The General Council of the Order met with the General Council of the Discalced Carmelites on Thursday, May 16, 2002, at the Carmelite General Curia in Rome. The meeting is one of two that have been held for each of the last ten years to promote cooperation between the two Orders.

Among the topics discussed were the publication of a series of letters from the Priors General in the last several years and a reflection on the collaboration between the two Orders and the future of such joint efforts, the proposals of the Mariological Seminar that took place in June 2001, a review of the work of the Commissions made up of both O. Carm. and OCD members, and ways both Orders might celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Rule of St. Albert.

The next meeting will take place on December 12, 2002 at the Discalced Curia in Rome


15 – 19 APRIL 2002

The new International Finance Commission of the Order held its first meeting in Rome at the Curia house from 15th to 19th April. The members of the Commission present were: Eduard van Aalsum (Neer.), Antonio Moreiro (Lus), Gian Domenico Meloni (Ita), Wilmar Santin (GerS-P), Daniel O’Neill (PCM), Francis Sulistyo (Indo) and James Des Lauriers (Bursar General). The meeting addressed a wide variety of subjects including new ways of communicating and dealing with monies in the Order in a time of changing economic conditions.

In particular the Commission looked at new ways of raising money, for example the Society of the Little Flower operation in Britain. It also examined the Order’s debts for the Domus Carmelitana and CISA and reviewed the contributions made by the provinces. The percentage quotas for ordinary expenses were also studied and proposals made for consideration by the General Council.

On the final day of the meeting the Commission met with the Prior General to deal with some concerns raised by the General Council, such as the debt situation, Curia expenses and new fund raising activities.

The General Council will study the Commission’s recommendations and make final decisions at its next plenary session in May. The results of this meeting will be communicated to the provinces thereafter. The next meeting of the Commission will be in September 2002.

A more extensive report from this Commission is available on the Internet at

April 17-20, 2002

The International Communications Commission met at the General Curia from April 17-20, 2002. Present were Tony Lester, O. Carm., the Provincial of the British Province, Rey Caigoy, O. Carm., from the Philippine Commissariat of the Dutch Province, Anthony Cilia, O. Carm., of the General Curia and William J. Harry, O. Carm., the General Councilor responsible for communications.

Much of one day was spent reviewing the various documents of the Order to pick out key ideas pertaining to various aspects of communications. From those points, the Commission formulated their goals for the 5 years until the next General Chapter. They also developed the instrument to conduct an audit of communications throughout the Order. This will be mailed to each Province and the Carmelite nuns and affiliated Congregations and Religious Institutes will be invited to participate as well.
There was an update of current projects in communications being developed at this time. The Commission then discussed communications in 11 different areas of the Order and developed strategies which will be suggested to the General Council as ways of improving communications.

The Commission completed its work by developing "job descriptions" for the Commission itself, the General Councilor for Communications, and the Web Master for the General Curia Website.

The next meeting of the Commission will be held September 18-20, 2002 in Rome when the results of the communications audit will be analyzed.

The complete version of the minutes of this Commission is available on the Internet at


After an extended period of preparation, two members of the Indonesian Province, Cyprian and Mark began an experience of the eremitical life. The hermitage is located on the northwest side of Mount Bromo, in the province of Eastern Java on the island of Java.

The idea of having a hermitage was first brought up by Fr. Heribertus, the Prior Provincial, during a meeting of formators in March 1999. At that meeting, how to better prepare the friars, especially those in initial formation, for their life and work as Carmelites was discussed. It was felt that too many leave the Province after too short a time. The desire was to help them deepen their religious motivation by a genuine experience of God.

The hermitage is not only for those friars who feel attracted to the eremitical life for a short time or even as a lifetime vocation. This hermitage will serve Carmelites for shorter periods of time too. It is not meant as a more intense version of a retreat house but as a place providing a deep experience of silence and solitude. There should be a small group of more permanent friars to sustain the lifestyle.

While this hermitage was created by the Indonesian Province to assist the friars it is also envisioned that others will be able to benefit from the experience as well.

