PATRICK MCMAHON, O. CARM., NOMINATED NEW PRESIDENT OF
INSTITUTUM CARMELITANUM IN ROME
The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, O.
Carm., announced the appointment of Patrick Thomas McMahon, O.Carm. (PCM) as
President of the Institutum Carmelitanum in Rome.
“I am delighted
that Fr. Patrick has accepted this important task. The Carmelite Institute has
played a vital role for the past 50 years in the development of the Order’s
awareness of its history and charism,” said Fr. Joseph. “I believe that under
Fr. Patrick’s direction, the Carmelite Institute will assist the Order as we
continue our journey.”
Patrick professed First Vows at the
Monastery of Mt. Carmel in Niagara Falls, ONT on August 22, 1968. He received a
B.A. from Marquette University (Wisconsin) and a M.T.S. from the Washington
Theological Union (DC). He holds a Ph.D. in history from New York University.
His dissertation for the Doctorate was entitled “Servants of Two Masters: A
History of the Carmine of Florence 1267-1400.”
Since 1998, Patrick has been the
Provincial Delegate to the Third Order and since 1994 the director of the
Carmelitana Collection at Whitefriars Hall in Washington, DC. Among his
educational work, he has been a lecturer in the Carmelite Studies Program at
the Washington Theological Union since 1992 and at the Smithsonian Institution
in Washington DC in 1997, 1999, and 2000. He participates in Continuing
Formation Programs at various OCD monasteries in the USA.
He is the author of a number of articles
including "Carmelite Theology" and "Carmelite Women" in the Encyclopedia of
Monasticism (Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers) and the article on "Carmelite
Spirituality" in the New Catholic Encyclopedia. He has also contributed various
festschrift articles, most notably for Carmelites
Eamon R. Carroll and Roland Murphy. In addition, he
has presented papers at Medieval Conferences in 1994, 1997 and 2001.
700th ANNIVERSARY OF ST.
CELEBRATION OF 700th ANNIVERSARY OF BIRTH OF ST
FLORENCE AND FIESOLE HOSTS CELEBRATIONS
A year long celebration of the life of Carmelite Bishop,
St. Andrew Corsini, was completed on January 6, 2002, the anniversary of the
saint's death. He was born on November 30, 1301.
For the anniversary, events took place in several
different locations but primarily at the Carmine in Florence where the
Saint's body is preserved, Fiesole where he was bishop, and Rome at the
Cathedral of St. John Lateran where the Corsini Chapel is located.
On November 30, 2001, the VII Centenary of the Birth of
St. Andrew Corsini, Carmelite and Bishop of Fiesole (Italy), was celebrated
in the Cathedral of Fiesole. On November 29, the reliquary of the
uncorrupted body of Saint Andrew was moved from the Basilica of The Carmine
in Florence to the Cathedral of Fiesole where it was displayed for several
The Bishop of Fiesole, Mons. Luciano Giovannetti, the
clergy and seminarians of the diocesan seminary of which St. Andrew is the
patron, received the body at the door of the cathedral. The reception was
followed by sung Vespers according the rite proper to the diocese and the
celebration of the Eucharist. During the Mass the letter of Pope John Paul
II to Bishop Giovannetti on the occasion of the Centenary was read.
On November 30th, there was a solemn
celebration of the Centenary. The Eucharist was presided by the Cardinal
Emeritus of Florence, Silvano Piovanelli, accompanied by the Bishop
Giovannetti of Fiesole, Bishop Gastone Simoni of Prato, and the Bishop
emeritus of Viterbo, Bishop Fiorino Tagliaferri.
The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, could not attend the
celebration as he was in Scotland because of the death of his mother.
Representing the Order were the Vice General, Carlo Cicconetti, O. Carm.,
and the General Councilor for the Mediterranean region, Rafael Leiva, O.
Carm., the Prior Provincial of the Italian Province, Claudio Bellotti, O.
Carm., and the Prior Provincial of the Discalced Carmelites of the Tuscany
Province, the Prior of Florence, Raffaele Schiavoni, O. Carm., and Fathers
Tiziano Ballarin, O. Carm., and Clemente Benedetti, O. Carm.
(Florence), Agostino Gelli, O. Carm., and Raffaele Duranti,
O. Carm. (Castellina), Vincenzo Mosca, O. Carm. (Domus
Carmelitana of Rome), professed religious of the Italian Province, numerous
priests and seminarians, members of the Carmelite Family, and a
representation of the descendants of the Corsini family.
EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION IN HONOR OF ST. ANDREW CORSINI AT ST. JOHN LATERAN
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for
Evangelization, celebrated a Mass on February 4, 2002, in honor of St.
Andrew Corsini on the 700th Anniversary of his birth. The celebration took
place in the chapel dedicated to the Saint in the Lateran Patriarchal
Basilica, Cathedral for the Church of Rome.
Participating in the celebration of the Mass were
Archbishops Rizzato, Tamburrino and Appignanesi, Canons of the Lateran
Basilica, Prelates, and the Vice General of the Order, Carlo Cicconetti, O.
Carm., Rafael Leiva Sánchez, O. Carm., General Councilor of the Order, and
Enzo Mosca, O. Carm., Director of the Domus Carmelitana, members of the
Corsini family, the President of the Lazio (Rome) region, Sig. Storace, the
Vice Mayor of Rome, Sig. Gasbarra, who gave to the Cardinal an artistic
silver chalice as a remembrance of the celebration. There were also various
officials of the City of Rome, as well as various other people in
The Lateran Choir, directed by Maestro Marco Frisina performed the "Messa
brevis" of Palestrina.
Cardinal Sepe, in his homily, praised holiness first of all the person of
Christ and in the life of the Church and he recalled the saintly Carmelite
Bishop of Fiesole who was canonized by Pope Urban VIII on April 22, 1629.
"Holiness is God present today. Holiness runs through the
veins of the Church. What is the `way' that Christ taught us? The answer is
obvious. That of the Gospel. To reach the summit, the way to go is that of
humility. Jesus humbled himself ending in death on the cross. From the
kenosis to the resurrection, this is the required `way' culminating in the
ascension to heaven. The saints today are also in our midst. They are a
living theology of holiness that pervades the history of humankind," said
Cardinal Sepe, linking the historical context of St. Andrew Corsini with his
testimony of holiness.
"Andrew Corsini was a disciple of holiness in the school of Christ. At age
15 he left his noble family to become a Carmelite. He was a poor priest, at
the service of those hit by the plague. He abandoned his palace in Fiesole
in order to give it to the poor and in order to give himself to the poor.
The bishop is servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the hope of the
world (10th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 30 September 27
October 2001). The path to God is that of "clothing yourself in holiness,
humility, courage, bearing witness, and love." (cfr L'Osservatore Romano,
6 February 2002.)
BOOK ON CORSINI CHAPEL IN ST. JOHN LATERAN PUBLISHED
Following the recent celebration of the 700th
Anniversary of the birth of St. Andrew Corsini in the Corsini Chapel in the
Basilica of St. John Lateran, Msgr. Franco Camaldo, Chaplain of the noted
Corsini Chapel and Dean of the Pontifical Masters of Ceremony, together with
other other people from the world of art, presented the book La capella
Corsini nella Basílica di San Giovanni in Laterano Milano, Franco Maria
Ricci Editore, 2001, pp. 94, coll. Grand Tour 26.
A magnificent monograph, edited by Franco Maria Ricci
with his usual abundance of photographs of exceptional quality, makes a
memorable record of the history of the Corsini Chapel in St. John Lateran.
The critical text is from Caterina Napoleone, the biographical notes are by
A.F. Gunter, the photographs by Luciano Romano.
The Corsini Chapel was commissioned by Pope Clement XII (Lorenzo Corsini)
who dedicated it to his ancestor St. Andrew Corsini. Just elected on July
16, 1730, Clement XII went to visit the Basilica of St. John Lateran and
asked the Chapter to construct, in the place already occupied by an altar
dedicated to St. James the Great, a beautiful chapel in honor of his own
ancestor, Andrew Corsini. The chapel, in late baroque style, was begun on
January 7, 1731 and completed in January 1735. It is one of the most
impressive chapels in Rome. (cfr: L'Osservatore Romano,
Thursday, 31 January 2002).
SYNOD OF BISHOPS
SYNOD ON THE BISHOP AS "SERVANT OF THE GOSPEL FOR THE
HOPE OF THE WORLD"
Did Religious Life Enter into the Discussions?
On November 23, 2001, the General Council of the Order
participated in a presentation on the recently concluded Synod entitled "The
Role of the Bishop as Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of
the World." The November gathering highlighted information useful to those
in leadership positions in the Church's religious Orders, congregations, and
The full day meeting, sponsored by the Union of General
Superiors (USG) was held in the packed conference center at the Pontifical
Urbaniana University. A variety of presentations were made by those members
of the USG who participated in the actual Synod and by Bishop Claude Dagens,
the Bishop of Angoulême in France. Religious played some role in the actual
Synod. In all, there were 247 members of the Synod. Seventy-five percent
were diocesan and twenty-five percent were religious. Eleven women took
part, ten as auditors.
