DIFFICULT DAYS IN TIMOR LORSAE
The growth of Carmel in Timor
Lorosae continues but with some difficulty. “Rebel groups” are beginning
to appear throughout the country and the local people are already
beginning to fear their presence. A group of young men attacked the
aspirants while they were collecting water from the spring. Apparently
that same group stirred up trouble in Oebaba. Land continues to be a major
issue. For now only Timorese can own land, so we are moving slowly in that
The house in Zumalai, where
our friars are, was attacked, one night. The car was damaged and the pig
killed. The Provincial met with the local leaders and urged them to form a
council to deal with local issues. He also strongly encouraged them to
report all criminal offences to the local authority, either the army or
East Timorese members of the Australian Province: There are currently
three solemnly professed in Timor Loro Sae and one in Flores. Five simply
professed members reside in Flores. Three postulants are in Malang while
13 aspirants live in Timor Loro Sae.
COUNCIL AT CISA
The new members of the Prior’s Council of Centro Internazionale di Sant’
Alberto (CISA) were elected by the members of the community. Elected were:
Redemptus Valabek (SEL), Edmond Caruana (Mel), Raul Maravi (PCM), Evaldo
Xavier Gomes (Rio).
Mark Attard (Mel) was recently appointed to a new three year
term as prior of CISA by the General Council.
COMMUNICATIONS UPDATE ....
COMMISSION TO MEET IN CYBERSPACE
The next meeting of
the International Communications Commission will take place on the
Internet in November of 2003.
“Many of the
projects we are involved in do not involve a great deal of face to
face discussion so we thought we might try a different kind of
meeting,” said William J. Harry, O. Carm., the General Councilor
with responsibility for communications. “The Internet is the one
medium that will allow us to update each other, review progress on
projects, and agree on the next steps to be taken. And no one has
to leave home to do it!”
Commission met in Rome November 7-9. The majority of the meeting
dealt with the information received on the communications
questionnaire which was distributed last May.
“In general, we
should be very pleased with where some of the monasteries and
provinces are in their own efforts to develop good communication
programs. But we also have some areas that need some attention and
cooperation—even if it is just the General Chapter’s suggest that
each province name a communications contact person,” said Fr.
A number of
provinces and monasteries made specific requests for help with
some aspect of their programs. The members of the Commission are
working on how to respond.
An indepth report
will be given on the questionnaire at the September Council of
Provinces. A second questionnaire will be distributed before the
2007 General Chapter in order to measure progress that has been
BAETICA PROVINCE CREATES PROVINCIAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Betica Province in southern Spain has created a Provincial
Communications Commission. The first meeting was on October 11,
2002 in Seville. Previously, the responsibility for communications
was part of other commissions.
“Seeing that this
medium is becoming more influencial each day, the Province wishes
to dedicate the people, time, and means necessary as it is a way
of evangelization, formation, and information for the entire
Carmelite Family and for our readers,” the Provincial wrote to the
members of the Province.
currently publishes two magazines. Escapulario del Carmen
is a four color Marian magazine for the public. It is perhaps the
oldest magazine in the Order, celebrating its 100th
anniversary in 2003. Servicio de Información is intended
for the members of the Province. It contains documents from the
General Council, the Provincial and others as a means of
communicating what is happening in the communities, the Province
and the Order.
THE POPE PRAYS FOR EVANGELIZATION WITH THE
NEW MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
“The means of social communication, as the
new ‘marketplace’ of the modern world, are not only instruments of
evangelization, but also a meeting place for the Christian message
and the life of the people of the 21st century. In this
new reality, the internet occupies the primary spot,” said Pope
John Paul II, speaking on evangelization.
Paola Bignardi, president of Catholic
Action in Italy, in his remarks, asked that the Second Vatican
Council be remembered for its belief in the ability of the means
of communication “to strengthen and to enrich the spirit and to
deepen and to consolidate the Kingdom of God.”
WEBSITE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
PROFESSOR GIOVANNI BOAGA, AN ILLUSTRIOUS CARMELITE
TERTIARY, ON THE CENTENARY OF HIS BIRTH
Giovanni Boaga was the father of Emanuele Boaga, O. Carm.,
General Archivist of the Order. The celebration of the centenary of the
birth of Prof. Boaga took place at “La Sapienza” University in Rome where
the professor had taught for many years in the area of geography.
As well as being a noted academic,
Professor Boaga was a profoundly spiritual man. One of his sayings was
referred to. “I travel with a small suitcase,” he would say, in the sense
of always being prepared to meet God.
