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March - April 2008

Chapter of the Arago-Valentina Province

During the Chapter of the Arago-Valentina Province held on 1-3 April 2008 were elected:
Prior Provincial: Fr. Carmelo Gómez Gálvez O.Carm.
First Councilor: Fr. Luis Gallardo Ganuza O.Carm.
Second Councilor: Fr. Desiderio García Martínez O.Carm.
Third Councilor: Fr. David Oliver Felipo O.Carm.
Fourth Councilor: Fr. Vicente Aranda Guillén O.Carm.

Meeting of Lay Carmelites of the Iberian Region

From 5 to 7 April there was a meeting of Lay Carmelites of the Iberian region in our guesthouse "Beato Nuno", in Fatima, Portugal. This festive occasion saw around 230 people from various Spanish and Portuguese Carmelite groups come together: tertiaries, members of Carmelite Youth (JUCAR), friars, members of prayer groups, ex students, etc. The Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral chaired the meeting, together with Fr. John Keating, General Councillor for Europe. Also present was Carmelite bishop Mons. Vitalino Dantas of Beja who presided at the Eucharist on 6 April.
The participants joined other pilgrims at the shrine for the torchlight procession on Saturday night and for the solemn Mass on Sunday morning at which the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo presided.
The lay people at the meeting reflected on their identity as Carmelites and on the theme of Mary, mother and sister, guided by Sr. Carmen Galera (HHVMMC) and by Fr. Desiderio García, O. Carm., of the Arago-Valentina province. The evaluation of the meeting was extremely positive and all the participants expressed a desire that the Carmelite Family should continue to grow and become stronger in the Iberian region.

Chapter of the Castilian Province

During the Chapter of the Castilian Province held on 7-9 April 2008 were elected:
Prior Provincial: Fr. Miguel Angel Perez Gutierrez O.Carm.
First Councilor: Fr. Federico Miguel Gallego O.Carm.
Second Councilor: Fr. Matías Tejerina Espeso O.Carm.
Third Councilor: Fr. Alfonso María Herrera Serrano O.Carm.
Fourth Councilor: Fr. Marín Antonio Lozano Moreno  O.Carm.

Assembly of the Provincial Commissariat of Bolivia

During the Assembly of the Provincial Commissariat of Bolivia (Mel) held on 11 April 2008 were elected:
First Councilor: Fr. Albert Brincat O.Carm.
Second Councilor: Fr. Milton Murillo Ortiz O.Carm.

Chapter of the Catalonian Province

During the Chapter of the Catalonian Province held on 14-16 April 2008 were elected:
Prior Provincial: Fr. Raül V. Masana i Peiró O.Carm.
First Councilor: Fr. Javier D. Garmón i Calvo O.Carm.
Second Councilor: Fr. Jordi Ma. Gil i Costa O.Carm.
Third Councilor: Fr. Joan Güell i Casademont O.Carm.
Fourth Councilor: Fr. Carles Ma. Lloig i Rodó O.Carm.

“…Searching, testing, doing” – Forty years of the Titus Brandsma Institute

On 12 April a symposium took place in Nijmegen (Netherlands) to mark forty years of the Titus Brandsma Insitute in that city. The conferences were held in the local concert hall under the title “Spirituality: searching testing and doing”. Among others, the participants included the Bishop of Rotterdam, Mons. Adrianus van Luyn, who is also the president of COMCE (the Episcopal Commission of the European Union), prof. Bas Kortmann, Rector of the “Radboud Universiteit” of Nijmegen, of which the Titus Brandsma Institute is a part, as well as Fr Kees Waijman O. Carm., the current president of the Institute who gave the keynote conference on the famous speech of Bl. Titus when he was invested as Rector of the Catholic University of Nijmegen, entitled “Godsbegrip” (“the concept of God”), which enjoyed great success at the time.
The academic proceedings also included an interesting musical performance based on texts from St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross, as well as a theatrical representation based on the “Dialogue between the Soul and Scripture” of the 16th century Belgian Carmelite, Franciscus Amelry.
The Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, in his speech singled out the wonderful work of the Institute in developing a spirituality of dialogue, following the inspiration of Bl. Titus, a man of encounter and an apostle of reconciliation. He also emphasised that true spirituality is always humanising, and he congratulated the Institute and the Dutch Carmelites, wishing them many years fruitful service in this task.

