no. 1   january - march 2007

Meeting of Teachers in the Carmelite Secondary Schools in Spain

The first meeting of the teachers at the Carmelite secondary schools in Spain took place August 31 – September 2 in the Carmelite Spirituality Center in Onda (Castellón, España). Some 36 teachers from the various schools of the Carmelite provinces as well as the schools of the Congregations affiliated to the Order in Málaga and Orihuela participated.

The purpose of the gathering was to study the Carmelite charism and its connection to the school environment, future laws regarding evaluation of the schools, the role of the laity in a Catholic school and the function of a pastoral department in a Carmelite school. The teachers also had the opportunity to discuss various issues and to make a Power Point presentation on their respective schools.

The meeting included a visit to the Museum of Natural Science in Onda, run by the Carmelites of the Aragon Valentine Province.

The theme of these days was To Educate in Carmelite Life with the goal of demonstrating how young people can be educated in a way that is inspired by the charism of Carmel. It was a fruitful meeting, especially considering that 15 Carmelite schools exist in Spain, with many Carmelite men and women involved, and no similar meeting had ever been organized.

Such a meeting has been requested a number of times by the teachers themselves as they are interested in learning more about Carmelite education and improving collaboration between the Carmelite schools.

Photo of the teachers from the Carmelite schools in Spain who came together to discuss the Carmelite connection to the schools.

Carmelite Websites and CDs
Additional Tools for Today’s Vocational Ministry

The indications that people, especially the young, search for religious information on the Internet is well established. Interestingly, recent studies indicate that this is no longer a phenomenon in just Europe and North America. Many areas of the world now provide Internet access to the ordinary people. The second most popular language on the Internet is Brazilian Portuguese.

With the development of digital music and video, the technology for storing large amounts of data on CDs, and portable retrieval devices, the age of the CD was born. There is no looking back. These technologies have revolutionized the ability of groups, such as the Carmelites, to publish information and give easy, inexpensive access to their information.

Various Carmelite provinces and monasteries have begun using these technologies as additional tools for their vocational programs. In the case of vocational websites, some are professionally developed websites. Most are the work of a member or friend of the Order. Some are extensive in their content. Others contain only a short text and contact information. Some now include access to short internet films which contain interviews or film stories about Carmelite events.

"It is important to remember that each website, good and bad, will be the first impression most people get of Carmel," said Fr. William J. Harry, O. Carm., head of the Office of Carmelite Communications in Rome. "Together with CDs, these are technologies the Order should exploit in every possible way. Everyone, from the Pope on down, speaks of these as ‘the new tools of evangelization.’"

The Carmelite use of CDs has been much slower to develop. However, Carmelite music, pictures, and tests from conferences and congresses have begun appearing. Perhaps the most extensive vocational CD produced by the Carmelites so far is in the PCM Province. The professionally produced The Men of Carmel: Anchored in God and Life was two years in development, including six months of filming. Copies of the CD are distributed through Carmelites, Carmelite ministries, and requests for information received via the Internet. Efforts are being made to broadcast the CD on some local television stations. Several hours of film not used in the finished CD will be edited and used for video streaming on the provincial vocation website.

For further information on Carmelite Vocations Ministry:
International Listing of Carmelite Vocation Programs:
PCM Vocation Website:

The opening page of the PCM Vocation Website

Focus on Keeping Costs Low
Australia’s World Youth Day in 2008 Takes Shape

Planners of the 10th International World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia are expecting to attract 500,000 pilgrims, including 125,000 international visitors. The event will be held July 15-20, 2008.

The theme selected for this World Youth Day is from the Acts of the Apostles. "You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit that descends upon you and you will be my witnesses." (1:8)

The World Youth Day coordinator, Dominican Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, said the program is designed to encourage maximum participation by pilgrims from Australia’s neighbors in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

"We know that for many people in Oceania, this may be the only chance they have to attend a World Youth Day," Bishop Fisher said. "With this in mind, one of our guiding principles was to ensure that pilgrims from developing nations in Oceania pay as little as possible to attend."

The Organizing Committee for the 2008 World Youth Day has already established a program of activities for the week-long celebration which includes the arrival and welcome of Pope Benedict into Sydney, a sleep-out under the stars and a Final Mass celebrated by His Holiness on Sunday, July 20, 2008.

The organizers have also begun releasing a series of monthly e-bulletins entitled E-Pilgrimage via the World Youth Day website which focus on various points of theology which are thought to be of interest to the youth. The bulletins are in pdf format which requires the reader to have the free download Acrobat Reader on their computer. The January issue of the e-bulletin, which runs eight pages in length, focuses on the human body, marriage and the Eucharist. Copies of the e-bulletins are available on the World Youth Day website.

Youth Day Cross Finishing African Pilgrimage

After Christmas in Malawi and a stop in Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, the World Youth Day cross and icon of Mary is in the last phase of an African pilgrimage.

The Youth Day symbols, donated by Pope John Paul II to the youth, have traveled the African continent as a sign of reconciliation. The African pilgrimage began in Senegal on April 12, and has continued country by country, often confronting difficult situations.

In September in Congo, travel was difficult due to damaged roads. With the cooperation of the armed forces, a helicopter flew the cross and icon to their destination.

In Burundi, the pilgrimage was an opportunity to reflect on peace and reconciliation. The Rwanda stop in November also reflected on reconciliation. As part of the festivities surrounding the cross, the young people there helped to build houses for genocide widows.

On Feb. 15, the cross and icon will leave for Australia.

Carmelites at Previous World Youth Day

A number of Carmelites accompanied groups to the last World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. Groups from various Carmelite parishes around the world attended. Students from Carmelite secondary schools also attended but most often as part of a diocesan group or as members of a Carmelite parish.

CITOC also had Nepomuk Willemsen, a young Carmelite from the Upper German Province, accredited as a correspondent allowing him access to press conferences and other meetings. His regular updates were included on the Carmelite website dedicated to the World Youth Day.

While some religious Orders held a gathering of young people from their various ministries who were in attendance, the Carmelites opted to have each ministry organize on its own and sponsored no general gathering.

The official website of the 2008 World Youth Day (with links to English, Spanish, Italian, and French versions) is:

1) The logo for the World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia in 2008.
A young Pole from the Carmelite group at the World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.