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International Symposium for General Bursars

15/2014-10-03

On 8-9 March 2014, The International Symposium on “The Management of Ecclesiastical Goods of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for the Service of Humanity and for the Mission of the Church,” requested by Pope Francis, took place in Rome, Italy.

The meeting was presided over by his Eminence Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.  In attendance was the General Bursar of the Order, Carl J. Markelz, O.Carm., and Sr. Veronica Robert Bien, O.Carm., Treasurer General of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.

The conference included many qualified speakers in the areas of Church History, The Vow of Poverty, Finances, Canon Law, Pastoral Ministry, Charism Development, and Health Care Services.  The symposium raised questions regarding the imbalance of personnel and resources between the Church in the northern and southern hemispheres, sustainability on the mission of congregations and in their mission territory, and how to balance business sense with trust in the Providence of God.

The conference was guided by Pope Francis’ statement in Evangelii Gaudium (58):

“Money must serve, not rule!  I exhort you to generous solidarity and the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.”

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As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."