no. 2   april - june 2003


New General Delegate Named in France

Fr. Klaus Schenkelberger, O. Carm., has been nominated by the Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, as the General Delegate of the Carmelites in France. Fr. Klaus is a member of the Upper German Province.

The Prior General and the General Councilor for the Mediterranean Region made a canonical visit to the members of the Order in France February 24-28, 2003. There are eight Carmelites and one Carmelite postulant in France. One of the members is a French citizen. The others come from Germany, Australia, Brazil, the Congo, the United States of America, Italy, and Spain. The members of the Order in France are directly under the Prior General.

On February 27, an Assembly of the Delegation was held presided over by the Prior General. The gathering dealt with various issues related to the Delegation.

There are two communities (The Center for Spirituality and Studies) and Angers (with a commitment of the community to a parish). There is also a hermitage in Villefranche de Rouergue where one hermit lives. This hermitage is open to other Carmelites who wish to spend some quiet reflective time or make a proviate retreat.

The Order was re-established in France in 1985. It had been completely destroyed during the French Revolution.

Carribean Region Receives Visit of Prior Provincial

Between January 5 and February 4, the Prior Provincial of Arago-Valentine Province, Fr. David Oliver, visited the commmunities of the Provincial Commissariat of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. There are seven communities in the Commissariat, three in the Dominican Republic and four in Puerto Rico. The brothers work in seven parishes and three high schools.

The Provincial also visited the cloistered Carmelite nuns with four monasteries in the Dominican Republic and two in Puerto Rico. He spoke to the nuns about the Ratio which is in process of being developed. These communities are marked by the high number of young nuns and by the great desire to live profoundly the charism and spirituality of the Order.

A special moment during the visit was the Solemn Profession on January 18th in the Dominican Republic of two brothers, Rafael Paulino Núñez and Fanfi Antonio Domínguez Taberas. There was a large participation of the Carmelite Family, including the six postulants for the Provincial Commissariat.

On January 22, the Provinical had a meeting in the Dominican Republic with the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Carmelite Sisters of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.

The annual assembly of the Commissariat was held January 27-30. Almost all the brothers took part. The basis of the discussions was the Ratio, especially numbers 1-70. and the various stages of formation were studied in relation to the reality of the Order in the Commissariat. These discussions will be used for the elaboration of the formation plan of the Province. The proposals for on-going formaiton were particularly relevant. The last day was dedicated to going over the document on fraternal life which contains the principles approved by the Provincial Chapter and on that the community plans were based.

At the end of the visit, the Prior Provincial met with members of the Third Order. During an evening of prayer, the group leaders explained what the groups do and what are their hopes for the future. There were about 200 people at the meeting.

Tomas Ciscar Nadal, the current Commissary of the Antillies, provided the necessary assistance for the working visitation.

Members of the Commissariat of the Antillies gather during the annual assembly which was held January 27-30. The visit of the Prior Provincial, David Oliver, took place January 5 - February 4, 2003. The visit included visits to the various monasteries of Carmelite nuns.


Carmelite Speaks on Relation Between Individual and Community at Diocesan Conference for Religious

During the annual meeting of religious men and women of the diocese of Münster, Carmelite Michael Plattig spoke in front of 200 participants. The theme of the meeting was "Cain, Where Is Your Brother Abel?" Fr. Plattig brought out the challenge of deepening the relationship between individual and community in his talk.

Fr. Plattig put forth the following propositions:

1) A renewal of religious life does not begin with the development of community structures but begins at the center of religious life. That is, it begins with the strengthening of one's relation with God.

2) Religious life is strengthened in the relationship of the individual member with God. Consequently, renewal of community will give its own contribution to the birth of each of its members.

3) The most important ability to exercise in religion is the openness to allowing yourself to be changed by God.

4) From the responsibility of the sisters and of the brothers, from their individual responses to the call of God, develops the openness to let oneself change and grow in community. Transformation and growth of the community are processes. Community is never finished but is always developing or it is not community. Where there is no growth and no willingness to change, community is dead.

5) Since religious life is a sign for the church and for the world, individuality and community must have a life-giving relationship. They must be seen as challenges to which one always needs to respond.

The Religious Orders and Congregations in Seville

Having reported in a previous issue of CITOC on the first part of the cycle of lectures being given concerning Religious Orders and Congregations in Seville, we now announce the second and final part.

This second cycle ran from January through March 2003. The director, Fr. Ismael Martínez, O. Carm., invited people who would be especially interested in the theme of the historical presence of religious in Seville and their social influence in the more than 750 years that have passed.

These conferences were held at the renown "Ateneo de Sevilla." Giving the first conference was Fr. Ismael Martínez himself on "The Carmelite Order in Seville (1358-2003).