The Second International Meeting of the Carmelite Laity in Asia-Australia-Oceania was held at the Carmelite Missionary Center of Spirituality in Tagaytay City, Philippines, on March 18-21, 2015. The gathering had very rich discussions and sharing based on the theme of the congress: “Living The Way of Carmel For The New Evangelization”. There were over 130 delegates, from several countries in the region, representing different TOC communities and Lay Carmelite groups. Among the main participants were Fr. Benny Phang, O.Carm., Councilor General of Asia-Australia-Oceania; Fr. Raúl Maraví, O.Carm., Councilor General for the Carmelite Laity; Fr. Christian Buenafé, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Philippines and Fr. Joseph Hung, O.Carm., Webmaster of the Carmelite Curia; together with other Carmelite religious and lay leaders.
Three keynote talks were given by
• Father Christian Buenafe (Philippines) speaking on A Carmelite Servant / Leader: Spirituality and Christian Leadership;
• Ms. Christine Wade (Australia) who spoke on Living the Way of Carmel in the New Evangelisation, and
• Ms. Yoanita Laksmi Budilestari (Indonesia) whose talk was titled Methods of New Evangelisation.
A highlight was an informal gathering of priors and formators, convened by the Philippino National Formator. This proved to be an invaluable sharing time and provided a possible model for electing some members of the National Council. This will be presented at the next meeting of the LCNCA.
The Congress was a time of prayerfulness, fun, sharing, learning and networking. It was a wonderful experience of the breadth of the Order, deepening our sense of belonging with Carmelites far beyond our own shores. The third congress is scheduled for January 2017.