The newly elected General Council spent their first weeks together developing the framework for a six year plan. The plan is being printed and distributed to members of the Order along with the Final Message of the General Chapter and a listing of the members of the Commissions of the Order.

The General Chapter, utilizing the theme "The Journey Continues," was held September 4-21, 2001.

The Council met at the Curia residence in Rome from the end of October until the middle of December. The usual appointments of persons and commissions following a General Chapter were made. Much of the time at these meetings focused on developing a plan to move the Order ahead during the next six years.

The plan is based on the proposals approved by the General Chapter, the provisions contained in the Order's Constitutions, and on discussions of how to deal with the concerns raised. Divided into two major parts, the first is entitled "The Spirit Enlivens Us on the Journey." It gives a theological reflection about the journey.

The second part, "Setting Out On the Journey," outlines specific tasks to be focused on in the various areas of the Council's responsibilities.

"While the six year plan presents a basic framework and outlines the programs that the General Council has been mandated to deal with, much of the General Chapter dealt with matters that are going to have to be dealt with on the provincial, local community, and personal level," explained Joseph Chalmers, Prior General. "We have to make sure that the members engage in reflection on these ideas. To bring that kind of reflection about, the development of an overall plan is just the beginning."

The six year plan calls for leadership to continue traditional means of raising awareness, such as visits, participation at Provincial Chapters, commissions, assemblies of Major Superiors, and courses of on-going formation. The General Council will focus on helping "the whole Order to continue on the journey towards the holy mountain, which is Christ the Lord" and live out those ideals written in the Order's documents.

However, the reality expressed throughout the document is that any progress in the journey will require personal commitment and conversion. It speaks of these as part of a process just begun. The document also holds that these must take place on the personal level. "God constantly calls us to conversion and to a pure heart so that we may learn to want that which God wants, and so to live as God's children and citizens of God's Realm."


The Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of Our Lady celebrated their Canonical Erection as a Religious Institute of the Diocese of Dumaguete in the Philippines on February 11, 2002.

The celebration included a Eucharist celebrated by the Most Rev. John F. Du, the Bishop of Dumaguete. The Archibishop of Jaro, Most Rev. Angel N. Lagdameo, was the homilist.


The Congregation of `Serikat Putri Karmel' (Daughters of Carmel) was erected as a Congregaton with Diocesan Rights on February 2, 2002 by Msgr. H.J.S. Pandoyoputro, O.Carm., Bishop of Malang (Indonesia) in Ngadireso (Malang).

The Congregation was founded in 1982 by Iohannes Indrakusma, O.Carm. and developed its ministry of retreats, spiritual exercises, and the spiritual formation of the young

On February 2, 2002, a Eucharist of Thanksgiving was celebrated at the College of St. Peter the Apostle of Rome. Three sisters present in Rome renewed their vows during this ceremony.

The entire Carmelite Family wishes to congratulate the Sisters of these two Congregations on this momentous occasion and joins with them in prayers for the future.


The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., has assigned responsibility for the following areas to the members of the General Council.

Carmelite Family

- Laity: Josef Jancar, O. Carm.
- Nuns and Sisters: Rafael Leiva, O. Carm.

Evangelization: Anthony Scerri, O. Carm.

Justice and Peace: Carlos Mesters, O. Carm.

Culture/Higher Education: William J. Harry, O. Carm.

Spirituality and Formation (including On-Going Formation): Carlo Ciconnetti, O. Carm.

Communications (including responsibility for the CITOC and the Order's website): William J. Harry, O. Carm.

The Prior General also nominated Alexander Vella, O. Carm. (Mel), to be responsible for the annual courses of On-Going Formation.

Each General Councilor will serve as a coordinator for the area he is assigned to. Each will also work as a liaison between the various groups in each area of responsibility and the General Council of the Order.

In making the assignments, the Prior General expressed the hope that Councilors would work collaboratively even though a specific Councilor was assigned ultimate responsibility for each area.

The assignments came as part of the General Council's focus on developing a long range plan for the next six years.

The General Council appointed Kevin Alban, O. Carm. (Brit), as the new General Secretary of the Order. The Council has named Antonio de Silva, O. Carm., (Flum) as the Co-General Secretary.

