no. 1   january - march 2006


Blessed Nuño de Santa Maria Alvares Pereira

From time immemorial people have prayed to Blessed Nuño de Santa Maria Alverez Pereira, Great Commander-in-Chief of Portugal, known as the Holy Commander. However, Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) stopped the veneration of certain Servants of God who had died in the odor of sanctity but were not yet beatified or canonized by the Holy See. At the same time, the Pope established the process of canonization and prohibited any continuation of public veneration of those who had not been beatified or canonized by the Holy See.

At the end of the 19th century, the petition for the beatification of Nuño de Santa Maria was introduced, in order that the cult of the Holy Commander could continue. All of the required formalities were completed on January 15, 1918 with a plenary session of the Congregation for Rites which approved the recognition of the cult of Blessed Nuño by unanimous acclamation. The Pope, Benedict XV, on January 23 ratified the decision of the Comgregation with the decree Clementissimus Deus.

On July 13, 2003, the process was opened to study the current reputation for holiness and the cult of Blessed Nuño for canonization. The process was concluded on April 3, 2004.

While the positio of that process was being drawn up, another process was opened dealing with the scientifically unexplained healing attributed to the intercession of Blessed Nuño as a presumed miracle. We hope that, God willing, a favorable judgment will be made by these experts and that following the necessary work, studies and revisions, that the Holy Father will approve and concede the canonization.

Pope Approves Miracle Attributed to Madre Scrilli; Date of Beatification Awaited

Pope Benedict XVI authorized the Congregation for Causes of the Saints to publish the decrees of acknowledgement of martyrdom or of miracles which open the door to 43 beatifications, including Madre Maria Teresa of Jesus, the foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of our Lady of Carmel.

Born Maria Scrilli, Madre Scrilli founded the Congregation in 1854. It was affiliated to the Carmelite Order in March 1929. The Congregation has about 250 sisters in 40 houses in Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, Poland, the USA, and the Czech Republic.

Also approved for beatification were the Discalced Carmelite nun Elijah de St. Clement and Maria Teresa of St. Joseph, the foundress of the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus.

The date of the beatification will be announced later.

Blessed Titus Brandsma, O. Carm.

Frequently the office of the postulator receives questions regarding Blessed Titus Brandsma and his canonization. If people of faith ask his intercession for whatever need they may have, surely God will grant this favor. The presumed miraculous healing attributed to Blessed Nuño occurred after the Postulator General reminded the faithful to present their needs to God through the intercession of Nuño. We now have the hope that the cause will proceed. Could not the same happen with Titus Brandsma?

Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it will be opened. Is it not so?

The website of the Office of the Postulator General is:

Liturgical Congress Scheduled for June 2006

A Congress on Liturgy and the Carmelite Charism will be held at the Carmelite retreat center in San Felice del Benaco, Italy on June 12 – 17, 2006.

The Congress will bring scholars together from Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, the USA, and Ireland to present papers on various aspects of liturgy.

Among the topics being presented are "The Connection between Liturgy and Charism", "From Gallican to Sepulchre and to Carmelite Rite", "Development of the Feasts of the Order", "Material Aspects of the Liturgy: Art, Architecture, etc", and "Carmelite Liturgical Manuscripts and Music."

It is planned that a group of historians and theologians from the Order will also be present to begin a reflection on the Carmelite liturgy.

The Carmelite center in San Felice del Benaco, part of the Italian Province, is located in northern Italy on Lago di Garda. It adjoins the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Carmelites have served at the sanctuary since 1460 with an interruption of 152 years, finally returning in 1952.

Blessing and Dedication of the Edith Stein Centre at Aylesford, England

The sun shone on September 22, 2005 for the blessing of the Aylesford Priory’s newly restored North Barn. Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Archbishop of Southwark which includes Aylesford, dedicated the barn as the Edith Stein Centre.

Included in the blessing and dedication was a striking statue of a young Edith Stein executed by the artist Geoff Lucas. The sculpture has already received high praise for its reflective nature. It shows Edith, before she became a Carmelite, reading a book.

Archbishop McDonald was delighted to be involved in the dedication as he is the Chair of the Bishops’ Conference’s Committee for Catholic and Jewish relations. Fr. Matt Blake, OCD, delivered a powerful lecture on the relevance of Edith Stein today. Tessa Hilder, representing the Heritage Lottery Fund, formally opened the barn. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided a large portion of the funding for the restoration. All those who had been involved in the restoration were invited guests.

"It will be a great asset to Aylesford," said Francis Kemsley, the Prior of Aylesford.

The barn is located on what was the Lodge Farm complex. The Aylesford Priory community gained full control of this area some 20 years ago. The West Barn was restored and opened as the Tea Room and Shop in 1990. The so-called "New Block" that formerly housed the Tea Rooms and Shop are now conference rooms.

"This has given us extra facilities and it is amazing how frequently we use all the rooms," continued Fr. Kemsley. The North Barn will serve as a place of welcome and hospitality on the major pilgrimage days. It will also host exhibitions and large gatherings.