According to the Superior General of the Redemptorists,
Joseph Tobin, CSsR, the consecrated life received a much more positive
treatment than at the last extraordinary session, the second Synod on Europe
in 1999. At that Synod, the Cardinal-relator managed to offer the two
keynote addresses and barely mention the consecrated life in Europe. "Much
more value was placed on the so-called `new ecclesial movements' as sources
of new vigour for the life of the Church," said Fr. Tobin.
In contrast, the relator of the Synod on the Role of the
Bishop gave a fairly positive evaluation of the consecrated life in the
mission of the Church today, echoing the favourable evaluation of the
Instrumentum Laboris. For Fr. Tobin the final list of propositions
"included a respectful and optimistic proposal regarding the consecrated
"As far as the role of religious at the Synod, there was
both a helpful preparation of the delegates and auditors through meetings
and communication before the Synod itself as well as ample contacts during
the month, keeping delegates united and confident of our representation,"
said Fr. Tobin.
The competencies of the ten elected religious
participants were matched with the key themes of the Synod so that they
could speak confidently as representatives of religious in the Church today.
Each had 8 minutes in the plenary assembly to address the Synod.
Fr. Giacomo Bini, Minister General of the Franciscans,
spoke about consecrated life as a locus of "prophets and prophetic
communities and as signs of hope on the way to the Kingdom." Speaking about
the relation between St. Francis and the Pope at the time, he called for the
Bishops to "preserve hope by preserving the foundations of consecrated life"
and "to free hope by liberating the potential of consecrated life" even when
it sometimes occasions difficulties in the Church.
Fr. Bini said "The radical character of consecrated life
is the reason why its fixed roots lie solely in God, and its nature is not
to let itself be set into frameworks defined once and for all."
The President of the Subiaco Congregation of Benedictines
called attention to monastic life and its irreplaceable role in the Church.
Camilo Maccise, OCD, Propositor General of the Discalced Carmelites, spoke
on "living tensions in growing communion" with reference both to consecrated
life and to a committed and responsible laity. He pointed out that the same
Holy Spirit is at the origin of all genuine charisms.
David Fleming, S.M., Superior General of the Marianists,
spoke of the participative style of leadership that had become
characteristic of most institutes of consecrated life in modern times. "We
try to emphasize closeness and communion among all members, listening,
subsidiarity, dialogue, and accountability," said Fr. Fleming, highlighting
some particular gifts consecrated life has for the Church. "I spoke (at the
Synod) of collaborative decision-making, interaction among different nations
and continents within our Institutes, the importance of community life for
the major superior, and the involvement of members in the choice of major
superiors through election or consultation. Our experience might be of some
help for the life of the Church in today's world."
Acknowledging differences, Fr. Tobin said "They often
arise from an ignorance of the meaning of consecrated life in general and
the particular charism of a religious family. Dialogue between religious and
bishops is essential."
INSIDE A SYNOD
A Synod of Bishops unfolds in three phases: pre-assembly,
the assembly, and post assembly. In all, the process can last five years or
more. The assembly of Oceania, was held in 1998 but the post synod document
was only promulgated on November 22, 2001. By then, the subsequent synod had
also taken place.
In the pre-assembly phase, a document with suggestions of
topics, concerns, convictions and hopes with respect to the theme is
distributed to all the Episcopal Conferences and organizations such as USG
or UISG along with a questionnaire. The returns are incorporated into a new
text, called the Instrumentum Laboris, which is the working document
of the Assembly.
The month-long Assembly comprises two moments. For almost
two weeks, participants listen to eight minute interventions of the members.
Special sessions are held for the "Fraternal Delegates," those representing
other Christian faiths, to make interventions. At the end, a relatio
is read aloud which is supposed to pick up the points from the presentations
which further develop the content of the Instrumentum Laboris.
The second moment is the work in the circuli minores. For the Synod
on the Bishop, there were 12 small groups in the various languages. The
circuli discuss the relation and draw up a report based on a set of
questions provided by the General Relator. These reports are read in the
Synod Hall during a General Congregation. The circuli then draw up
propositions based on what was heard in the reports. These and all the other
documents produced by the Synod are presented to the Pope.
These documents form the basis for the post Assembly work which involves
drawing up a post Synod document by the Commission on the Synod Message.
Membership for those serving on the commission is voted on by the Assembly.
Every continent is represented.