Assembly of the Federation “Mater et Decor Carmeli”, Spain

The Assembly of the Federation “Mater et Decor Carmeli” (10 monasteries in Andalusia, one on Canary Islands and two in Portugal), was held 8-14 April 2008 at Cordoba, Spain. The following were elected for the sexennium 2008-2014 :
President: M. Ma. del Mar Domínguez Castizo, O. Carm.
1st Councilor: Sr. Ma. Belén Garrido Garrido, O. Carm.
2nd Councilor: Sr. Ma. del Amor Gómez Martín, O. Carm.
3rd Councilor: Sr. Liliana Campos Rosa, O.Carm.
4th Councilor: Sr. Ma. Dolores Garrido Garrido, O.Carm.
5th Councilor: Sr. Ma. Lourdes Santos Álvarez, O.Carm.


Appointment of the Representatives of the General Council and the General Commission for Justice and Peace to the Carmelite NGO
The General Council has appointed Fr. Joseph Chalmers O.Carm. (Brit), Prior General of the Order from 1995 to 2007, as the representative of the General Council to the Carmelite NGO. The present Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral O.Carm., and his Council are very grateful to Fr. Joseph that after his immense contribution as Prior General of the Order he has accepted to carry out this service for the whole Carmelite Family. Fr. Joseph will enrich the Carmelite NGO with his huge experience of the Order.
The General Council has also appointed the Philippine Carmelite Fr. Gilbert Sabodo O.Carm. (Phil) to represent the Order’s General Commission for Justice and Peace on the Carmelite NGO and to facilitate communications between the Carmelite NGO and the commission members.
Both representatives will work with the Carmelite NGO to strengthen the Order’s participation in this important initiative, in cooperation with other groups within the Carmelite Family.
For more information on the Carmelite NGO see:

Chapter of the General Commissariat of Portugal

During the Chapter of the General Commissariat of Portugal held on 21-23 April 2008 were elected:
Commissary General: Fr. Agostinho Marques de Castro O.Carm.
First Councilor: Fr. Francisco José Rodrigues O.Carm.
Second Councilor: Fr. Ricardo dos Reis Rainho O.Carm.
Third Councilor: Fr. Henrique Martins O.Carm.
Fourth Councilor: Fr. Ismael Pereira Teixeira O.Carm.

Vitam coelo reddiderunt (R.I.P.)

30-03-08: P. Patrick Burke, Hib
12-04-08: P. Gerard Schiphorst, Neer
22-04-08: Sr. Ma. Angelica Giaquinto, FIS

Beatification of Mother Candelaria

Mother Candelaria de San Jose (born Susana Paz Castillo Ramirez), virgin and founder of the Congregation of the Carmelite Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Venezuela, will be beatified today, April 27 in the stadium of the Central University of Caracas, Venezuela. The ceremony will take place in Caracas, and will be presided over by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, who will be the papal legate for the occasion. Also present will be the Prior General Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, the Councillor for America Fr. Raul Maravi and the Postulator of the cause Fr. Felip Amenos Bonet.
She was born Susana Paz-Castillo Ramírez in 1863. She enthusiastically welcomed the call of God to holiness, and since her youth, stood out in practicing living and effective charity, with which she cared for, consoled and healed the sick and wounded that strife had left on the streets of her birth city. Encouraged by Father Sixto Sosa, later bishop of Cumana, she consecrated herself to the service of the sick of San Antonio Hospital, founded in 1903.
Later, she began the foundation of a new religious congregation, dedicated to serving the poor. The congregation was definitively established in 1910 with the name "Congregation of the Sisters of the Poor of Altagracia de Orituco." Afterward, the congregation was affiliated to the Carmelite Order, and was called the Third Order of Regular Carmelites. Today they are known as the Venezuelan Carmelite Sisters or Carmelites of Mother Candelaria.
With great tenacity and enthusiasm, in spite of the economic straits of the congregation, and the general scarcity of resources, Mother Candelaria performed a widespread, attentive labour to those wounded by wars and the poorest sick people, showing a great trust in Divine Providence, and an intense love for the most needy.
Because of her ardent love for God and her generous and selfless surrender to the poor, under the direction of the bishops and in the company of the religious of her congregation, this new Venezuelan blessed is today an example of virtues, standing out among them, her living and intense faith in Jesus Christ, our only saviour; her union with and love for the Church, particularly the Venezuelan bishops, and her lively charity for the poorest.