A number of Carmelites were present at
this event, including Carlo Cicconetti, Vice Prior General. Fr. Boaga gave
a short talk of his father at the end and distributed his book “Giovanni
Boaga: The Man, The Academic, The Believer” (Rome, 2002).
More informatioN IN ITALIAN
VI MEETING OF THE
CARMELITE SUPERIORS OF LATIN AMERICA
O VI Encontro
dos Superiores e Superioras Carmelitas da América Latina acaba de ser
realizado nos dias 18 a 25 de setembro, no Centro de retiros Carit
das Irmãs Carmelitas da Divina Providência em Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro,
Brasil. Estavam presentes 27 carmelitas entre frades, irmãs, monja e leiga
de 9 países da América Latina. Havia, além disso, alguns representantes da
Espanha, Itália e América do Norte. As monjas estavam repesentadas pela
irmã Maria do Carmo do Mosteiro de Jaboticabal, Brasil. Tivemos a
assessoria de Francisco Orofino que nos ajudou a ler criticamente a
realidade latino-americana, de Dom Vital Wilderink que iluminou a
realidade a partir da Tradição do Carmelo, do padre Geral frei Joseph
Chalmers que trouxe uma luz a partir da abertura do Carisma Carmelitano
para os leigos, e de frei Antonio Scerri, conselheiro geral para África e
Ásia, que incentivou a dimensão missionária do carisma. Seguimos o método
próprio da Igreja Latino-americana: Ver – Julgar – Agir. Chegamos a
formular e assumir linhas inspiradoras muito importantes para a nossa
presença como carmelitas na América Latina. Na avaliação, a opinião geral
dos participantes era de que o encontro obteve os resultados que dele se
esperava. Soprou um espírito muito forte de fraternidade e de oração e
cresceu em todos o desejo de marcar maior presença profética de serviço
aos nossos povos da América Latina.
MEETING OF UNION OF SUPERIORS GENERAL
six month meeting of the Union of Superiors General (USG) took place at
the end of November in Rome. The theme of this meeting was “Lay and
Religious United, Facing the Challenges of the Third Millennium.” Many
invited representatives of lay organisations and ecclesial movements were
present along with the male Superiors General of about one hundred Orders
and Congregations. The female Superiors General have their own separate
The meeting began with a presentation from a Vincentian regarding the
common mission of religious and lay people in the Church and in society.
The founder of the St. Egidio community in Rome then stressed some
challenges facing all of us in the third millennium, e.g. war, poverty,
the spread of AIDS, and how to proclaim the Gospel in a secularized
Recalling the challenges presented at the meeting, Joseph Chalmers, the
Prior General, said, “We speak much now of the Carmelite Family. What can
we do as Family in the face of so many challenges? We have read a lot
lately about the Carmelite NGO. This is one example of what we can do
together but there are also many other possibilities. As Carmelites, an
important part of out mission is to help others be aware of the presence
of God in their lives. How can the different parts of the Carmelite Family
work together so that we all live our vocation to the full?”
WEBSITE OF VIDIMUS DOMINUM
|Sacred Art from the
Diocese of Beja, Portugal forms an exposition entitled "Le Forme
dello Spirito" ("The Forms of the Spirit") in Rome, Italy until May
4. Carmelite Antonio Vitalino Fernandes Dantas is the Bishop of Beja
and was in Rome for the opening of the show.
The Congregation for Catholic Education has recently issued a new document
in various languages, entitled, “Consecrated Persons and Their Mission in
The first chapter outlines the profile of consecrated persons. Their whole
life can be compared to a school wherein they learn to take on the mind of
Christ (n.9). A challenge for consecrated people today is to demonstrate
the value for all people of the evangelical counsels. All people are
called in a different way to be poor, obedient and chaste (n.12).
Consecrated persons are called to be experts of communion, to promote the
human and spiritual bonds that promote the mutual exchange of gifts
between all the members of the people of God (n.17). In regard to the
field of education, the characteristic of the consecrated life is “to
bring to bear on the world of education their radical witness to the
values of the Kingdom” (n.20 quoting Vita Consacrata, 96).
Chapter two looks at the educational mission of consecrated persons today.
The Congregation sees the educational commitment of consecrated persons in
schools as a part of the evangelizing mission of the Church (n.30).
Consecrated men and women undertake to promote the dignity of the human
person so that schools may become places of overall education (n.31).
