Letter from the Prior General
New means of communication offer, among many other possibilities, the facility for receiving information almost instantly and in an inexpensive and constant way. In recent years, CITOC online has been regularly fulfilling this role.
Many members of the Carmelite family now feel more connected to the Order because of the fact that they are informed almost at “the present moment” and can feel the pulse and vibration of Carmel in the 21st Century.
Nevertheless, it is also necessary to have other kinds of information that go beyond what is immediate. Despite the fact that many communities and Orders have abolished the printed newsletter at an international level, we believe that it is right to launch a print version of CITOC that in some ways will compliment and enrich the computer version. Despite the general increase in the price of postage and paper, we believe it is worth making this small effort to increase our information service, to enable us see that we are a part of a family that is on the move, lives and works, and is a witness to the presence of God in our lives.
In the many trips that I have made throughout the world one finds proof that the Carmelite presence in these countries is very rich and active: missions, schools, parishes, work in the field of education, justice and peace. It is also necessary to provide good information about events and initiatives taking place on a wider level (congresses, beatifications, international meetings, government of the Order, etc.). Being aware of our reality will help us to increase our self-esteem as a religious family, to celebrate the work that our brothers and sisters are doing and to thank God for what He is doing through Carmel, for the service of the church and for the people of God.
As we begin this new venture with CITOC, I cannot forget the testimony of Titus Brandsma who was a true pioneer of the Church’s presence in the press and media. With great enthusiasm he worked all his life in various newspapers and magazines and, in turn, reflected on the importance of these means for society and for evangelization, and on the ethical criteria that are necessary in the field of communications. His message is relevant today more than ever before and some of his conclusions anticipated by more than thirty years what would be affirmed in the Second Vatican Council in the famous decree “Inter Mirifica”. I think its preface is worth reproducing here:
“Among the wonderful technological discoveries which men of talent, especially in the present era, have made with God’s help, the Church welcomes and promotes with special interest those which have a most direct relation to men’s minds and which have uncovered new avenues of communicating most readily news, views and teachings of every sort. The most important of these inventions are those media which, such as the press, movies, radio, television and the like, can, of their very nature, reach and influence, not only individuals, but the very masses and the whole of human society, and thus can rightly be called the media of social communication.” (Paragraph 1, Decree on the Media of Social Communication “INTER MIRIFICA” solemnly promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963. )
I thank wholeheartedly the work of those that have made this new edition of CITOC possible and ask Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Stella Maris, that it be truly a Universal Information Center of the Carmelite Order (Informationis Centrum totius Ordinis Carmelitarum, CITOC) that shines and enlightens the great Carmelite family in the world.