Beatification of Mother Candelaria of St. Joseph

As was already mentioned in a previous CITOC-on line, last Sunday, April 27, the beatification of Mother Candelaria of St. Joseph, foundress of the Carmelite sisters in Venezuela, took place in the Central University Stadium in Caracas. There was a huge crowd of more than 40,000 people in the stadium, and another 20,000 in another one nearby, who followed the ceremony on giant TV screens in thoroughly festive spirit.
Cardinal Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and Papal Legate, presided at the Eucharist and in an emotional atmosphere read the decree of beatification, as a large portrait of Mother Candelaria was uncovered. The Cardinal was joined by numerous bishops from Venezuela, among whom the Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa and the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Giacinto Berlocco. Also present were the Prior General, Fernando Millán Romeral, the General Councillor for the Americas, Raul Maraví, the provincials of Betica and Catalonia, the two provincial commissaries in Venezuela, Fr. Felip Amenos Bonet, until recently Postulator General of the Order, as well as numerous priests and religious,  including the Venezuelan Carmelite Sisters with their Mother General, Sr. Evelin González, and a number of Discalced Carmelites.
The ceremony was transmitted live on all Venezuelan TV channels and news of it was on the front page of all the newspapers. At the end of the Mass, the bishops and representatives of the Carmelite Order were invited to a meal in honour of Cardinal Saraiva Martins which was held in the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference premises.
We congratulate the Venezuelan Carmelite Sisters and the whole Carmelite Family for this truly memorable celebration.

Carmelite Schools in the USA

The Secondary Schools Commission of the USA was held from February 21st through 24th at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona. The meeting was attended by the presidents and principals of all five Carmelite high schools in the country. Also present were Raúl Maraví, O. Carm., General Councilor for the Americas; and Joseph Atcher, O. Carm., who is the Executive Director Office of Life Long Formation and Education in the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky. During those days the group shared and discussed different joint projects for their institutions, and listened to an interesting lecture given by Fr. Atcher titled "A History of Sponsorship for Religious Communities, for Schools, and other Ministries". Likewise, this gathering was an opportunity to learn more about the International Carmelite Schools Commission recently created by the General Council, and the International Congress for Carmelites Schools that will take place in 2010.

Nominations by the General Council

The General Council has nominated as Secretary General Fr. Mario Alfarano, O.Carm. (Neap): the nomination will become effective from June next, after the Provincial Chapter of the Neapolitan Province. In the past six years Fr. Mario was provincial of his province and has participated in various international commissions. Until June, Fr. Kevin Alban, O.Carm. (Brit), presently Bursar General – and Secretary General during the past six years – will continue to fulfil this role as acting Secretary General. The General Council would like to express its gratitude to Fr. Kevin for this service to the Order, which he fulfilled with great efficiency together with many other responsibilities.
Also, the General Council has nominated Fr. Ivan Hrusa, O.Carm. (BM) as General Archivist. Fr. Ivan is presently finishing his doctoral thesis at the University of Heidelberg and will combine his work for the Order with teaching at the Prontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.
The General Council has nominated Fr. Mark Attard, O.Carm. (Mel) Delegate for Studies within the Order. This office will replace that of the Delegate for Culture. His main task (besides that of coordinating the Carmelite libraries, which he already does) will consist in animating and giving direction in further studies, suggesting topics and places of study for tesine and theses in the universities and Roman faculties, putting the students of the whole Order in contact with specialists in Carmelite material. Moreover, he will evaluate and control, in dialogue with the respective provincials, the length of study time required for a licence or doctorate in Rome. Shortly, a letter will be sent to all provincials with a more detailed description of the role of the “Delegate for Studies”. The General Council wishes to thank Fr. Mark for his availability in accepting this service to the Order.

General Curia Lenten Retreat

On Sunday 2nd March 2008 the members of the General Curia gathered for a Lenten day of retreat. Cardinal Tomás Spidlík, S.J. accepted the invitation to give the retreat. The vast experience and wisdom of this noted author of many books on spirituality enriched the Curia community leaving a lasting impression, deepening their preparation for Easter.

