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Thursday, 08 July 2021 13:43

PCM meets online Due to COVID-19

Due to concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, there was no triennial chapter for the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary (PCM) in June 2020. A Chapter of Affairs was scheduled for June 2021 at the Monastery of Mount Carmel in Niagara Falls, Ontario, with the hope that the quarantine required by the pandemic would be over and members could meet to discuss issues and celebrate together. When that possibility failed to materialize, the decision was made to hold a virtual convocation of the province June 22-24, 2021.

Many members of the province gathered individually or in small groups, for the two-hour sessions over the three days. Despite some initial technical difficulties, the province heard from Fr. Míceál O’Neill, the prior general, Fr. Luis Maza, the general councillor for the Americas, and Fr. Carl Markelz, the prior provincial on Day 1.

In his spoken remarks, Fr. Míceál O’Neill, the prior general, emphasized community life, the value of authentic community meetings, justice in our relationships, and the witness we are called to give as Carmelites.

Fr. Luis Maza highlighted seven “attitudes” to create fraternal life, what Fr. Maza called “a pedagogy for fraternal and community life.” In the second portion of his presentation, Fr. Luis presented activities taking place in the geographical area of the Americas which is where Fr. Luis is general councillor and the PCM province is located. These are focused on formation, the youth (JUCAR), and Conferences for the Carmelite Family.

The prior provincial, Fr. Carl Markelz, outlined the Provincial Council Goals for 2020-2023. These are formed based on the Province’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2026. Primary focuses are vocations, fraternal integration of all Carmelites of the province, revitalization of community life, advance our ecological stewardship, and the promotion of Carmelite spirituality.

On June 23, the first part of the online convocation focused on the finances of the province and the vocation ministry from each area of the extensive PCM province: Canada, United States of America, Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru.

The final day was an opportunity to for members to reflect and share experiences of life and ministry during the Covid-19 pandemic. The participants also had the opportunity to interact live in small groups.

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