The General Council has also appointed Carlo Cicconetti, O. Carm., Vice General of the Order, as prior of the curia house. Kevin Alban was appointed sub-prior and Pedro Murciano, O. Carm. (Arag) was reappointed as treasurer of the curia community. Manuel Anguiano, O. Carm. (Baet), was reappointed as Archivist of the Order and also as sacristan of the community. He will take on the additional duty of curia librarian.

Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., the Prior General, said "I am very happy with the new team. I am also grateful to the provinces which made these changes possible."


Two Timorese novices, five clerical students, and one non-clerical student will be members of the Australian Province. They had previous been members of the Indonesian Province.

In a letter to the Australian Province on November 23, 2001, Wayne Stanhope, the Prior Provincial who was in East Timor at the time, wrote "With this visit each of our Timorese brothers have now officially become members of our Province in Australia." He also reported that "the eight are well and most welcoming of my presence and news of Australia."

At the ordinations of Aniceto Maia da Costa, O. Carm., and Nelinho Americo Fereria Soares, O. Carm., on November 14, 2001, in the Cathedral of Dili, Bishop Belo spoke with gratitude for Carmel in Timor Lorosae and asked the Carmelites to lead the people in contem plation as we continue to live among them. He said "It is in contemplation that a sense of meaning and purpose may be found."

That evening the Lay Carmelites provided a meal for all who had come in to the celebration. "It was the first time that priests, sisters, and laity sat down together and ate at the one table. To feed so many with a spirit of such openness and joy became an event that for two days was featured on national television," recalled Fr. Wayne. "The bishop was extremely impressed by the inclusion and remarked that it was a further sign of how Carmel was being lived in the midst of the people."

The parish in Zumalai is now called the parish of Madre de Monte Carmelo with one central church and 16 village chapels. It is estimated that some 500 people more remain to cross the border from West Timor following the cessation of the war. The parish will then number about 20,000. In order to establish a presence in Zumalai, the Carmelites left Maubara on December 3, 2001.

Four Carmelites will live in Zumalai joined by four young men who have already been accepted as aspirants.

In reflecting on this new venture for the Australian Carmelites, Fr. Wayne wrote "Our Chapter theme "Choose life …" gave us the right attitude and orientation. Timor Lorosae became the gift we needed to move us beyond our own concerns."


Tanay, Rizal will be home to the new monastery, Carmel of Mary, Star of the Sea. It was one of the ways the Order is celebrating the Marian Year and the 750th Anniversary of the Scapular.

The Bishop of Cabanatuan, Most Rev. Sofio G. Balce presided over a "Farewell Mass" on November 3, 2001 for the foundresses of the new monastery. The celebration took place at the Chapel of Our Lady of Nazareth in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.

On November 4, 2001, the nine foundresses from the three monasteries left for Tanay. A blessing and inauguration of the House of God was held later.


The second Carmelite Forum was held at Gort Muire in Dublin, Ireland at the beginning of November. The first was held at Boars Hill, Oxford, in January.

Representatives of the Carmelite Friars and the Discalced Carmelites of Great Britain and Ireland, Discalced Carmelite nuns from England, Scotland, and Ireland, Corpus Christi Carmelites, The Leaven, Lay Carmel, and the Secular Discalced Carmelites.

The speakers were asked to reflect upon the following two questions; `How does Carmel help me to pray today?' The speakers were: Mrs Alocoque O'Reilly (Secular Discalced Carmel), Sr. Mary Brigeen of the Holy Spirit (Kilmacud Carmel), and Miss Rosemary Kinman (The Leaven).

The Forum continued to reflect upon the Carmelite Tradition and the best way to make it better known in Britain and Ireland. A number of suggestions were made, including correspondence courses, summer schools and eventually a Carmelite Institute.

The following will meet in January in Dublin to reflect upon the best way forward: Alocoque O'Reilly (Secular Discalced Carmel), Rosemary Kinman (The Leaven), James McCaffrey, ODC, Nicholas Madden, ODC, John Keating, O.Carm., and Francis Kemsley, O.Carm.


The Institutum Carmelitanum, located at Centro Internazionale San’ Alberto (CISA) celebrated 50 years of service to the Carmelite Order on Sunday, November 18, 2001.