Within the context of the massive changes in society, schools have an
important role to play in the formation of young people, especially by
providing an appropriate ethical formation in the responsible use of the
new technologies (n.33). Consecrated persons can be witnesses in schools
of the truth about the human person. With their lives, they confirm that
faith enlightens the whole field of education by raising and strengthening
human values (n.38).
In the conclusion of the document, the Congregation for Catholic Education
strongly asserts that the presence of consecrated persons in the world of
education is a prophetic choice (n.81) and warmly recommends this choice
Official text of the Congregation for Catholic Education document
CARMELITE NUNS LEAVE DUISBERG MONASTERY
At the beginning of September 2002, the community of
cloistered Carmelite nuns from Duisberg, Germany began a new phase of
their life in Essen. Due to increasing age and lack of vocations, the nuns
decided to leave their monastery in Duisberg, where they had lived for 40
They will live in the motherhouse of the
Sisters of St. Elizabeth in Essen. Two members of the community decided to
return to their native Netherlands and now are in Boxmeer. At the
thanksgiving celebration for the nuns before their departure from Duisberg,
the Provincial of the Lower German Province, Pankraz Ribbert, reminded the
congregation that every leaving is a small death and he thanked the nuns
for their prayerful presence in the city for the past 40 years. He wished
them well in their new home where they will continue their mission to
“stand before the face of God.”
STUDENTS OF THE IBERIAN PENINSULA MEET
the students of the Iberian Region (Spain and Portugal) met in Salamanca,
Spain, on September 2-5, 2002 in the University Residence of the Castille
Province. The presentations and discussions centered on fraternity, prayer
and contemplation in light of the RATIO (led by Desiderio García), and
common projects and missions (led by Encarnación Flórez).
AUSTRALIA CELEBRATES 200 YEARS SINCE THE ARRIVAL OF
Two Lay Carmelites, James Butler and John
Dempsey, were aboard the Atlas when it berthed in Sydney Cove on
October 30, 1802.
Butler and Dempsey, along
with the other 174 men on the ship, were accused of involvement in the
1798 Irish Rebellion. Some of these prisoners are likely to have been
devout Catholics, members of the Confraternity of the Scapular.
Butler and Dempsey were
instrumental in establishing and nurturing the Catholic Church in Sydney
in the time of Fr. John Therry, Australia’s first Catholic leader. After
Therry arrived in 1820, he built the first Catholic Church in the colony
with the aid of his convict parishioners.
To mark the 200th anniversary
of the first Carmelites’ arrival, Eucharist was celebrated at the
Cathedral on Sunday, October 27, 2002. Wayne Stanhope, the Prior
Provincial, Bruce Clark, the National Chaplain of the Secular Carmelites,
and members of the Dempsey family attended. Two ceremonies took place the
previous day. A new headstone was placed in memory of James Dempsey and a
blessing of John Butler’s headstone took place.
John Butler was a single man, remembered
for his piety and known among the people of Sydney at that time as “The
Carmelite.” He had skills as a stonemason, overseeing the government stone
quarry. He acted as Therry’s secretary beginning in 1820. He also worked
for Dempsey on the chapel which became St. Mary’s Cathedral, the mother
church of Australia.
Forty five years after his death, a
newspaper recalled Butler in an article celebrating the arrival of the
first Carmelites. “He kept the faith among the people by the recitation of
the Holy Rosary which brought before their minds the life, sufferings, and
death of our Blessed Redeemer. From his cell at midnight when the jailer
had gone to rest, the sweet murmur of prayer arose from his dungeon and
was re-echoed by the suffering band.”
James Dempsey was a married man with four
children. He was a natural leader. During the priestless years of the
penal settlement, Dempsey emerged as leader of the early Catholic
community. He accompanied the condemned to the gallows, reading prayers.
He also was a stonemason and a reasonably prosperous landowner. His house
became a hub of Catholic life in Sydney. Eucharist was reserved there.The
rosary was recited daily. A confraternity was formed.
Dempsey was on the original fundraising
committee for St. Mary’s Cathedral. He was in charge of building the
chapel, a nearly impossible task in view of Fr. Therry’s grandiose vision,
the lack of architectural plans and the lack of funds to match the vision.
“The more we learn of James Dempsey’s roles in building the first St.
Mary’s the more we must wonder whether it could ever have been completed
without him,” reports the historian James Waldersee in recent times.
Dempsey died in 1838, two years after
John Butler. While both were buried in Sandhills Cemetery, only Butler’s
tombstone is still standing.
(Summary of an account of the lives
of Dempsey and Butler by Fr. Paul Chandler, O. Carm.)
