandler (Aus), Carlo Cicconetti (Vice General), Kevin Alban (Brit), and Giovanni Grosso (Ita).
Among those attending were 17 priests and brothers, 8 nuns from five monasteries in Italy, one sister from the Irmăs Carmelitas da Divina Providęncia Congregation, and a Third Order member.
Based on the evaluations turned in at the end of the course, the participants found it a very positive two week experience.
The course for 2006 will study the spirituality of the Touraine reform. This 17th century reform of the Carmelite Order is one of the most important moments in our history. Through the Constitutions of 1904 and 1930 as well as the Spiritual Directory written by John Brenninger, O. Carm., this reform influenced the whole Order. Major figures include John of St. Samson and Michael of St. Augustine.
This course will be held in Rome January 23 – February 5, 2006.
Web site for the International Formation Commission: carmelites.info/formation (with a link to the courses offered
Felix Pallipatt, O. Carm., a Carmelite priest from the Indian Commissariat working in Kenya, was shot in the leg during a bus hijacking in the Westlands, a section of Nairobi, Kenya. According to an eyewitness report by a Rosminian priest who is a professor at Tangaza College in Nairobi, five armed passengers pulled out guns. While one of these men drove the bus, the other four robbed the passengers.
Fr. Felix handed over his wallet but when the robbers went through his luggage, they discovered more money and a cellular phone charger. They then demanded his phone which he gave them. One of the criminals held a gun to Fr. Felix’s head. An elderly lady intervened, pulling the gun away from the priest’s head and telling the criminals not to be so stupid. The armed robber then shot Felix just behind the knee.
The Indian Commissary, John Adapoor said "I have always had a soft spot for old ladies with pluck. This just confirms it."
The bullet exited the leg and the report says that Felix did not know he had been shot until a short time later.
There have been other assaults against clergy. A secular priest, Fr. John Hannon was beaten to death by thugs in his home in November 2004 in Matasia, Kenya. An 85 year old Dominican in Kisumu, Kenya died from injuries received from an assault during a burglary. According to Fr. John, there are about 60-100 hijackings a week in Nairobi.
"Fr. Felix is fine. He knows the risks of living there and he is in good spirits," said Fr. Adapoor.
Philippine Carmelite Beaten by Police
Benedicto Zaragosa, a Carmelite brother in the Philippine General Commissariat was beaten by police and received a head injury while entering the grounds of Our Lady of Remedies Church in Manila during a protest on April 7, 2005.
Hundreds of protesters carrying signs saying "Defend Civil Liberties" and "Stop Killing Journalists" marched towards the Philippines International Conference Center in Manila where the
Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) was in progress. The rally was called to protest the rash of killings of activists and journalists in the country.
When the protestors reached the church grounds, baton wielding police tried to force them out. A Franciscan priest who heads the group "Promotion for Church People’s Response" was also badly beaten. The group has been accused of being a communist front by the military.
Eleven others were also hurt during the clash.
A statement from the Carmelite Commission for Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation of the Philippine General Commissariat protested the overreaction of the police against a peaceful rally. The statement points out that the demonstration was against political repression and violence against member of the clergy, journalists, and other activist groups. The statement also protests the spreading of suspicion and fear about "ghost" enemies of the State.
The Province of Our Lady Help of Christians Australia and Timor Leste have eight young men in the Novitiate. Joao Bosco Verdial, Jose Hornay, Angelino dos Santos, Vital do Nacimento Barreto, Martinho da Costa, Carlos dos Santos Correia, Celiano da Silva Sanches were received on the 16th August 2004 in Timor Leste and Christopher Mercovich was received on 10th February 2005.
We now have five Carmelites ordained to the priesthood in Timor Leste, Augusto Sampaio da Costa on 14th September 2000, Aniceto Maia da Costa and Nelinho Americo Ferreira Soares on 14th November 2001, Manuel Almeida da Costa on 28th August 2003 and Augusto Antonio da Costa Galhos on 16th November 2001, Manuel Almeida da Costa on 28th August 2003 and Augusto Antonio da Costa Galhos on 16th November 2004.
We have 13 pre-novices in Timor Leste and one in Australia, Julio Eum IL Sung from Korea, possibly our first Korean candidate in the Order. Paul Lonot Sireh made his Solemn Profession on 22nd April this year, the first and only member of the Order from Papua New Guinea. Antonio Olavio Exposto, our first non-clerical student in Timor Leste has begun his preparation for Solemn Profession which will take place in August this year.
Wayne Stanhope, O. Carm.
The web site for the Australian and Timor Leste Province is www.carmelites.org.au
The opening of the twelfth Carmelite bookstore in the Czech Republic was celebrated with a blessing and festive gathering on April 6, 2005. Jan Fatka, O. Carm., the Director of Karmelitanske Nakladatelstvi, the Carmelite publishing house in the Czech Republic, is with staff and customers who attended the event. William J. Harry, O. Carm., General Councilor for Communications in the Order, congratulated those present on their efforts in this important work for the Order. (CITOC photo)