no. 2 april - june 2006
European Regions Plan Confronting Modern Europe Together
Representative of the two European Regions to meet at Sassone in September
Salesian Sister Enrica Rosanna will address the meeting of the two European regions scheduled for Sassone, Italy on September 11-12, 2006. This meeting was the result of discussions during a joint meeting of the two regions at the General Congregation in São Paolo, Brazil last September.
The theme of the two day program is "How to Confront the Changes in Europe Today: Sociological, Cultural, Religious, and Vocational."
Even in a short conversation with Sr. Rosanna, one benefits from her training as a sociologist and her career as a teacher. While her information is direct and comes in short bursts, it is just as often delivered wrapped in humor. She is well prepared in the area the two regions are seeking to address at this first such meeting. She was appointed as the under-secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in April 2004. Pope John Paul II had named her an auditor at the Synods of Bishops on Consecrated Life in 1994, on Europe in 1999, and on the Episcopacy in 2001.
In an interview with National Catholic Reporter shortly before she took up her position in the Vatican Congregation, Sr. Rosanna sounded totally unfazed by her new role. "Well, I may be slightly less amazed than everyone else," she said.
She later spoke about her vision of consecrated life as requiring a rediscovery of the roots and remembering that we are called both to holiness and to exemplary lives. Admitting that there are enormous problems facing religious life, she never seems to waver in her firm belief that consecrated life has a future "because it is a gift of God."
"I believe strongly in the possibilities of religious life, because God continues to plant the seeds of vocations. I believe that religious life has the capacity to redeem itself, but we’ve got to get going, we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get to work," says the native of Lombardia.
She is a strong advocate for throwing off the uncertainties of religious life in the second half of the last century. "Today it’s a moment of identity. People need to see what it means to be Christians, that Christians are happy. We religious must give witness."
"Today, religious have to be the light not hidden under a basket. There will always be problems, of course. What’s your concept of providence? It’s not that God’s providence will always give us peace on earth, fraternity, and so on. Providence means, ‘I am with you until the end of time. … Even if there are difficulties, I will help you overcome them.’"
Speaking of Christ’s role in consecrated life, Sr. Rosanna said "He’s not a tranquil type. He expropriates us, he makes us change, he makes us walk."
(1) Sr. Enrica Rosanna
The Vatican announced that the beatification of Madre Teresa Scrilli, foundress of the Istituto Nostro Signora del Carmelo, will take place in Fiesole, Italy on October 8, 2006.
Maria Scrilli, known as Sr. Maria Teresa of Jesus, was born in 1825 in Montevarchi. In 1846 she entered the monastery of Santa Maria Magdalena de’ Pazzi in Florence and stayed only two months. She did, however, enroll in the Carmelite Third Order. By 1852, she was the director of a girl’s school as part of the Istituto Bartoli, a pious society. Two years later, on October 15, she started the Institute but this was suppressed by government decree in 1859. She was able to restart it in 1878. She died 11 years later on November 14, the Feast of All Carmelite Saints.
The Institute works in a number of different apostolates. From the beginning, education of children was a primary work. Then the Institute’s co-founder, Maria Mosca, was inspired to serve the sick and the aged. In addition, the sisters now do social as well as pastoral work.
Communities of the Institute are located in Italy, the United States of America, Canada, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, Poland, and India. There are approximately 230 sisters in 39 houses.
The Institute affiliated to the Carmelite Order on March 31, 1929.
Simplisio Manyiko, O. Carm., Elected Commissary Provincial in Zimbabwe
Fr. Simplisio Manyiko has been elected Commissary Provincial in Zimbabwe. He will be the first African Carmelite to hold the position. He replaces Fr. Jack McGrath.
Simplisio was born in Marondera on June 19, 1965. He made his First Profession on March 8, 1991 and was ordained priest on August 22, 1998.
In 2000 he was appointed Director of Pre-Novices at Kriste Mambo Formation Center. He studied in Ireland from 2002 to 2004 earning an M.A. in Pastoral Leadership at All Hallows College. On returning to Zimbabwe he was appointed Director of Novices. In 2005 he was appointed Director of Students at Mount Carmel, Harare. During the past year he has taught a course on pastoral theology at the developing Tefara College, Harare.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Commissariat was held on February 13th. The policy statement drawn up in April 2004 was reflected upon, raising issues such as living in community, the role of the prior, the ministry flowing from community, and decision making in community.
Tefara College, Harare, is being developed as a center of theological studies for religious in Harare. Previously they have been studying at the diocesan seminary but there was some dissatisfaction with it. It is hoped that Tefara will be seeking affiliation with the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) in Nairbi. Other Orders involved in Tefara College are the Redemptorists, the Franciscans, and the Spiritans. In addition to Simplisio, Carmelite Conrad Mutizamhepo has been lecturing at CUEA.
During a recent visitation of the Zimbabwean Carmelite communities, Fintan Burke, the Irish Prior Provincial, visited each community. A professional survey of the houses will be carried out to improve the living situations. For example, due to frequent electrical power outages, a generator will be purchased for the boarding school at Kriste Mambo.
Inflation in Zimbabwe is now 900% which makes life very difficult.
The Zimbabwean Commissariat's website is: www.carmelites.co.zw/
On April 22, 2006, Fr. Michael Kissane, O. Carm., Provincial of the St Elias Province blessed and dedicated Our Lady of Mt Carmel Priory in Vietnam. This house will serve as a formation house for students and friars. Twenty-one people attended the ceremony including the professed students and candidates. This house represents the first permanent residence for the community. It is the result of many years of hard work by Fr. Mario Esposito, O. Carm.
Construction is still going on. The house is about 70% completed. Still to be built is a separate building which will include the kitchen, dining room, laundry, storage room and garage. There is room for 15 people in the house with room for expansion. It includes a center atrium, chapel, community room, library and study hall.
This house was made possible through the generosity of many benefactors. All benefactors were remembered during the ceremony and will be continually remembered in the prayers of all the students who pass through the house.
During the blessing, while Fr. Michael Kissane, O. Carm., blessed each room, the litany of the saints was sung and every Carmelite saint and blessed was called on to help and protect the present community and all who will live in the house in the future.
After the blessing of the house, all processed upstairs to the chapel for Mass. Mario Esposito, O. Carm., was the main celebrant and Fr. Michael Kissane, O. Carm., the homilist. Fr. Paul Denault, O. Carm., concelebrated. Fr Michael in his homily reflected on the gospel message to "Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature".
That was also the challenge that the Carmelites of the St Elias Province were given by the Prior General – Fr Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., in 1997 when he asked the St Elias province at the Provincial Chapter to take over the responsibility for the Order’s emerging foundation in Vietnam. It is the same challenge that the present community hopes to respond to for many years to come.
Report of the 2005 General Congregation Mailed to Provinces and Monasteries
Copies of the printed report of the 2005 General Congregation held in Sao Paolo, Brazil in September have been distributed to provincials for distribution throughout the Order. Entitled "Serving the Church and the World in an Era of Change", the meeting focused on what the Order must do today in order to be capable of transmitting the charism tomorrow.
The printed report contains the opening and closing addresses of the Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, the talks giving by Gustavo Gutiérrez during the group retreat, and the inputs of Carmelite Bishop Paulo Cardoso and Francisco de Sales on the vocation project in Pernambuco.
The booklet is published by Edizioni Carmelitane. Additional copies can
be ordered from Edizioni for a free will offering plus postage.
The website of the General Congregation is easily accessible from carmelites.info