no. 1 january - march 2004
Prince Filippo Corsini, the current head of the Corsini Family in Florence, joins Carlo Cicconetti, the Vice General, Rafael Leiva, General Councilor for the Mediterranean Region, and William J. Harry, General Councilor for Nothern and Central Europe and North America, following a Mass to celebrate the Feast of Carmelite Saint Andrew Corsini on February 4, 2004. The annual Mass is celebrated in the Chapel of St. Andrew Corsini built by Pope Clement XII (Lorenzo Corsini) in the Cathedral of St. John Lateran in Rome. This year the Mass was televised live. (CITOC Photo)
63rd Assembly of the Union of Superiors General
The 63rd Assembly of the Union of Superiors General was held at the Salesianum, Rome, from 26th-28th November 2003. The topic chosen was inter-religious dialogue and the consecrated life. The meeting was open to Superiors General of Institutes of male religious along with another member of the General Council.
Various experts spoke on the need for and the nature of inter-religious dialogue. We are living in a new world where different cultures are coming into contact with each other on a daily basis. To encounter the other while respecting his or her otherness is a fundamental challenge for consecrated persons today. We, of course, must be firmly rooted in our own faith in order to be able to truly dialogue with people of other faiths.
The Church, beginning with the Second Vatican Council and developed over the past 25 years in the consistent teaching of Pope John Paul II, has been insistent in urging Christians to be committed to inter-religious dialogue. The Pope has proposed that dialogue with the followers of other religions should be a characteristic of the mission in the world that Jesus entrusted to the community of his disciples. Just as our following of Christ should include daily prayer, a special concern for the poor, proclamation of our faith by sharing the reasons for the hope we possess with all those who are seeking the truth and communicating our faith to new generations of Christians, so also one of the basic elements of our Christian mission is the encounter with people of other faiths. These are all aspects of the one mission that Christ has given us.
In his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, Pope John Paul II has indicated what inter-religious dialogue includes:
A vast field lies open to dialogue, which can assume many forms and expressions: from exchanges between experts in religious traditions or official representatives of those traditions to co-operation for integral development and the safeguarding of religious values; and from a sharing of their respective spiritual experiences to the so-called ‘dialogue of life’, through which believers of different religions bear witness before each other in daily life to their own human and spiritual values, and help each other to live according to those values in order to build a more just and fraternal society. (RM,59).
While not attempting to gloss over the great difficulties involved in dialogue with people of other religions, the positive was accentuated. Various developments were noted in dialogue with Jews, Moslems, Hindus and Buddhists in particular. The participants at the meeting also studied how a commitment to dialogue might affect the formation of candidates to the religious life and what might be some implications for the spirituality of the consecrated life. One speaker noted, "The only thing that will bring us closer together will be the untiring effort not only to talk to each other but also to share the joys and sorrows of life. Every Order has its own charism. I am convinced that every one of these Orders when inspired by a spirituality of dialogue has a contribution to make toward the co-existence of religions and cultures."
Carmel looks to the Prophet Elijah for inspiration. Muslims, Jews and Christians revere him. In him we have an excellent starting point for inter-religious dialogue.
Ernest Larkin, O. Carm., Honored by Washington Theological Union in USA
On Friday, October 31, 2003, Father Ernest Larkin, O. Carm., of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province, was honored with a dinner at Washington Theological Union during which he was presented with a festschrift: Carmelite Prayer: A Tradition for the 21st Century, edited by K. J. Egan. Paulist Press, 2003. ISBN: 0-8091-4193-0. This festschrift is a collection of studies by members of the Carmelite Forum. After the dinner Father Larkin gave a lecture on Contemplative Prayer and the Carmelite Tradition.
The International Finance Commission of the Order met from 10 to 13 November 2003. Attention largely focused on the Domus Carmelitana and how best to realize its potential. However, other issues were also treated such as support for the missions from the Society of the Little Flower of the Curia. The Budgets for the General Curia and the bodies that depend on it (Commissions, CISA, the Carmelite Institute, various libraries). This meeting saw for the first time the participation of four lay experts: Bernard Crean, Pierluigi Simoncelli, Geoffrey Cull and Jureck Borucki. The next meeting will be held from 13 to 16 September, 2004.
Task Force Established
Entrance to the Domus Carmelitana a public hotel, owned and administered by the Carmelites. The Domus is conveniently located within walking distance of the Vatican, Castel Sant Angelo, Piazza Navonna, and many other main attractions in downtown Rome. For pricing and reservation information, see the Domus’ website at www.domuscarmelitana.com or call (+39) 06.6840191 or fax (+39) 06.684019200. (CITOC photo)
This specially constituted group held its first meeting on 10th December 2003 to discuss the implementation of a business plan for the Domus first presented at the Council of Provinces at Fatima. Members of the group are Carmelites Carlo Cicconetti (Legal Representative of the Domus), James Des Lauriers (Bursar General), António Monteiro (Director, Casa Beato Nuno in Fatima) and Giandomenico Meloni (Italian provincial bursar and Director of Il Carmelo, Sassone). Lay experts also sit on the group: Dott. Massimo De Rosa, Dott. Riccardo Bertoli and Ms Ann Breslin bring a wealth of experience in the hotel and travel market. The group will be working closely with the new management of the Domus to realise its potential.