Update on the Carmelites in Zimbabwe
The Irish Provincial, Fintan Burke, O.
Carm., accompanied by two members of the Provincial
Council, Patrick Staunton, O. Carm., and Michael Troy,
O. Carm., visited the Commissariat of Zimbabwe
from January 19 _ February 17, 2003. Besides
visiting the two centers of initial formation, Kriste Mambo
Novitiate and Mount Carmel, Kriste Mambo College,
Hatfield Priory, and Mutare Priory, they were also able
to visit each of the mission centers. Their visit also
gave them the opportunity to
participate in the Commissariat's Annual General Meeting, a
meeting of the Formation Commission, and that of the
At a specially convened Assembly Day, attended
by almost all of the members of The Commissariat,
four key topics were discussed which will be important
for the future development of the Carmelite presence in
the country: formation, personnel,
apostolates/ministries, and finance.
According to Fintan Burke, "This day of
reflection and discussion is the beginning of a dialogue around
the developing Carmelite presence in Zimbabwe, a
dialogue that will continue at the forthcoming Chapter."
During the visit, three members of the
Commissariat, Andrew Thokozane, Innocent Mazano,
and James Nyagadi made their Solemn Professions. All
three were ordained deacons on March 21. Four
brothers, Henry James Phiri, Sylvester Mubako, Lovemore
Gutu, and Vernon Patrick Jere made their First Profession.
The Diocese of Killaloe (Ireland) Outreach,
which brought two and sometimes three diocesan clergy to
the Commissariat and the Diocese of Mutare, will end
after 20 years. "It is with great regret we learned that
Bishop Willie Walsh will be unable to replace Frs.
Michael Casey and Michael Cooney," said Fintan Burke in
his address to the members of the Zimbabwean
Commissariat. "The involvement of the Killaloe Diocese with
the work of the Irish Carmelites in Zimbabwe has
been greatly valued during the past twenty years. Besides
the pastoral work carried out together, great
personal friendships have been formed which will continue
away from Zimbabwe. While the departure of the
Killaloe priests is a blow to the morale of our men here we
are fortunate to have had their assistance for so long
and that their leaving comes at a time when we can
look forward to increased numbers of Zimbabwean Carmelites coming through our formation programme".
Carmelite Institute in USA Celebrates
Five Carmelite and Discalced Carmelite
Provincials met in mid April, 1993 to officially establish the
Carmelite Institute in the United States of America. It was to be
a cooperative venture between the two branches of
the Carmelite Family and would include male Carmelites,
the nuns, sisters, and Carmelite laity.
"The Institute began with enthusiasm and a vision
the possibilities were numerous and the road ahead
was wide open," said Mary Rodriguez-Harrington, O.C.D.S,
Executive Secretary of the Institute. "Looking back on
the first ten years, I recognize the generosity of those
who came together to create quality programs."
The Institute now offers a plethora of resources
to Carmelites around the world. The Carmelite
Studies Program, affiliated with the Washington
Theological Union, provides courses for credit in a wide range
of Carmelite topics. The Distance Education program
has provided students in twelve countries the opportunity
to do studies in Carmelite topics. The Residential
program has brought together students from a diverse
backgrounds and cultures.
The Institute also provides a variety of resources
on video and audiocassette. Four books have been
published and three well attended conferences have
"Three years ago we grew into a `two full-time
staff' office but we still rely on the kindness of volunteers
and friends to accomplish the work needed for our
projects to run well," said Mary. "I hope for many more
decades ahead. The Carmelite tradition speaks to our
A New Carmelite Program from
A new program in Carmelite Studies has
started under the auspices of the Lumen Christi Institute
in Chicago, Illinois (USA). In order to "promote a
deeper understanding of the Carmelite intellectual tradition"
and "to make the Carmelite tradition available to
scholars and theologians of the Church," the Institute
began working with the Washington Province of the
Discalced Carmelites. Michael Dodd, OCD, is the first director
of the Carmelite Studies program. The program's
inaugural event was a one day seminar last November 9 at
the University of Chicago on the poetry of John of
Some of the activities planned for the future
include an annual academic conference, a scholars'
symposium, occasional lectures, pastoral conferences,
liturgical events, study retreats, and pilgrimages, all
focused around Carmelite themes.
According to Steven Payne, OCD, "The
Lumen Christi Institute is fortunate to have both the
O.Carm. and OCD branches so strongly represented in
the Chicago area. This should provide valuable
resources and a significant audience for its Carmelite offerings.
