no. 1   january - march 2004

General Council Addresses Various Issues and Up-Coming Gatherings

As is customary, each of the General Councilors gave a report on the meetings and visitations which have been held since the previous plenary sessions. There was some discussion on specific situations in the Order.

One session was spent reviewing the draft of the letter "The God of Our Contemplation" which the Prior General has written at the request of the Justice and Peace Commission.

Meeting of the Superiors General

The meeting once every six years of the Superior Generals of the affiliated Congregations and Religious Institutes will take place at Sassone, Italy beginning the evening of May 13, 2004. The various arrangements which are necessary to hold such a meeting were discussed as well as the outline of the program was fine tuned.

Tangaza College in Kenya

The Order has been approached about sponsoring the Institute of Spirituality and Religious Formation at Tangaza College. After lengthy discussion over the last year, the General Council decided we are unable to undertake a commitment at this time. The possibility remains for Carmelites to teach occasional courses.

2005 General Congregation

The 2005 General Congregation will take place September 5-15, 2005 in San Paolo, Brazil. The theme will be "In the Midst of the People: Service of the Order to the Church and in the World." This gathering will involve a sociological analysis of the Order with a look towards the future as well as a theological reflection.

Felip Amenos, the Postulator General, and Rafael Leiva, a General Councilor, discuss the day’s schedule during a break at Palazzola. The Curia Community joined the General Council for one day of prayer and reflection at the beginning of December. (CITOC photo)

Additional Reporting to Council

The members of the Council decided that the entities which are connected to the Curia (CISA, Institutum Carmelitanum, and the Office of the Postulator General) will make regular reports on their activities to the General Council. Felip Amenos, the Postulator General of the Order, gave a written and oral report on the progress of causes for sainthood at this plenary session. During the March plenary sessions, the Preside of the Institutum, Patrick McMahon, will make his report.

Congress on the Carmelite Parishes

The committee to organize the Congress was appointed. Members are Anthony Scerri (Curia), Lucio Zappatore (Ita), Antonio Silvio da Costa (Curia) and Kevin Alban (Curia). The Congress been scheduled for September 7-13, 2004 in Zaragoza, Spain.

Postulation for Elections

A lengthy discussion took place on the postulation for the elections in the enclosed monasteries. The current practice of Constitutional requirement of getting the approval of the Prior General after hearing the opinion of the General Council before an election can proceed has presented some difficulties. It was decided to publish the Council’s policy and the procedures to assist the presidents of the Chapters.

Palazzola "Pullaway"

During the first week of the Council plenary sessions, the General Council met at the English College villa in Palazzola, near Castel Gandolfo. The purpose was to give the Council a chance to discuss certain issues in a more in-depth way than the customary plenary sessions allow.

Among the issues discussed were the Carmelite Laity, the position of the Vice General of the Order, the Carmelite voice at the United Nations, and the theme of the 2005 General Congregation.









General Councilors Carlos Mesters and William Harry explore caves discovered on their hike from Palazzola to Castel Gandolfo (CITOC photo)

First Meeting with Newly Elected OCD Council
OCARM-OCD General Councils Renew Joint Projects

(Above) The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, and the OCD General Definitor for Asia, Angelo Madelo discuss during a break in the joint OCD-OCARM Council meetings. These meetings have been held twice a year and have led to several cooperative projects on the international level. (Below) Rafel Leiva, OCARM General Councilor shares a short story with Luis Aróstegui Gamboa, the OCD Propositor General (CITOC photos)

The members of the OCARM General Council and the OCD Definitory General met at the OCD Curia on December 18, 2003. This was the first meeting of the two boards since the election of a new OCD Council in May 2003.

The meeting began with an introduction of those participating.

A number of on-going projects were discussed, including the Joint Latin American Commission, the mixed commissions for Formation and Spirituality, the Carmelite Dictionary which will be published first in Italian, the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Rule in 2007, the Mariological Association, the Marian Liturgy Commission, and various publications which are underway.

"It was a wonderful experience for us to gather together as one Carmelite family. I hope we will have more of these meetings, not only for business purposes but for community as well," said Angelo Madelo, OCD, the Definitor General for Asia.

Following the meeting, the two Councils joined the community of the OCD Curia for the midday meal.



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