The Conference Centre had previously been dedicated to Titus Brandsma in the 1970’s so it was natural to dedicate the North Barn as the Edith Stein Centre.

Detail of the sculpture of St. Edith Stein at Aylesford. Geoff Lucas was the artist. (Photo courtesy of Aylesford Friary)

The dramatic change in the Aylesford barn evidenced by ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. The restored structure, dedicated to Carmelite saint Edith Stein, will provide much needed meeting space. (Photos courtesy of Aylesford Friary)

Benefactors Mass for the Society of the Little Flower (Ireland/Britain) Held at Aylesford, England

The third annual Mass of Thanksgiving for the Benefactors of the Society of the Little Flower Society Ireland/UK was celebrated at The Friars in Aylesford, Kent, England on Saturday the 1st of October 2005. The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, was the main celebrant and homilist with approximately 500 people in attendance.

Benefactors of the Society of the have enabled the General Curia to distribute UK£400,000 (600,000 euro) in the last three years. Funding has gone to Carmelites in Kenya, Burkino Faso, Congo, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, East Timor, and Brazil. Other funding is being used for the work of formation in Africa as a whole, the promotion of Carmelite life in Latin America and the education of Carmelite students from Brazil and Indonesia.

A donation was also made to the Carmelite sisters affected by the hurricanes in New Orleans

The Benefactor’s Mass for 2006 is scheduled to take place at the Friars, Aylesford, Kent, England on the Feast itself, Sunday 1st of October 2006.

Canonical Visitations Scheduled for 2006

The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, and the General Councilor for North America, William J. Harry, meet via telephone conference call with the Provincial Council of the North American Province of St. Elias Province as part of their canonical visitation of the Province.

The visitation affords each member of the Order the possibility of meeting privately with the Prior General or his delegates. In most provinces, a report is delivered viva voce to the members at a Chapter or assembly or by letter. (CITOC photo)

Conference on the Meaning for Today of Ven. Angelo Paoli’s Life

Over 100 people participated in a conference held in the former Carmelite monastery of Cerignano on September 18, 2005. The conference explored the meaning for today of the message of Venerable Angelo Paoli, the 17th century Carmelite. Among the participants were people from various parts of Lunigiana which is located partially in Tuscany and partially in Liguria, Italy.

The Bishop of Massa, Eugenio Binini, celebrated the opening Mass and was joined by concelebrants Giuliano de Angeli, O. Carm., the current prior of the Carmelite community in Pisa, and the pastors of Cerignano and Arigigliano, the birthplace of the Venerable.

In the afternoon, the conference itself opened with the welcoming of the mayors of Fivizzano and Casola di Lunigiana, and the president of the Committee for the Beatification of the Venerable, Domenico Salvatori. This was followed by conferences by Dr. Fabio Baroni and Prof. Giuseppi Benelli, and the historian Franco Bonatti.

Dr. Batoni gave the history of the monastery in Cerignano from its foundation in 1568 to its suppression in 1782 by Leopold, the Granduke of Tuscany.

Two earthquakes, one in 1835 and the other in 1920, destroyed a major section of the monastery building along with the church. The beautiful cloister from the 1600’s decorated with the remains of the paintings by Stefano Lemmi, one of the great painters of Fivizzano, has remained intact.

Prof. Benelli gave a rousing introduction to his presentation, convinced of the holiness of the Venerable. He recalled the message send by Pope John Paul II in 1999 to the Prior of San Martino ai Monti in Rome on the occasion of the 7th centenary of the Carmelites receiving that church. Among other things, the Pope wrote, "How could we not mention that humble brother, the Venerable Angelo Paoli, the "Father of the Poor" and "Apostle of Roma", who we can call the "founder of the charities" in the Monti area of Rome. He was the first to place the cross in the Coliseum, giving the initiative for the Way of the Cross.

Domenico Salvatori, in his presentation, recalled the current owners of the building, the Adrean couple who were so happy to have hosted a conference so important for the knowledge of the life and work or Angelo Paoli.

Detail of a painting of Venerable Angelo Paoli in the Carmelite monastery in Straubing, Germany.

Golden Jubilee of Faversham Shrine

Fifty years to the day that Bishop Cyril Cowdray blessed the Shrine of St Jude, Faversham, England, Archbishop Kevin McDonald rededicated the Shrine. It had been heavily damaged by a fire on 31st October, 2004.

Three windows by Richard Joseph King have been restored by Canterbury Stained Glass Studies. A local silver smith has restored the Augsberg Reliquary and the lanterns.

The parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel gathered to celebrate the golden jubilee of its Shrine to St. Jude with Carmelites who have served at the shrine, pilgrims and many of those who were responsible for the restoration. The Archbishop blessed oil with the relic of St Jude and anointed everyone in the congregation.

Former directors of the St. Jude’s Shrine in Faversham, England join Archbishop Kevin McDonald to rededicate the shrine following the fire in 2005 and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the shrine. (Left to Right) Kevin Alban, David Fox, Archbishop McDonald, Alphonsus Brennan, Francis Kemsley. (Photo courtesy of St. Jude’s Shrine)