no. 1   january - march 2005

Maria Crocifissa Curcio to be Beatified

The foundress of the Suore Carmelitane Missionarie di s. Teresa del Bambino Gesù, Maria Crocifissa (Rosa) Curcio, will be beatified by the Church on April 24, 2005 in a ceremony at the Vatican.

Mother Crocifissa was the seventh of ten children born into a middle class family of Salvatore and Concetta Curcio. Her father was a postal official. Other relatives were notaries, lawyers, and pharmacists. She was born on January 30, 1877. She joined the Carmelite Third Order at age 13. Not permitted by her father to study, she happened upon a book about St. Teresa that radically changed her life.

Although she was in contact with various Carmelites through the years, it was in partnership with the Dutch Carmelite Lorenzo van den Eerenbeemt that Mother Crocifissa was able to accomplish many things. It was in this time that the foundation at the costal town of Santa Marinella was made. The Institute is headquartered there today.

The journey towards canonization began officially on December 6, 1988 when Bishop Diego Bona, the ordinary of the Diocese of Porto S. Rufina, presented the request for nulla osta to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. The permission to work on the cause of Mother Curcio was given on January 3, 1989.

On April 20, 2004, the theological consultors for the Congregation met to establish the connection between a miracle and the intercession of the Servant of God. In October the Ordinary Congregation of Bishops and Cardinals gave a positive judgement to the miracle. In December, the Decree was given by the Pope. On December 28, the official communication was received giving the date of the beatification.

Maria Crocifissa will be beatified with five other Servants of God. One is a lay woman.

Website on Mother Crocifissa:

75th Jubilee of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm

Left to right:  Mother Suzanne Sapa, O. Carm., Superior General of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, Sister Anthony, O. Carm. and Sister Kevin, O. Carm., coordinators in planning the 75th Jubilee of Foundation stand on each side of  Father Michael Kissane, O. Carm., Prior Provincial of the St. Elias Province, who presented the Sisters with a Papal Blessing in honor of the occasion. (Photo courtesy of the SEL Province)

General Council Meets in December Plenary Sessions

The General Council of the Order met in formal sessions from December 6-18, 2004. For the first four days of December, they had their second annual "focus days" where the Council resides somewhere outside the Curia and works on particular issues that have been highlighted.

This year the "focus days" were held at the Domus Carmelitana in Rome. Among the topics dealt with were the recently concluded Congress of Religious, towards developing a policy about pushing Carmelite causes for sainthood, the eremitical life within the Order, and the Carmelite laity. Each day provided for some relaxation as well as prayer in common and private. A portion of one day was a meeting of the Task Force of the Domus Carmelitana followed by members having lunch with the full Council. The final evening was a gathering of the full Curia for a session to reflect on the theme of the Congress of Religious.

As is the usual practice, each member of the Council gave a written report on meetings or issues within his areas of responsibility. Other issues that have surfaced were also discussed. Some further planning for a number of the gatherings which will be taking place in the next several months was also made. Primary among these was the program for the General Congregation scheduled for September 2005 in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

A number of groups meet with the General Council during this plenary session, including the "Daily Board" from the Dutch Province and the Responsible General and her Council of Donum Dei. Both visits provided the opportunity to exchange information and to explore mutual concerns. Sessions were also dedicated to a discussion of the French Delegation with Klaus Schenkelberger, General Delegate, Mario Alfarano, Prior Provincial of the Neapolitan Province and two of his Councilors, Manuel Bonilla, Prior Provincial of Catalonia, and Alfredo DiCerbo, General Commissariary of La Bruna.

As had been a tradition at the December Council sessions, the OCARM Council traveled to the OCD General Curia for a morning of meetings, followed by a festive lunch with the full community.


The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers and the OCD Superior General. Luis Aróstegui, in discussion during the joint meeting of the OCARM-OCD General Councils in December. These meetings take place twice each year so that common projects can be developed. Topics at the December meeting included the Latin American Commission, the Carmelite Encyclopedia, the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Rule in 2007, and the Joint Formation Commission. (CITOC photo)



Gustavo Gutiérrez to Give Retreat at General Congregation

Noted Latin American theologian, Gustavo A. Gutiérrez will lead the participants in the full day retreat scheduled during the 2005 General Congregation. The General Congregation will take place September 5th – 15th in the Centro Pastoral, Santa Fé in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, convoked the meeting in a letter to the Order on October 1, 2004. The Constitutions provide that such a meeting take place 2 years before the General Chapter "to discuss matters of common interest to the whole Order".

The General Council selected the theme "Serving the Church and the World in an Era of Change: What the Order Must Do Today in order to be Capable of Transmitting the Charism Tomorrow."

Entitled to participate in the meeting are the Prior General and Council, the Priors Provincial, the General Commissaries, the Provincial Commissaries with at least 20 voting members, and the superiors of General Delegations with at least 20 voting members. Others are invited.

A number of reports will be given during the 8 working days. There will also be meetings of the different regions and proposals about the 2007 General Chapter.

The meeting is being held in Brazil as part of the 100 year celebration of the restoration of the Rio Province and the Carmelite presence in Latin America.

For more information, the website of the 2005 General Congregation is: congregation 2005


New Developments in Putri Karmel

On December 8, 2004, the 25th Anniversary of Pertapaan Karmel (Carmel Hermitage) Ngadireso, Malang was celebrated. The official ceremony was held on December 11 in order to facilitate the attendance of more people at the celebration.

The Bishop of Malang, Herman Joseph Pandoyo, presided at the Eucharist. He was assisted by Carmelite Bishop Hadisumarta, the retired bishop of Malang and Sorong. Also present were the bishops of Bogor and Sumba and several priests including Carmelite Cyprian Verbeek.

In his homily, the Bishop praised the sisters of Putri Karmel for their loyalty to their vocations and confirmed them in their special vocation.

"The history of Pertapaan Karmel is, in fact, a history of God’s great merciful love manifested through the life and works of the sisters," said Johannes Indrakusama, O. Carm., the founder of the group. "There were tears and sufferings along the way but the dominant feeling is of gratitude to and wonderment at God’s inscrutable designs and ways. The sisters attracted so many people to their center and most of them, in one way or another, have experienced God’s saving and healing love."

On December 9th, the former hermitage in Ngroto, Pujon, Batu, Malang was restored. The original one was completely destroyed and so this is a replica of the first hermitage. We keep it as an historical memory, especially for the sisters of Putri Karmel and the men of the Congregation of St. Elias. But it is also a reminder for the Carmelites in Indonesia of the contemplative dimension of the Carmelite vocation. Some young students have already shown interest in using the hermitage.

On December 20th, Fr. Indrasukama got an early Christmas present—a new hermitage and small chapel for his own use.

Monastery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Celebrates 50 Years

On the afternoon of April 25, 2004, the chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Carmel of Beja, Portugal was filled to overflowing with people coming from many different parts to participate in the Eucharist presided by the Bishop of Beja, António Vitalino Dantas, O. Carm., and concelebrated by the Superior of the Carmelites in Portugal, Henrique Martins. They were joined by several priests of the diocese to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of this Carmel.

This monastery is a daughter house of the Carmelite monastery of Santa Ana in Seville, Spain. For some years, the nuns lived in a house donated by the bishop. However, in 1971, a new monastery was built and formally dedicated on July 16, 1973. (from the magazine Família Carmelita of the Lusitania (Portugese)