January 2-5, 2002

The Chapter of the Provincial Commissary of Paraná was celebrated January 2-5 in Graciosa, Paranavaí, PR, Brazil. The Commissary is tied to the Upper German Province.

Twenty-four members of the Commissary were present as well as the Provincial, Fr. Christian Körner, the Prior General, Fr. Joseph Chalmers, and the General Councilor for Latin America, Fr. Carlos Mesters. In all, there were 27 participants. The Chapter took place in a climate of mature and sincere fraternity.

The first day was the presentation of the reports of the activity of the superiors of the Commissariate, of the formation work, of the health of the different communities and of the pastoral activity in the parishes. The second day, after an evaluation of the proposals voted in during the preceding Chapter of 1999, the elections took place. Elected were the following brothers: Commissary: Fr. Edimilson Borges de Carvalho; Councilors - Fr. Francisco Manoel de Oliveira, Fr. Wilmar Santin, Fr. Aleixo Rückl e Fr. Osmar Vieira Branco.

On the last day, the objectives were elaborated and voted on, the priorities, the action strategies and the means for realizing them in the next 3 years. With great openness, the brothers placed themselves at the disposition (of the Province) for the transfers and changes needed. At the end, there was a beautiful and emotional Eucharistic celebration.

January 7-11, 2002

The Province of St. Elias (Rio de Janeiro) held its Provincial Chapter January 7-11, 2002, in San Paolo, Brazil.

During the first session, the opening of the Chapter, the image of the Our Lady in Pilgrimage was presented. After the prayer opening the Chapter and the words of welcome on the part of the Prior Provincial, Paulo Gollarte, a roll call of the members was held. During the days, the number of members present varied. Some 34 Carmelites, including the Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., and the Councilor General of Latin America, Carlos Mesters, O. Carm., were present.

In the second and third session on January 9, the reports of the outgoing Council were read, studied and discussed. In the fourth and fifth session on January 10, the proposals made by members of the Chapter were discussed and voted on. In the sixth session, held the morning of January 11, the elections for the new Council were held. The following were elected: Provincial: Geraldo d'Abadia Pires Maciel, O. Carm.; First Councilor: Marcelo Frezarini, O. Carm.; Second Councilor: Valter Rubens Gomes dos Santos, O. Carm.; Third Councilor: Gilvander Luís Moreira, O. Carm.; Fourth Councilor: Cláudio van Balen, O. Carm.

In the last session on January 11, the transfers were given out. The Chapter concluded with a beautiful Eucharistic celebration.

January 14-18, 2002

The Province of Pernambuco met in Chapter January 14-18, 2002, at Camocin de São Felix in Brazil. The Chapter took the theme "`To Be and To Have' As An Expression of Authentic Brotherhood."

In the first session, on January 14, 2002, after the introductory information of the Prior Provincial, João José Costa, and the formal opening by the Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, roll call was held. There were 42 members of the Chapter including the Prior General and the General Councilor for Latin America, Carlos Mesters. Following the approval of the "Ordo Capituli," the nominations of the officials of the Chapter and those responsible for various jobs at the Chapter were approved.

The morning of January 15, the second session was dedicated to a study of the spiritual and material condition of Carmelite life in the Province by means of a dialogue over the reports from the Provincial, the formators, and the treasurer. In the third session, on the same day, there was a reflection on the bibilical and theological ideas in the theme of the Chapter.

The fourth session, on January 16, 2002, was dedicated to the study of the Instrumentum Laboris I, which dealt with the concrete situation of the Province, offering some direction for the next three years. In the fifth session in the afternoon of the same day, elections for a new Prior Provincial and the members of the Provincial Council were held. The following were elected: Provincial: João José Costa, O. Carm., First Councilor: Rogério Severino de Lima, O. Carm.; Second Councilor: Francisco de Sales Alencar Batista, O. Carm.; Third Councilor: Sormani José Barbosa Lima, O. Carm.; Fourth Councilor: Joaquim Ferreira da Luz, O. Carm.

In the sixth and seventh session on January 17, the proposals of the Instrumentum Laboris II document was discussed and voted on. This had been sent by the Preparatory Commission of the Chapter. There was a first draft of the Civil Statues of the Province, contained in Instrumentum Laboris III, to be voted on and approved by the next Provincial Assembly.

In the eighth session on the morning of January 18, after a solemn Eucharistic celebration, the members of the communities met at different locations to elect those responsible for the different positions in the communities. In the same final session, the new novices were received into the novitiate.

January 24-27, 2002

The Dutch Province holds its Chapter in two parts. The first part took place at the Franciscan Sisters Center in Denekamp on January 24-27, 2002. The General Councillor for Northern and Central Europe and North America, William J. Harry, O. Carm., presided in the absence of the Prior General.

This part of the Chapter was focused on faith sharing moving towards the formation of proposals for the second meeting of the Chapter. Beside the members of the Chapter, the associated members and members of the Dutch Third Order also participated in the various discussions and sharing session.

The liturgical celebrations were solemn and moving. Much of the music was based on Carmelite texts and composed by professionals on behalf of the Carmelites.

Following the conclusion of the first part of the Chapter, the General Councilor spent several days traveling to several of the houses and meeting with the communities, including the nuns in Zenderen. The second part of the Dutch Chapter will take place May 23-26.

February 4-7, 2002

The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., presided at the electoral assembly in his own Province. The assembly took place at the ancient Carmelite monastery in Aylesford, England, on February 4-7, 2002.

Elected during the Assembly were: Antony Lester, O. Carm., as Provincial, Patrick O'Keefe, O. Carm., as First Councilor, Richard Copsey, O. Carm., as Second Councilor, Michael Manning, O. Carm., as Third Councilor, and Wilfrid McGreal, O. Carm., as Fourth Councilor.

The Province, at the direction of the Chapter Preparatory Commission, had a serious meetings leading up to the Assembly. Besides the usual community meetings, members with similar interests or ministries also met. These reflections and reports were shared during the sessions. Material for the Chapter will draw from these reflections.

The Provincial Chapter will take place April 2-5, 2002.

The Prior General was accompanied by William J. Harry, O. Carm., General Councilor for Northern and Central Europe and North America.