Appointments: General Commissions

Praeses: Giovanni Grosso
Librarian: Edison Tinambunan
Archivist: Emanuele Boaga
Resident researcher: Paul Chandler

Michael Plattig (GerS)
Jos Huls (Neer)
Paul Chandler (Aus)
Simon Nolan (Hib)
Salvador Villota (Arag)
Leopold Glueckert (PCM)
Emanuele Boaga (Archivist)
Edison Tinambunan (Librarian)
Joachim Smet (PCM) emeritus

Giovanni Grosso (praeses)
Mark Attard (Mel)
Carlo Cicconetti (Ita)
Giuseppe Midili (Ita)
Conrad Mutizamhepo (Hib-Zim)
Christopher O’Donnell (Hib)
Aureliano Pacciolla (Neap)
Henricus Pidyarto (Indo)
Christian Körner (Communications)
Miguel Norbert (Carmelite Laity))
Raul Maraví (Schools and Youth)
Desiderio Garcia Martinez (Formation))

Kevin Alban (praeses)
Fintan Burke (Hib)
Jeffrey Cull (laico)
James Des Lauriers (Aus)
Cerineo Jaranilla (Phil)
Michael Kissane (SEL)
Mark McBride (TOR)
Gian Domenico Meloni (Ita)
Antonio Monteiro (Port)
Wilmar Santin (GerS-Para.)
Pierluigi Simoncelli (laico)

Albertus Herwanta (praeses)
Eduardo Agosta Scarel (Cast-Arg)
Michael Agung (Indo)
David Blanchard (PCM)
Cees Bartels (Neer)
Boniface Makau Kimondolo (Cat-Kenya)
Gilbert Sabado (Phil)

Desire Unen Alimange (praeses)
Antonio Silvio da Costa Jr. (Flum)
Francisco Daza Valverde (Baet)
Christopher Exala (Phil)
Cleophas Kakule (Ita-RDC)
Wilfrid McGreal (Brit)
Ronald Oakham (PCM)
Matteo Palumbo (Ita)

John Keating (praeses)
Mario Alfarano (Neap)
Günter Benker (GerS)
Quinn Conners (PCM)
Desiderio Garcia Martinez (Arag)
Dionysius Kosasih (Indo)
Giampiero Molinari (Ita)
Vitalis Benza (Hib-Zim)
Romualdo Borges de Macedo (GerS-Par)

Christian Körner (praeses)
Sebastian Benchea (Ita)
Anthony Cilia (Mel)
Regionals members

Josef Jancár (praeses)
Giovanni Grosso (Ita)
Manuel Bonilla (Cat)
Francis Amodio (SEL)
Miguel Norbert Ubarri (TOC-Caraibi)
John Sugianto (TOC-Indo)
Sylvia Lucas (TOC-Brit)
Jennifer Wanjiku John (TOC-Kenya)
Renée Prieur (FMDD)
Daniele Pieri (La Famiglia)
Executive Secretary: Vladimira Polišenská (TOC-CZ)
Communications: Anita Renehan (TOC-Aus)
Formation: Rose Mary Lancellotti (TOC-SEL)
Apostolate: Amanda Rodrigues Jordão (TOC-Pern)

Kevin Alban (Congresses)
James Boyce (PCM)
Giovanni Grosso (Istitutum Carmelitanum)
Giuseppe Midili (Ita)
John Keating (Formation)

Raul Maraví (praeses)
Paul Cahill (Aus)
Carl Markelz (PCM)
David Oliver (Arag)
César Santamaria (Peru-laico)
Michael Troy (Hib)
Miguel Ángel Díaz Moreno (Baet)

sr Marianna Caprio (VET)
sr Liliana de la R. Campos Rosa (ANT)
sr M. Elena Tolentino Zarzuela (BUR)

Chapter of the Lower German Province

During the Chapter of the Lower German Province held on 9-14 March 2008 were elected:
Prior Provincial: Fr. Wilfried Wanjek O.Carm.
First Councilor: Fr. Viktor Heger O.Carm.
Second Councilor: Fr. Andreas Scholten O.Carm.
Third Councilor: Fr. Pankraz Ribbert O.Carm.
Fourth Councilor: Fr. Josef Kemper O.Carm.