Another reason for the establishment of St. Yusuf Hermitage is the need to pray for the Church. We want to pray that the Church, its leaders and its members, become the salt, the light, and the leaven of human society. This is always a recognized need to pray for all people, especially for those suffering physically and psychologically from situations of violence and abuse. Likewise, there is always the need to pray that God be known and loved. There is a need to become "humble and meek of heart" as Jesus with a heart open to all the needs of the Church and the world. This is one of the lessons from the Second Vatican Council documents Gaudium et Spes.

With the support of the Provincial Chapter in 2000 and the very strong support of the friars in formation, the idea of a hermitage is being realized.

By Cyprian Verbeck, O. Carm.
Indonesian Province

March 18 – 22, 2002

The International Commission for Formation met at the Curia in Rome from March 18-22, 2002. The made the following decisions:

1) The Provincial Program for Formation

In order to encourage the elaboration of provincial formation programs or their revision we decided:

-         To send the decree of the General Chapter on formation to the provincials, commissaries and formators.
-         To ask the Prior General to remind the provinces of this decree during the celebration of Chapters.

2) Strategies for the Implementation of the RIVC in the Provinces

The members of the Commission shared their knowledge of what is taking place in the provinces and commissariats regarding the implementation of the RIVC.

-         The RIVC was translated also in some of the unofficial languages of the Order (German, Indonesian, Portughese, etc.)
-         In some provinces, general assemblies and meetings of formators on the RIVC took place.
-         The RIVC was given to all the friars.
-         A provincial held a meeting in every community of his province to present the RIVC.

In order to promote the study of and reflection on the RIVC in the communities of the Order, we suggest that:

-         We draw up guidelines for reading the RIVC that can be also put on the Internet.
-         We publish the proceedings of the course on the RIVC that was held for formators at Fatima.

3) A Manual for Carmelite Formation

The elaboration of the manual will follow the following steps:

-         Stocktaking, through a questionnaire sent to formators, of what is already taking place in the provinces, the materials and methodologies used.
-         Presentation of the result of the questionnaire at the international meeting that will be held in 2003.
-         Regional meetings of formators, organized by the representatives of the various regions on the International Formation Commission, on the structure and content of the manual.
-         An international congress for formators in 2006 will be dedicated to the manual.

4) Formation for Formators

The first of two courses called for by the General Chapter of 2001 will take place in Aylesford, England, from July 28th until August 15, 2003. The theme will be "Formation for Community Life." The second course will be held in 2006 and will be dedicated to the manual of Carmelite Formation in accordance with the Program of Carmelite Studies, the third part of the RIVC.

5) Immediate Preparation for Solemn Profession

We propose that following three modes- in order of preference- for the period of immediate preparation for solemn profession:

-         That it takes place preferably on the international level for a period of between one and three months, possibly in the Holy Land or another significant place for the Order, or
-         That is takes place on a regional level, for the same period of time as above, in a place to be chosen by the region, or
         That is takes place on a provincial level, adapting the above to the provincial situation.

When the General Council decides which of these three proposals is to be implemented, the Commission will draw up a detailed program.

6. Ongoing Formation

The first ongoing formation course is reserved for priors of Carmelite communities. It will take place at the Domus Carmelitana in Rome between January 29, 2003 (Day of Arrival) and February 14, 2003 (Day of Departure).

The theme will be "The Role of the Prior in a Carmelite Community."

7. Monitoring the State of Formation in the Order

In order to promote communication and facilitate the work of the International Formation Commission, we propose that periodically (for example, on the occasion of each Provincial/Commissariat Chapter), a report be sent to the General Council for Formation on the state of formation in the province or commissariate.

A complete set of the minutes of this Commission’s meeting is posted on the Internet at


On Saturday, April 13, 2002, in Jaén, Spain, the XV Meeting of the Carmelite Family of the Baetica Province took place, bringing togther religious, members of the Third Order, Confraternities, and friends of Carmel from Andalucia, Madrid and La Mancha.

The Hermandad del Carmen de Jaén, founded in 1600 in the ancient Carmelite monastery of Jaén, organized this year’s gathering. This ‘fraternity’ has kept alive the devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in the city since the Carmelites left the monastery in 1835. The meeting took place in the church of Saint Ildefonso where the statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel by Navas Parejo was brought. The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, O. Carm., presided.

Fr. Ismael Martínez Carretero gave a talk on the papal bull "Cum nulla," origin of the Carmelite nuns and the Lay Carmel.

During the meeting, the Prior General, in the presence of the government officials of the city, D. Miguel Sánchez de Alcázar, of the Mayor, D. Moisés Campos Estévez, and other religious, unveiled a commemorative plaque on the location of the ancient Carmelite monastery.

The Mass was celebrated by the Prior General, assisted by the General Councilor, Rafael Leiva Sánchez, by the new Provincial, José Ramírez Román, the Episcopal Vicar, the pastor of Saint Ildefonso and of Saint John and Saint Peter, where the fraternity is based, and by many priests and Carmelite religious. The music was led by the choir from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish in Jerez.


The Commission for the Study of the Charism and Spirituality of the Order met in Rome April 2-6, 2002. A number of proposals were put forth by the Commission for the development of various studies. Two major celebrations will also occur within this six year term: the 800th anniversary of the Rule and the 400th anniversary of the death of Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi.

Specific proposals were:

1) That the Prior General take advantage of direct communication with the Provincials, of the conferences, as well as his talks to the Provinces to insist on the importance of the creation of the Carmelite Spiritual Directory and to encourage its study.

2) Looking to proceed in the editing process of the Directory of Carmelite Spirituality, within a time frame of two years, the members of the Commission:

a) Will read all the articles;

b) Will write to all the formators asking for feedback on each of the themes;

c) Will begin to look for an internal structure which will pull together the various articles of the Directory.

3) To develop a document explaining why it is necessary to work on the publication of a new Directory of Carmelite Spirituality, so as to show the difference between what existed previously (the Directory authored by Johann Brenniger, O. Carm.).

4) To prepare an anthology of the most important texts of our tradition. Regarding the material we are considering it opportune to take advantage of the first synthesis that Richard Copsey, O. Carm., developed, with approximately 42 texts A ad usum privatum carmelitarum,@ that are being used a great deal in the Provinces. With regards to methodology, we are waiting to hear the suggestions of the Formation Commission which intends to develop a > Manual of Carmelite Formation= in order to complete the third part of the RATIO and that would be complementary to this task of preparing an anthology.

5) To propose a mixed O. Carm/O.C.D. Commission

a) That the new form of citing the Rule be adopted, approved some years ago, in the new studies that will be published and also in the next version of the Rule that will appear in both the O.Carm. and O.C.D. Constitutions.

b) To rethink the possibility of producing two studies, one O. Carm. and the other O.C.D., of the commentaries made about the Rule in both branches of our Carmelite family. The proposal will be presented at the next meeting of the Mixed Commission. In the case that both General Councils approve of the projects, Carlo Cicconetti will take responsibility for our O. Carm. part of the study.

6) Because of the VIIIth Centenary of the Rule, we propose:

a) To study the possibility that someone does a registration and a critical-comparative study of the various versions of the Rule that are found in the various archives.

b) That a study be done of the interpretations of the Rule, especially those done in the last 40 years. It would border on an historical-hermaneutical. Egidio Palumbo. O. Carm., and Mario Alfarano, O. Carm., could collaborate on this work.

c) To do a study of the Rule from the point of view of the young people throughout the whole of the Carmelite Family. What can the Rule offer to a young person in a secularized world? This would imply getting close the experience of the young people. That will be organized later on.

d) The Commission showed a particular interest, taking advantage of the occasion of the centenary and studying the A Rule as a point of departure for dialogue with other cultures.@ It could be thought of globally as an A Intercultural-Interreligious Seminar@ for a group of specialists (about 20-30) from different cultures, religious, etc. It will be made clearer below.