The program for the day started with a welcome by the prior of CISA, Mark Attard, O. Carm., and a greeting and brief history of the Institute by Emanuele Boaga, O. Carm., who is completing his term as president of the Institute.

The Eucharist was celebrated by Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., the Prior General. He also delivered the homily in which he called for continued emphasis on scientific research and theological training so that the Order will continue to serve the Church authentically.

A book, “L’Institutum Carmelitanum: attività scientifica, divulgativa ed editoriale dal 1951 al 2001”, was distributed to those in attendance. The celebration concluded with a dinner at CISA.

Some 75 people were in attendance, including many members of the Carmelite Family.


The Commission for the Causes of the Saints denied a miracle attributed to Blessed Titus Brandsma.

The news of the conclusions of the Vatican Medical Commission reached the General Curia of the Carmelite Order on November 13, 2001. Fr. Felip Amenós, Postulator General of the Order, commented on the Commission's letter by saying "This is not a definitive decision. The doctors can give their opinion. We hope to present another in the near future."

The Commission met on October 18, 2001 in order to study the case of Mrs. Mary Elisabeth (Betty) Harnedy (USA) who was diagnosed with cancer in December 1995. After being blessed with a reliquary of Blessed Titus Brandsma, Mrs. Harnedy's cancer disappeared. The doctors in the United States could not medically explain its disappearance.

Five years later Mrs. Harnedy was discovered to have a new cancer. The doctors, nevertheless, held that this new cancer was not that connected to the previous cancer. The medical tests showed that it was another type of cancer and in a different location. Mrs. Harnedy died in April 2001 from the second cancer.

The Vatican Medical Commission found that the disappearance of the first cancer, while not normal, was not inexplicable. They concluded that the relationship between the reduction of the first cancer and heart treatment given to Mrs. Harnedy could not be excluded and therefore no miracle existed. They suggested that her heart problems could have caused the disappearance of the original cancer.


The Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Society of Apostolic Life has permitted a group of Puerto Rican nuns, residents for some years in the Monastery of Piedrahita (Avila, Spain), along with the former novice mistress of the Piedrahita Monastery, to leave the Order in order to make a foundation in the Diocese of Caguas (Puerto Rico), under the jurisdiction of the Bishop. This monastery will not be part of the Carmelite Order.


The Province of Trapani (Italy) remembered victims of the barbarous terrorist attacks at New York on September 11, 2001. A solemn celebration, presided over by the Bishop of the Diocese, Francesco Miccichè, was held at the Sanctuary of the Madonna.

In the course of the homily, the Bishop underlined the value of human life and spoke about the war between people and the possibility of peace in the world.

At the initiative of the Association "Mater Dei," led by Leonardo Santangelo, some plaques, with the image of the Madonna of Trapani, were given to the Bishop, to local city officials, to the pastor of the Basilica of the Annunciation, to the Italian-American representation that will give the medal to Cardinal Egan of the Archdiocese of New York and to the vicar of the Church of St. Joseph in Brooklyn.

Telegrams were sent to the Association "Mater Dei" by the Prior General of the Carmelites, Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., as well as other civic and religious authorities.

Summary of an article first appearing in La Sicilia a newspaper in Sicilia, Italy.


The Carmelite Order was approved as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of the United Nations on December 14, 2001.

Explaining the value of the Carmelite Family having NGO status in the UN, Helen Ojario, O. Carm., of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, said, "The NGOs make valuable contributions to the international community by drawing attention to issues, suggesting ideas and programs, disseminating information, and mobilizing public opinion in support of the UN and its specialized agencies."

The Congregation's application included the whole Carmelite family and the application was approved accordingly. However, the proposal to fund such a representation was voted down. Because of the inclusiveness of the application, the Carmelites will have representatives in both New York (USA) and Geneva (CH). At the General Chapter this past September, four specific proposals were approved including a subsequent application for EDOSOC status.

The Carmelite focus will be in three areas: literacy/education; human/civil rights; and economic/social development. Approval of NGO status requires a committee of UN ambassadors to approve or disapprove the application.

"We represent the voice of civil society at UN conferences. With this status we will have access to meetings of other NGOs with whom we can network," said Sr. Helen. "The possibilities are limitless in the good that we can do."