The Lumen Christi Institute was founded in 1997
by Catholic scholars at the University of Chicago. The
aim of the Institute is to promote dialogue with the
contemporary academy while remaining faithful to the
Church's teaching and tradition. Among its many activities,
Lumen Christi has organized a Regional Program in
Catholic Scholarship, hosted various symposia on science
and religion, sponsored the Yves Simon Lecture series,
and selected visiting scholars to teach in a "Joint Program
in Liberal Arts and the Catholic Tradition."
Pope Awards Carmelite "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice"
The Bishop of Mayagüez, Ulises Casiano
Vargas, requested recognition of his diocese's Pastoral
Vicar, Carmelite Rogelio Mur. A parchment arrived from
Rome designating that Fr. Mur has received the title
"Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" from Pope John Paul II on
January 19, 2002.
Fr. Mur was born in Spain in 1932. Three years
after his ordination in 1956, he was sent to Puerto Rico,
where, among other work, he became the coadjutor and pastor
of a number of parishes over the years. He is
currently Pastoral Vicar of the Diocese of Mayagüez and
member of the Board of Governors of the Concepción Hospital.
He has served the Order as a local superior, as
regional superior of the Antillas, and as Delegate to the
| Dumaguete City Carmelite Nuns Have New Monastery
- After 38 years, the Monastery of Our Lady of Maravillas and St. Joseph of
the Diocese of Dumaguete has a true monastery. Blessed by the
Bishop of Dumaguete, together with the Auxiliary Bishop of Cebu,
the opening celebration for the new building on Sunday, November
17, 2002, drew a large crowd. After the blessing, snacks were served
in the Blessed Frances D'Amboise Formation Center. The old
building was demolished in 2001.
The Carmelite Presence in Kamp-Lintfort, Germany Ends After 48 Years
After much discussion and debate during the
past several months, the presence of the Lower
German Province at Kamp-Lintfort ended in November 2002. At
a Mass celebrated on November 3, the Auxilary Bishop
of Münster, Heinrich Janssen, thanked the Carmelites
for their service at Kamp-Lintfort as well as in other
parishes in the area over the years.
Originally the site of a large Cistercian monastery,
the Carmelites resided in one of the remaining buildings
from that time.
For many years the novitiate of the Lower
German Province was in Kloster Kamp as was the
provincial office. The magazine "Karmel-Simmen" was also
produced there. Just a short walk away is the
Carmelite Retreat House "Edith-Stein-Haus."
General Council March Plenary Session
The General Council of the Order met in
Rome March 1-11, 2003. Included in the sessions was a
period of prayer and reflection on Ash Wednesday.
The statutes of the Carmelite Hermits in
Christoval, Texas were approved following their incorporation
into the Order on November 9, 2002. There was also
discussion and finally approval of the proposed Rule for the
Lay Carmelites by the General Council. (It has
subsequently been approved by the Holy See. See article, page 9.)
There have been two large gathering of Carmelites
in Rome. In late January and early February, an
On-Going Formation program for priors took place at the
Domus Carmelitana. This was quickly followed by the meeting
of the Carmelite nuns on the RATIO. The General
Council reviewed feedback from both and discussed future steps.
Various matters from the Procurator General
were presented and decided. He also gave an update on
the Government Commission's work. The Bursar
General also presented a number of matters for discussion.
The programming of a number of future
celebrations were discussed during the meetings, including the
celebration of the anniversary of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
in 2007, the anniversary of St. Albert of Sicily, also in
2007, the 8th Centenary of the Rule in 2007, and the
Congress on the Charism and the Parish in 2004. Most of
the planning was for the XVth Council of Provinces
which will take place in September in Fatima, Portugal.
The members of the Council also discussed
the various meetings that they have participated in since
the last meeting in December. The Prior General,
Joseph Chalmers, and Rafael Leiva, the General Councilor
for the Mediterranean made canonical visitations to
the Province of Malta and to the French Delegation.
A number of meetings were also held in Latin America
and the Carribean and in Rome. There were updates on
the work of the Institutum Carmelitanum and the
in Rome as well as the program for
improving communications in the Order.
Various calendar dates were fixed for 2004,
including dates for the General Council meetings. The
members have decided to expand the amount of some of
the plenary sessions in order to provide more time to do
long term planning and to discuss some topics more in
depth. These dates are posted on the General Council website.