no. 3   july - september 2003

Carmelite NGO to Attempt Move to ECOSOC Status at United Nations

The Carmelite NGO, a cooperative effort of the Carmelite Family throughout the world, will move towards consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. The decision was announced in a letter dated July 16, 2003 cosigned by Sr. Ursula Diasselliss, O. Carm., President of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Fr. Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., the Prior General of the Order of Carmelites.

The Carmelite NGO, since December 2001, has been associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations.

Consultative Status involves participation in ECOSOC and its various subsidiary bodies through attendance at meetings, and also through oral interventions and written statements on agenda items of those bodies. Organizations qualifying for General Category Consultative Status, may propose new items for consideration by the ECOSOC. Organizations granted status are also invited to attend international conferences called by the U.N. General Assembly special sessions and those of other intergovernmental bodies.

Sr. Jane Remson, O. Carm., of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, is the main representative with the United Nations and Fr. William J. Harry, O. Carm., of the General Council is the alternative representative.

A recent ‘interest survey’ was conducted by the offices of the Carmelite NGO. Responses were received from 19 countries. The survey reported an overall interest level of 8 with 10 being the highest level.

See the Carmelite NGO Website:

Carmelite Hermits of Lake Elmo (USA) Incorporated into Order

(Above) The members of the Carmelite hermit community in Lake Elmo, Minnesota (USA) join their prior, John Burns, presenting Joseph Chalmers, the Prior General, with their statutes during a visit on Holy Saturday in 2003. (Left) Fr. John Burns, prior of the community in a hermitage. (CITOC photo)

The Hermits of Lake Elmo, Minnesota (USA) were incorporated into the Order by decree dated May 14, 2003, following the acceptance of their statutes by the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The General Council had approved the hermits’ statutes at its October plenary meeting.

A eucharistic celebration of the incorporation, led by the Prior General Joseph Chalmers, is planned for September 28, 2003 in Lake Elmo.

International Society of the Little Flower Begins  Funding Programs

Started only one year ago with appeals made in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the International Society of the Little Flower is providing US$65,000 to the Carmelite Order for funding of various programs throughout the world this year.

The General Council voted to disperse funds for the ongoing formation of Carmelites and the cloistered Carmelite nuns in various places around the Order. In addition, the Council provided financial assistance to Carmelite ministries in the Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya, Cameroon, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Brazil.

One of the greatest areas of growth within the Catholic Church is in the developing nations of Africa and Asia. It is also the area where the Order is growing rapidly. With this growth comes the incumbent costs of educating, feeding, and housing the growing numbers of young people who feel called to Carmel. There is also the cost of the programs of evangelization.

According to Robert Colaresi, O. Carm., who is coordinating the fundraising effort as a parallel organization to the Society of the Little Flower in the United States of America and Canada, "Our hope was that after three years we would have sufficient runds to send money to the Carmelites in these developing nations. In fact, after only the first year, we were able to provide funds to the Prior General."

Society of the Little Flower (UK-Ireland):

Administrative Board of Institutum Carmelitanum Charts Program and Recruits New Members

The members of the Administrative Board (Comitato Centrale) of the Institutum Carmelitanum met at Whitefriars Hall in Washington, DC on July 1- 5, 2003.

The meeting was intended to also be the beginning of networking among Carmelite related Institutes around the world. However, low attendance from the various Institutes did not permit much progress on this long term project during this meeting.

With time for substantial focus on Rome’s Institutum Carmelitanum, more details of the Institutum’s long term plan were set in place. Reports from several administrative areas of the Institutum were reviewed including the Carmelite Library in Rome, the Archives of the Order, and the programs and projects of the Institutum already underway. Lengthy planning sessions took place regarding upcoming conferences.

A financial report was reviewed and the annual budgets for the Institutum, the Archives, and the Carmelite Library were approved for submission to the General Council.

A detailed update on the progress of the SPIRIN and SPINE projects from the Titus Brandsma Institute in Nijmegen was presented. SPIRIN and SPINE link together resources in the field of spirituality as well as make courses in spirituality available via the internet. The first Internet course is already underway.

The head of the Institute of Spirituality of Tangaza College in Nairobi made a presentation on that Institute’s request to have the Carmelites participate in it. The General Council will discuss the Administrative Board’s recommendation at a future meeting.

Mr. Frank Butler of FADICA, a voluntary association of Catholic foundations in the United States of America, addressed the Board on the work of his organization and strategies for obtaining funding for projects from foundations. The Administrative Board will investigate the possibility of soliciting various foundations for financial backing for specific Institutum projects.

There were information sessions on various conferences and meetings that have been held since the last meeting of the Board in October 2002. These included the meeting of the librarians at Aylesford in April and the publishing seminar held in Washington, DC in March.

Updates were also presented on projects that are underway, including the Carmelite Dictionary, the book from papers given by the Carmelite psychologists and the networking of the catalogues from Carmelite libraries around the world.

A report on the Edizioni Carmelitane, which is the Order’s publishing house in Rome, was discussed. This entity publishes and distributes all of the publications for the General Council and the Institutum Carmelitanum. Included was the information that the scientific journal CARMELUS is now being published on time, the English language magazine CARMEL IN THE WORLD has experienced a dramatic increase in annual subscriptions, and Edizioni publications can now be purchased from the web and from several bookstores in Rome, the USA, and Canada.

The Institutum is planning a conference of scholars as a preparation for the celebration of the 8th Centenary of the Carmelite Rule. A list of possible subjects for papers to be presented, a list of presenters, and other matters relative to putting on such a conference were discussed. The conference will be held in the spring of 2005. The papers would then be published in book form in time for distribution at the family wide celebration of the Rule in September 2006.

The names of several people were approved for submission to the General Council for consideration as members of the Institutum.

The next meeting of the Administrative Board will be in Rome February 20-22, 2004.

Institutum Carmelitanum Website: