no. 4   october - december 2004

Blessing of the Monastery in Machakos, Kenya

On October 15, 2004, the feast of St. Teresa of Jesus, the new Carmelite monastery in Machakos, Kenya was blessed. The bishop of the Diocese of Machakos, Bishop Martin Kivuva Musone, was the principal celebrant. He was accompanied by several other bishops from around Kenya, including Bishop Virgilio Pante, Bishop of Maralal, and brother of Sr. Cecilia Pante, O. Carm., the prioress of the Carmelite monastery in Montegnacco, Italy. Also present was the Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, who preached, Anthony Scerri, the General Counselor for Asia, Africa, Australia, Rafael Leiva Sánchez, General Counselor and General Delegate for the Nuns. The participants in the Course for Carmelite Formators that was held in Nairobi and many other people were able to attend.

Two sisters made their first profession during the Eucharist.

The monastery in Machakos was founded by the Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of Utrera, Spain in 1999. Today the community has 11 members: six solemnly professed nuns, two with simple vows, one novice, one postulant, and one aspirant.

XIth Meeting of the Carmelite Family in the Iberian Region

The XIth Meeting of the Carmelite Family in the Iberian Region was held in Tarragona, Spain June 29-July 2, 2004. The meeting was organized by the Catalonian Province. Over 100 members of the family, including Carmelite laity, religious men and women, nuns, sisters of the Congregations of "La Virgen María del Monte Carmelo" and of "Las Carmelitas del Sagrado Corazón" participated.

The theme "The Carmelite Laity" allowed for presentations by some of the laity while Carlo Cicconetti, the Vice General, developed the central theme with three conferences: "A Lay Reading of the Rule of Carmel", "New Forms of Affiliation to the Carmelite Family", and the "Spiritual Project for the Carmelite Laity."

The Archbishop of Tarragona, Bishop Lluis Martínez Sistach was present for the meeting.

African Formators’ Course on "Formation for Community"

Forty members of the Carmelite Family from Burkino Faso, D.R. Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, met in Nairobi, Kenya from October 4-17, 2004 to share ideas and views on the central issue of "Formation for Community in Africa Today."

They were guided in their discussions by various Carmelites from around the world. Quinn Conners (PCM) looked at the psychological dimensions of community and how best to form young Carmelites to live in community. The biblical foundations of community, and specifically the African slant on it, were dealt with by Eugène Kaboré (Baet-BF) in his talk. Conrad Mutizamhepo (Hib-Zim) presented a stimulating discussion of African values of community and how they could be related to the Carmelite charism. Finally, Kees Waaijman (Neer) looked at St. Albert’s Rule from the perspective of community centered on the figure of Christ. Desirè Unen Alimange (Ita-Congo) co-ordinated the liturgical celebrations each day.

The Prior General, Joseph Chalmers, spoke on "Carmel: An International Family".

Participants had the opportunity to attend the opening and blessing of the new monastery of the Carmelite nuns in Machakos, just outside Nairobi.

(Above Photo) Quinn Conners, member of the PCM Province, addresses the Carmelite Formators gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for the conference "Formation for Community in Africa Today"  (Photo courtesy of Rafael Leiva, O. Carm.)

The Final Message of the Course is posted on the Formation Commission Website at

Carmelite Family Active in the Latin America Region
Variety of Gatherings Held

From July 7 to 11, 2004, there was a biblical meeting in Bogota, Colombia on "Jesus, Master and Disciple", in which 34 lay men and women members of the "Small Carmels" ("Pequeños Carmelos") of the Tito Brandsma Delegation, Colombia, took part. Carlos Mesters, General Councilor for Latin America, was the presenter.

The Chapter of the "Madre Maria das Neves" Province of the Carmelite Sisters of Divine Providence took place in Rio de Janeiro from July 21-28, 2004. The theme was "To Be a Carmelite Today: Values, Challenges, Hopes". Sister Célia Vieira de Carvalho was elected the superior provincial.

From June 28 to July 01, 2004, the Second General Assembly of Formators of the three Carmelite provinces of Brazil took place in the monastery in São Paulo. The theme was: "Formation and Carmelite Identity in Today’s Context." Bruno Secondin, O. Carm., of the Italian Province was the speaker. Twenty-three of 25 formators, responsible for 116 young Carmelites from the three provinces, participated.

A meeting of 35 students from both the Rio de Janeiro Province and the Provincial Comissariat of Paraná and representatives of the Pernambuco Province took place July 2-4. "Carmelite Formation and Identity in Today’s Context" was again the theme with Carmelite Bruno Secondin of the Italian Province facilitating the gathering.

At the same time, the Fourth Carmelite Juninter for northeast Brazil took place in the Carmelite monastery of São Cristovão, Sergipe. The theme was "Prophecy in Carmel." Some 30 students from the Province of Pernambuco and from the Carmelite Missionaries Congregation participated.

During all the month of July, 2004, the retreat in preparation for perpetual vows, took place in Mount Carmel Monastery. Members from the Comissariat from Paraná, in Curitiba (where 60 ex-chemical dependent people live with the Carmelite friars), four Carmelite sisters from the Divine Providence and five Carmelite friars from Saint Elias Province and Parana’s Commissary participated.

On July 13, 2004, there was a short meeting of the Central Team of the Mixed Commission of both branches of Carmelite and OCD in Latin America. The meeting took place in São Paulo in preparation for the meeting of both branches of the Order to be held in Mexico October 25 to 29, 2006. The theme of the meeting is "The Carmelite Rule: A Life Project."

From July 18 to 25, 2004, the XVth INTERCAB (Inter-Carmelite Meeting in Brazil) took place at the Carit Conference Center in Rio de Janeiro. Some 32 Carmelite religious from four countries in Latin America participated. The theme was "Carmel’s Reformation" (XVth century: John Soreth; XVIth century: St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross; XVIIth century: Touraine). Tito Figueirôa, O. Carm., was the facilitator.

The Chapter of the Congregation of the Missionary Carmelite Sisters of Saint Teresa of Jesus’s Province of "Saint Teresa de Lisieux" took place in the "Flos Carmeli" house in Mairiporã, Brazil from July 19-24, 2004. The theme was "Authority, Fraternity and Mission." The sisters had as their motto for the chapter: "To Follow Jesus: Obedient to the Father, in Fraternity, in Mission". Sr. Vanilda Rocha da Silva was elected provincial superior.

From August 1-14, 2004, the VII FOCAL (Carmelite Formators in Latin America) took place in Caracas, Venezuela. The theme was "Prophetic Mission: Fruit of Prayer and Fraternity." More than 45 formators, friars, sisters, lay men and women from eight countries in Latin America participated.

In July there were also a number of meetings of the superiors of the two Provinces and Provincial Commissariat in Brazil to strengthen the fraternal bonds among them and to set a common direction for the Carmelite Family in Latin America.

Domus Carmelitana Continues Healthy Growth

The 5th meeting of the Domus Carmelitana Task Force took place on October 1, 2004. The group has five Carmelite and five lay people with specific expertise in the hotel industry as members. They are: Carlo Cicconetti (Legal Representitive of the Domus), Mr. Riccardo Bertoli (Pilgrimage Agent), Ms. Anne Breslin (Travel Agent), Mr. Massimo De Rosa (Hotel Accounting), Mr. John Lanahan (Hotel Advisor), James Des Lauriers (Chair - Curia), Giandomenico Meloni (Istituto Monte Carmelo, Sassone, Italy), Antonio Monteiro (Casa Beato Nuno, Fatima, Portugal), Mr Colin Nadeau (Marriott Hotel Executive) and Kevin Alban (Secretary). Mr. Massimiliano Gullo, the Interim Director of Operations at the Domus, was present for most of the meeting.

At the January 2004 meeting five subcommittees were form to deal with Management, Finances, Marketing, Facilities and Image. As a result of their work since January, recommendations were made to the General Council regarding future management structure, supervision and management of finances. It was noted that there has been improved results both in financial income and higher occupancy over the past ten months.

The next meeting of the Task Force will take place at the Domus Carmelitana on December 3, 2004.

More information on the Domus Carmelitana, including pictures and on-line reservations can be found at

New Director of Domus Carmelitana Named

During the meeting of the General Council on October 18, 2004, the Prior General, after consulting with the Council, named Mr. Massimiliano Gullo as the new director of the Domus Carmelitana. The proposal came from the Task Force.

Mr. Gullo began working at the Domus in reception when the Carmelite hotel opened its doors in 2000. He became the Vice Director in April 2001 and Vice Director for Operations in December 2002. In December 2003, he was named the interim Director. Previous to the Domus, he worked in London hotels and restaurants.

Massimiliano, 33 years of age, has been married to Bettina Biondi, a native of Berlin, Germany for 10 years. They have a six year old child, Francesco Liam. Massimiliano speaks Italian and English, and some Spanish and French. He is working on improving his German language skills which both his wife and child speak.