e) To hold a Congress on the Rule that brings together contributions from the various Carmelite Institutes (Spain, France, Italy, Washington, Holland, Germany, The Philippines, Brazil, etc). From each of these diverse centers a different aspect of the Rule will be studied that the authors and the cultures (John of the Cross, John of St. Samson, Mary Magdalene de= Pazzi, Titus Brandsma, Edith Stein, eastern cultures, the Latin American reality, the option for the poor, etc) have had on the Rule. There would be shown the discriptive aspect, how this figure viewed it and how it is seen from this cultural context, that mystical processs calls for, without any doubt, the Rule. It would be necessary to identify who could collaborate from each Institute and how it can be organized from there.

7) For the Fourth Centenary of the Death of St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, we propose to make contact with some specialists of our Carmelite family so that they can contribute with the work to the celebration of a Congress that commemorates this event.

8) For the 550th Anniversary of the papal bull "Cum Nulla" we propose having Stefano Possanzini, O. Carm., for the Bull "Cum Nulla", and Giovanni Grosso, O. Carm., for the figure of John Soreth, to prepare some other reflection which Bishop Vital Wilderink , scholar and expert on the theme will take on the execution of this task.

A complete set of the minutes of this Commission’s meeting is posted on the Internet at

Communication Builds Community.

Pope John Paul II has proclaimed Sunday, May 12, 2002 as the 36th World Communications Day and dedicated the day to the theme "The Internet: A New Forum for Proclaiming the Gospel."

The Carmelite Order joins in this celebration by inaugurating three new websites to make your access to Carmelite information on the internet easier, faster, and more complete. We have even picked names which are easy to remember: is the Italian language Carmelite website; is the Spanish language Carmelite website; is the English language Carmelite website.

Right now, these websites contain links to the website for CITOC, the Order’s Office of Communications. There are also links to the International Commissions of the Order. By going to the website in the language of your choice (,,, you can link to the full March – April 2002 issue of CITOC as well as to back issues.

Or you can see who the members of the International Commissions of the Order are and what they are planning to accomplish in the next six years. As the commissions meet, the minutes of their meetings will be posted, allowing you to follow their discussions and the actions taken. Eventually each International Commission will be able to develop their commission website as a resource for you and other members of the Order.

In the coming months, these three "info" websites will be developed as a "subject index" of Carmelite websites throughout the entire Internet. This will enable you to see what information each Carmelite website contains about a particular topic. The entry for Titus Brandsma, for example, will have links to biographical information on any of the Carmelite websites. Another set of links will give you immediate access to all those websites with his writings. A third set of links will send you to websites on the internet with pictures, drawings, or icons of Brandsma.

In addition, we will be continuing to build the resources available on the Order’s traditional website,

We hope you enjoy these new means of communication. Our goal is to facilitate easy access to the information you need and want.


We are waiting for the reply of Dr. Bonomí, the doctor who attended to the tumor in the lung of Mrs. Mary Elisabeth Harnedy, and who, at the request of Fr. Felip Amenos, Postulator General of the Carmelites, explained that there was no connection between the linfoma tumor "non Hodgkin type" of the salivary gland, from which she felt cured, and the tumor in the lung, a carcinoma non small cell, suffered by Mrs. Harnedy that caused her death.

The Postulator of the Order, recently held an interview with Prof. Arnaldo Capelli, director of the department of pathology at the Catholic University "Gemelli", Rome, and consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, with the scope of asking whether it was convenient and proper to continue, with some probability of success, with the process of revising the conclusions of the medical commission, which holds that there was a connection between the two tumors and that both were carcinoma "non small cell", there being a metastasis between the two, so that there was no "complete and lasting" cure.

Prof. Capelli’s opinion is that it would be useless to go on with the revision to the conclusion of the medical commission, since the method that the biologist in Chicago used and which led him to the conclusion that it was not a linfoma but a carcinoma, excludes any possibility of its not being a linfoma.

We keep on hoping and seeking the intercession of Blessed Titus Brandsma in our needs and thus showing that we value his powers of intercession for us before the Lord.