no. 3   july - september 2003

Congress on the Consecrated Life

The Prior General, Fr. Joseph Chalmers, has been invited to participate in a Congress on Consecrated Life to be held in Rome in November of 2004. The title of the Congress is, "With a Passion for Christ and Compassion for Humanity." The invited members are some Superiors General, Presidents of National and Continental Conferences of Men and Women Religious, some theologians, directors of journals and centers of reflection on the Consecrated Life and representatives from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life. It is hoped that this meeting will help consecrated persons to discern what God is saying in the new situations that the world presents us with.


In preparation for the Congress, Fr. Joseph was asked to respond to a questionnaire in preparation for the Congress. We present the questions here because of the connection between the Congress and our role in the Church.

1. What challenges and opportunities do you see for consecrated life at this time?
2. What signs or indications of newness and vitality in consecrated life can you identify?

3. What would you like consecrated life to look like in the future?

4. What blocks do you see as impeding newness and vitality in consecrated life today?


Indonesian Putri Karmel Affiliated: The General Council in Session 65 on 9 December 2002 affiliated the congregation "Putri Karmel" (Daughters of Carmel) to the Order. The Superior General of the Putri Karmel, Sr. Justini Kesuma, P. Karm., wrote the Prior General a letter of thanks for the affiliation and prayed that "with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel we will always remain united in love with Him and with each other in our efforts to live the Carmelite spirituality and the sublime aspirations of Carmel."

On the same day, the General Council also affiliated the male group "Carmelitae Sancti Eliae" led by Johanes Indrakusuma, O. Carm. Fr. Indrakusum, a member of the Indonesian Province, founded both groups.


Indonesian Hermitage Welcomes Carmelites

Sedaeng, a quiet village on the slopes of Mount Bromo in East Java, was chosen by the Indonesian Province as the place for a hermitage. Fr. Heribertus Heru Purwanto, O. Carm., Provincial at the time, inaugurated and blessed the hermitage on 27 March 2003.

The hermitage consists of seven simple, timber hermitages and at present there are two hermits living there, Fr. Cyprianus Verbeek, O. Carm. and Br. Vincentius Parsi, O. Carm. It is hope that other Carmelites will join them for short or longer periods.

Formation Courses of the "Mater et Decor Carmeli" Federation

A formation course for nuns in the Mater et Decor Carmeli Federation of Carmelite monasteries in Spain was held from April 27-June 28. The theme of the nine week course was "The Life of God in Humanity" and provided a number of mini courses in a variety of theological areas.

The program opened on April 27th with a Eucharist celebrated by José Ramírez Román, the Prior Provincial of the Baetica Province. The courses taught were: History of the Order: The Nuns of Andalucia (2 parts) and Decadence and Reform; Moral Theology: The Commandments; The Liturgical Year: Ministries of Liturgical Celebration; Sacred Scripture: Introduction to the New Testament and the Letters of St. John and the Book of Revelations; Dogmatic: Grace and Virtue; Carmelite Models.

There will also be two permanent formation courses in 2003 for the members of the Federation. The course for the communities will focus on the Carmelite charism lived by the Carmelite nuns in light of the Prior General’s letter "Into the Land of Carmel," issued on the occasion of the 550th anniversary of the papal bull "Cum Nulla."

A course on the October 6-11, 2003 will focus on the May 19, 2002 instruction from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life entitled "Starting Afresh from Christ." It will be lead by Fr. Eleuterio López, C.M.F.