The Executive Council of the Union of Superior Generals (USG) in Rome called upon religious throughout the world to participate in two special days of fasting and prayer for peace and understanding called by the Holy Father, John Paul II.

Members of the various religious institutes and orders, who are present in almost every country of the world, were asked to participate fully in the Day of Fasting on December 14 and the Day of Prayer on January 24, which was proposed by the Holy Father. The Carmelite Order and its associated religious institutes and congregations participated.

The USG wrote, "We feel especially concerned by the increase in violence and war at the present time. We unequivocally condemn all recourse to terror, which can never be justified by any motivation. True religion promotes peace, mutual understanding, reconciliation, and non-violent resolution of difficulties. We condemn any use of God's name to justify violence."

"We call on our own members, on ministers of all religions, on political and economic leaders, and on people of good will to join together in decisive and united efforts, much more intensive than before, to combat poverty, injustice, and marginalization in their root causes. We recognize that these situations often lead to desperation and irrational hatred."

"We call on world leaders to take every means possible to avoid using war as the way to resolve differences. We urge them to avoid the rhetoric of revenge. We call for a concerted campaign to stop the proliferation of arms."

"We express our condolence and our promise of prayers to the many victims of violence. We commit ourselves and our members to comfort the afflicted and to serve as agents of consolation and reconciliation."


Following a tradition begun some years ago, the General Council joined with The Famille Missionnaire `Donum Dei' of Rome on December 16th for a few hours of pre-Christmas celebration.

A Eucharistic celebration at the Redemptorist Church near the L'Eau Vive restaurant began at 11:00 AM. Following the liturgy, the group celebrated together with food, song, and dance at the restaurant.

The Donum Dei affiliated with the Order on February 22, 1987 and has approximately 450 members throughout the world.


An estimated three million people in Ireland and two million people in Canada visited the reliquary of Carmelite, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, during its tour.

Ireland celebrated the arrival of the relics beginning on April 15, 2001. The plan provided for a 22 hour visit at each stop. All 26 diocesan cathedrals as well as all the chapels and churches of the Carmelites hosted the reliquary. Several of the major shrines in the country also participated.

The reliquary left Ireland on June 28, 2001.

J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm., of the Carmelite Community in Dublin, was the National Coordinator. John Keating, O. Carm., served as head of the Liturgical Committee.

The journey to Canada began on September 16 in Vancouver on the Pacific Ocean and concluded on December 17 on the peninsula of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean. The October 21 stop was at the PCM Province's retreat and conference center in Niagara Falls, ONT. Some 3500 people visited during the one day. The center is also the Canadian shrine to the Little Flower.

"I was impressed by the fervor of the devotion of the pilgrims to Thérèse," said Bruce Baker, O. Carm., the shrine director. "Most everyone I spoke with had a story about their personal relationship to her in Jesus through prayer."

This was the second visit of the reliquary to the Carmelite house in Niagara Falls. During a trip through the United States of America in 1999, authorities brought the reliquary over the international border for the faithful in Canada.

The Canadian Bishops called the event "a success without precedent." The press termed the participation of the people "the greatest event of the masses since the visit of Pope John Paul II to the country in 1984."

"I was struck how Thérèse cuts across boundaries of class, economics, education, and religion. We had simple working people come here. We had professions and well-educated folks who visited too. Even non-Catholics came to the chapel to visit the relics," said Fr. Bruce.

Some 60 members of the Irish Province attended a dinner at Gort Muire on November 9th to express appreciation for the outstanding work done by Carmelite Joe Ryan in his capacity as National Coordinator in bringing about and organizing the visit of the relics of St. Thérèse to Ireland.


When it was proposed in the document Jubilee of the Consecrated Life that religious make a contribution to demonstrate "an awareness of the poverty which … wounds humanity," few envisioned the global and abundant response that resulted.

The generous collection that resulted has been designated by the Holy Father to serve for the creation of a Catholic University in Amman, Jordan, under the care of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.

In a letter to the Prior General, Eduardo Cardinal Martínez Somalo asked that the gratitude of the Pope be given to the monasteries which participated.

12 Carmelites now in the Community

Eleven years after the arrival of the Missionary Workers in Cameroon, in the Diocese of Mbalmayo, the Carmelites of the Commissary of the Congo and of the Province of Italy opened a novitiate in the same diocese, on Ocober 1, 2001. The novitiate house is under the protection of St. Thérèse of Lisieux of the Child Jesus. On October 1, in the presence of the General

Responsible of the Missionary Workers, Marie-Josephe, Fr. Redemptus Valebek presided at the opening Mass of the novitiate year for six candidates.

Three of those beginning the canonical year are from Cameroon, Jean Philippe Otiti, Emmanuel Mvanda, Roch Stephane Beyene. Emmanuel Lukengadio, Placide Matangila, and Norbert Mitungu are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Fr. Ubaldo Pani, novice director, arrived in Cameroon on October 27, while Fr. Nestor Ndjango, pastor of Efulan (Diocese of Mbalmayo) arrived in Cameroon on July 8, 2001.

The date of October 1, 2001, signals the official beginning of presence in Cameroon while two earlier dates are also important: the taking possession of the parish by Fr. Nestor with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Adalbert Nzana on August 28, 2001 and the first profession at Bunia (Democratic Republic of Congo) on September 8, 2001 of the first three Carmelites of Cameroon, Jean Bosco Nguezet, Pierre Alexis Dzefack, Martin Guy Ombwa who are currently in Yaoundé, at the Lazarrist Fathers, in the first year of philosophy.

Fr. François Alirac, responsible for the philosophy students, had already been in Cameroon for the first time on February 13, 2000 and a second time on August 29, 2001.

From September 3, 2001, with the young people in formation, we have begun a community in our parish in Efulan. There are 9 people in 3 rooms. From October 1, 2001 we have rented a large house from the novitiate of the Spiritan Fathers, in Mbalmayo9 rooms with bathrooms, a chapel, and a kitchen.

In the meantime, the Province of Germany Inferioris, to which we refer and to which we are incardinate, is constructing a novitiate house, not far from the parish church and which we hope will be completely by Easter 2002. The novitiate house is 32 Km from the capital of Yaoundé.

Our Carmelite community has 12 members. Fr. Ubaldo who came from Italy, Fr. Nestor and Fr. François from the Congo, three Cameroon students and six novices.

The Missionary Workers who had for year developed a priceless work of bringing vocations to Carmel have also prepared and formed eight candidates they have judged ready for pre-novitiate and who we hope will be admitted with the inauguration of the new novitiate house in Efulan.

Submitted by François Alirac, O. Carm.


Three Provinces had to hold elections to replace three members elected to the General Council at the General Chapter in September. Francisco Javier Maya Fernández, O. Carm., Vicar Provincial of the Baetica Province, replaces Rafael Leiva Sánchez, O. Carm., as Provincial. Rafael was elected the General Councillor for the North, including the Mediterranean Region. As the normal process for a Provincial Chapter at the end of a three year term had already begun, José Ramirez Román, O. Carm., has already been elected Provincial on the first ballot. He will be confirmed and will take possession of the office in the Provincial Chapter in March 2002.

Kevin McBrien, O. Carm., was elected Commissary Provincial of the Western Commissariate on the PCM Province (USA). He replaces William J. Harry, O. Carm., who was elected as General Councillor for the North, including Northern and Central Europe and North America.

Claudio Bellotti, O. Carm., was elected Provincial of the Italian Province to replace Carlo Cicconetti, O. Carm., who was elected Vice General of the Order at the General Chapter.


Sister Lucia, the only surviving Fatima visionary and now a Discalced Carmelite nun, recently published a 354 page book to respond to numerous questions and concerns about the Blessed Virgin Mary's secret.
Entitled "Appeals of the Fatima Message," the book was published in Portuguese and Spanish by Planeta+Testimonio. An English version is planned.

The main intention of the book is "to deepen the understanding of the spiritual importance of the Virgin Mary's words," according to Fr. Jesús Castellano Cervera.

The Vatican recently sent an envoy to meet with Sr. Lucia to inquire if there was additional information about the visions. Rumors have been circulating that implied that the full story had not been told. Sr. Lucia assured that envoy that the rumors had no factual basis and that she had no additional information from the apparitions.