no. 1   january - march 2006

First Congress of Lay Carmelites in the Italian Province

Approximately 200 Lay Carmelites from the Italian Province met at Istituto "Il Carmelo" in Sassone (Rome), Italy, August 24-28, 2005.

Present were members of 24 centers of the Carmelite Third Order, Carmelo Domestico, La Famiglia, and religious of the Carmelite Missionaries of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and 12 Carmelite religious. The Prior Provincial, Claudio Bellotti, opened the Congress and Joseph Chalmers, the Prior General, celebrated the closing Mass with the presence of the Vice-General, Carlo Cicconetti, and Josef Jancar, General Delegate for the Carmelite Laity and Rafael Leiva Sánchez, the General Councilor for the Mediterranean Region.

The theologian Cettina Militello and Mariano Cera were the moderators. Giovanni Grosso coordinated the gathering.

During the Congress, the local presidents of the Carmelite Third Order elected new leadership: Michele Bonano of Catania (Sicily) was elected President. Anna Cappi of Colonia was elected Vice-President. Tullia Bonanni of Palestrina was elected Secretary.

Reservations for 2006 Lay Carmelite Congress Hit 290

The details for the Lay Carmelite Congress in September 2006 continue to be worked out as the number of participants is expected to be around 290 of which 270 are Lay Carmelites. The largest delegation will be coming from the Americas with 102 members.

Participants are being encouraged to bring a small flag or symbol of their country as well as formation and other materials used by the Lay Carmelites in their province. A room will be set aside for displaying the materials.

A special bank account which allows for the fees to be paid by direct electronic transfer has been set up. This avoids significant charges for foreign currency transactions.

The Congress will be held at the Istituto "Il Carmelo" in Sassone, Italy. Sassone is in the Alban hills about 20 km south of Rome. The complex recently became a wireless ‘hotspot’ so participants are encouraged to bring their laptops.

Information about the Lay Carmelite Congress as well as copies of letters sent to participants is available at the Congress’s website: Included are links for the weather in Sassone and clear directions on how to arrive at Sassone from the Rome airports and Stazioni Termini, the main rail station.

Arrivals will begin after 10 am on Saturday, September 2, 2006. The Congress will open with a Eucharistic celebration on Sunday at 4:30 pm. The closing ceremony and closing Eucharist will be on Friday, September 8 at 5:30 PM. Departures from Sassone will begin on Saturday, September 9th.

Website of the 2006 Lay Carmelite Congress:

British Province Appoints First Lay Provincial Delegate to Third Order

John Berry has been appointed the first Lay Provincial Delegate for the British Province. John is the leader of the Birmingham Chapter and has been a member of the National Consultative Body since the start.

John’s appointment is part of a plan for Lay Carmelites to be more involved in responsibility for the Third Order. This process was begun by Brendan Grady, O. Carm., when he was the Lay Delegate. Since the Provincial Chapter, Fr. Tony Lester, Provincial, has been the Delegate.

Lay Carmelites Rejoice at Ordination in Australia

Paul Lonot Sireh O.Carm was ordained by the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart on 10 December at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Middle Park.

Many Lay Carmelites from Melbourne and other interstate cities in Australia rejoiced in the first Carmelite Ordination in Australia for 20 years. It is also very significant for Papua New Guinea, Paul’s home country, as the very first Carmelite Ordination. A Mass of Thanksgiving followed the day after the Ordination and again was well attended by Lay Carmelites gathered in a true spirit of family joy and celebration.

Over recent years Fr Paul has visited most of the Lay Carmelite communities with Provincial Delegate Bruce Clark, O. Carm and is well known and loved. His musical contribution to liturgies is always appreciated.