LETTERS OF THE OCARM AND OCD
SUPERIORS GENERAL TO BE PUBLISHED
The OCD General Chapter will be held in
May 2003, marking the end of the 12 year mandate of Fr. Camilo Maccise as
Propositus General. It was he who responded to the overtures of Fr. John
Malley, then the Carmelite Prior General, to begin a dialogue at the level
of the General Councils.
One very important result of this
dialogue was a series of letters written by the Superiors General. In
order to celebrate this 12 years of cooperation between the two Orders,
Fr. Camilo and Fr. Joseph Chalmers have written a letter entitled “That
the World May Believe.” This letter will be published and distributed as
soon as possible.
This new letter will also be
included in a volume containing all the joint letters published in the
past 12 years. This book will also contain a translation of the Rule with
the newly agreed numbering system.
LINKS TO THE TEXT OF THE LETTER
THE 2003 SUMMER SEMINAR ON
The Carmelite Forum 15th Annual Summer Seminar on Carmelite
Spirituality will be held from June 22 until June 28, 2003, at St.
Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana.
IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Kevin Culligan, OCD
Michael Dodd, OCD
Keith Egan, T.O.Carm
Constance FitzGerald, OCD
Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD
Ernest E. Larkin, O. Carm.
Vilma Seelaus, OCD
John Welch, O. Carm.
For more information:
Center for Spirituality
St. Mary's College
Notre Dame, Indiana USA
CISA JOINS CURIA FOR CHRISTMAS DINNERS
The members of the Curia community hosted
the members of the Centro Internazionale di Sant’ Alberto (CISA) for a
pre-Christmas celebration. The two communities joined together for Evening
Prayer and special dinner.
This is an annual event to strengthen the
bonds between the two international communities in Rome.
CHESTER CARMELITES NEW CHAPEL, CHOIR AND ALL PURPOSE
After almost two years of
planning and rebuilding, the new chapel at the Chester, New Jersey,
Carmelite Hermitage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was dedicated on
November 8, 2002 by Bishop Frank J. Rodimer of the Diocese of Paterson.
The original chapel burned to the ground the night of January 20, 2001.
The upper level of new structure holds the chapel and choir dedicated to
the Holy Trinity. The lower level contains the hermitage kitchen,
refectory, library, laundry and printing room as well as meeting and
Mother Mary Gillsen, H.O.Carm., speaking
to the assembled friends and benefactors of the hermitage at the
conclusion of the Eucharist, described the new chapel and community rooms
as the “work of Jesus, the master builder” and she attributed the rather
swift rebuilding by so many supporters and benefactors to “a miracle of
God’s love.” The new chapel contains the same altar, ambo and stained
glass windows that graced the former chapel. The life size hand carved
crucifix on the sanctuary wall and the tabernacle are new.
In addition to the six Hermit Sisters and
their benefactors, those celebrating the blessing of the new chapel
included several local diocesan priests and deacons, the architect,
artisans, engineers, constructions crews and their families. Fr.
John-Benedict Weber, O.Carm., the Delegate, represented the Prior General
and the Order. A buffet dinner for the hermits and their guests followed
the liturgy in the new guild room below the chapel. The hermits summed up
the entire experience of rebuilding, dedication and feasting by pointing
to the wooden beam at the entrance to the chapel above the window of Our
Lady of Mount Carmel. Engraved there are the words: “As the Father loves
me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.(Jn.15:9)”
CARMELITE STUDIES PROVIDED BY INDONESIAN CARMELITE
The Eastern Region of the
Indonesian Carmelite Institute held days of Carmelite studies from July 31
to August 3, 2002. A special committee, under the leadership of Sixtus
Leonard Beth Bary, O.Carm., assisted by the students, organized the days.
The theme was “To Seek and Find the Truth Together With St. Teresa
Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).”
Two students, Aris Budianto Lalu Sebo,
O.Carm., and Damianus Bili Bulu, O.Carm., spoke on the life of St. Edith
Stein entitled “The Journey Towards Truth” Paul Budi Kleden, SVD, spoke
about truth in his presentation entitled “Truth Sought After and Truth
Freely Given.” Alberto A. Djono Moi, O.Carm., spoke three times,
“Education for the Individual,” “The Way to God in the Mystical Writings
of Edith Stein,” and “The Way to God in the Spiritual Writings of Edith
Carmelite students, priests and brothers,
OCD aspirant sisters and some lay Carmelites were present. This is the
fourth time that the Carmelites of the Eastern Region have held these
study days since 1999.