Electoral Chapter of the Monastery of the Sacred Heart, Hudson, USA
The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of the Sacred Heart, Hudson, USA, was held 21-22 February 2008. The following were elected:
Prioress: Sr. Lucia LaMontagne, O. Carm.
1st Councilor: Sr. Mary O’Neill, O. Carm.
2nd Councilor: Sr. Gemma Angelo, O. Carm.
Director of Novices: Sr. Mary O’Neill O. Carm.
Treasurer: Sr. Mary O’Neill O. Carm.

Electoral Chapter of the Monastery of the Encarnación, Huesca, Spain
The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of the Encarnación, Huesca, Spain, was held 17-29 February 2008. The following were elected:
Prioress: Sr. Ma. Luisa Sanagustin Esperanza, O. Carm.
1st Councilor: Sr. Carmen Ortiz Lorente, O. Carm.
2nd Councilor: Sr. Ma. Blanca Barril Vicente, O. Carm.
3rd Councilor: Sr. Ma. Pilar Calvo Grasa, O.Carm.
4th Councilor: Sr. Ma. Pilar Ereza Monesma, O.Carm.
Director of Novices: Sr. Ma. Blanca Barril Vicente, O. Carm.
Treasurer: Sr. Carmen Ortiz Lorente, O. Carm.
Sacristan: Sr. Ma. Immaculada Ma. Avellana Gilabert, O. Carm.

Lectio Divina Online

The official webpage of the Order ( turned eleven last month, after going through many different stages and developments, with hundreds of pages in three languages: English, Spanish, and Italian. The Webmaster of the page, Fr. Anthony Cilia, O.Carm. (Mel) is currently working on a new presentation of the page, this with the cooperation of Fr. Christian Körner, O.Carm (GerS), and Br. Sebastian Benchea, O.Carm. (Ita).  They are all three members of the General Commission for Communications.
Among the services provided, the strongest area of our webpage is Lectio Divina. In fact, our indicators point out that every week about 4.000 users from around the world visit our page to pray or to download the Lectio in their own languages:
English []
Spanish []
Italian []
to use it privately or with groups. In reality, it is not possible to know where exactly our Lectio reaches and how many people make use of it, because the Word of God travels swiftly on the Internet, with no borderlines and in silence…
The Project of Lectio Divina Online began in 2001 with the cooperation of several Caremelites, then the texts of the Gospel for each Sunday were used.  Last year, with the collaboration of Fr. Carlos Mesters, O.Carm. (Flum), among other Carmelites, the daily Lectio Divina Online was begun, commenting on the Gospel of the day. The great response that this initiative has met is very encouraging. This response has been expressed both through the many messages left in the guestbook of the webpage, and through personal messages passed on to the Carmelite in charge. We hope that the practice of our daily Lectio Divina will continue to spread not only among us the Carmelites, but also in every place where the Spirit wills.

Chapter of the Betica Province

During the Chapter of the Betica Province held on 17-19 March 2008 were elected:
Prior Provincial: Fr. Rafael Leiva Sánchez O.Carm.
First Councilor: Fr. Manuel Jurado Perea O.Carm.
Second Councilor: Fr. Pablo Herrasti Barbancho O.Carm.
Third Councilor: Fr. José Ramón Medina Madueño O.Carm.
Fourth Councilor: Fr. Francisco Daza Valverde O.Carm.

Electoral Chapter of the Monastery of the Encarnación del Verbo Divino, Valencia, Spain
The Elective Chapter of the Carmelite Monastery of the Encarnación del Verbo Divino, Valencia, Spain, was held 14th of March 2008. The following were elected:
Prioress: Sr. Ma. Sagrario Lorite Beltrán, O. Carm.
1st Councilor: Sr. Ma. Auxiliadora Muñoz Lopez, O. Carm.
2nd Councilor: Sr. Ma. Socorro Padin de la Vega, O. Carm.
3rd Councilor: Sr. Ma. Sacramento Callejo Marinero, O.Carm.
4th Councilor: Sr. Ma. Margarita Benítez Sequiel O.Carm.

Vitam coelo reddiderunt (R.I.P.)

21-03-2008: P. Bernhard Hümmer, GerS
26-03-2008: Fr. Manuel Hurtado Ortíz, Baet (1959-1991 CISA, Roma)
29-03-2008: Sr. M. Sebastiana Pisu, Vet

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."