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Displaying items by tag: prior general

On November 21, 2023, the Carmelite prior general, Míceál O’Neill, has released a letter to the Carmelite nuns to commemorate Pro Orantibus Day. In the letter he tells them that “the knowledge that you are there, serving the Lord as contemplative Carmelite sisters, is a source of strength and consolation for us all.”

Fr. Miceal speaks of Carmel as “a place of peace and your life exemplifies that.” He asks that “we unite in prayer and allow God’s peace and God’s desire for peace to fill our hearts and our minds …”

On November 21st the Church celebrates the Memorial of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple. Pro Orantibus Day was instituted by Pope Pius XII on November 21, 1953, as a day for all the faithful to thank God for the gift of the enclosed religious life who promote the edification of the Kingdom of God with unceasing prayer day and night.

pdf To Read the Prior General’s Letter in English (134 KB)

Published in Announcements (CITOC)
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Tuesday, 31 October 2023 11:38

Prior General’s Schedule for November

November 1-7:  Canonical Visitation in Mozambique

November 8-20: Canonical Visitation in Zimbabwe

November 22-24: USG Assembly

November 25: USG Executive Meeting

November 28- December 1: Visit the two Carmelite Communities in Ukraine. 

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Friday, 29 September 2023 13:56

Schedule of the Prior General for October

Oct. 1
Celebration of 70th anniversary of the Carmelite Third Order in Caivano, Italy.

Oct. 2
General Council, plenary meeting.

Oct. 3 – 7
Titus Brandsma Congress, Nijmegen, Netherlands. 

Oct 09 – 13
General Council in Rome

Oct 13
Preparatory session for the General Chapter of the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of St Therese of the Child Jesus. Santa Marinella, Italy.

Oct 16 – 30
Canonical visitation of the Province of St. Elias, Rio de Janeiro.

Oct 31
Begin the canonical visitation of the communities in Mozambique.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2023 06:37

Activities of the Prior General for September 2023

01 - 07: Continuation of the Canonical Visitation in the Indonesian Province
05: Address via zoom to the meeting of the nuns of the Italian Federation, held in Sassone, on the theme of formation 
08: Address via zoom to the gathering of members of the Northern European Region, held in Dublin on the theme of vocations in Europe
08-09: Mid-Chapter of the Indonesian Province, held in Malang
11 - 16: Rome time. 
18 - 22: Chapter of the General Commissariat of Parana, held in Maringa.
26: Online course for new provincials offered by the General Council. 
27-30: Rome time.

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Wednesday, 16 August 2023 12:01

The Prior General and His Thoughts from Lisbon

World Youth Day | Lisbon, Portugal | August 1-6, 2023

You could not but be impressed by the hundreds of thousands of young people who have come to Lisbon for the 2023 World Youth Day. Like Mary who got up and went in haste into the hill country because she wanted to be with her cousin Elizabeth, these young people have travelled because they want to be here and it looks very much like they are enjoying every moment of it.

They walk for hours. They stand and sit and form human chains and dance all in the heat of the Lisbon sun. They join in the music provided by very good musicians as they wait for the religious ceremonies to begin and in every case once the call to prayer is heard silence, respect and participation take over. That’s the way it was at the opening Eucharist on Tuesday evening, the welcome for Pope Francis on Thursday evening, and the Stations of the Cross on Friday. Now we wait for the Vigil and the Mass for World Youth Day, also referred to as the Mass of Sending Out, on Sunday morning.

The Carmelite Youth Day on Wednesday gave us the same experience of excitement at seeing young Carmelites accompanied by sisters, friars, and older lay Carmelites, converging on the Parish of Sao Antonio dos Cavalheiros, some distance from the centre of Lisbon. They came from the four corners of the earth, Australia and Timor Leste, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Canada, Honduras, El Salvador, Malta, UK, Italy, Spain and the host country Portugal.

The hospitality provided by the parish was wonderful, which lent to the joy that people felt just in being together as people for whom Carmel is their spiritual home. We were all blessed by this way of visiting one another, attentive to one another, with words and expressions that are born of the faith and love we have received.

Photographic memories will abound, including those taken by a drone. The other memories of feelings and inspirations will also last for a long time.

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

The schedule of Míceál O’Neill, the prior general, for the month of August:

August 1 - 6: World Youth Day in Lisbon
August 1: Carmelite Day
August 10 - 31: Indonesian Province
        + Celebration of First Centenary of Carmelite Presence
        + Canonical Visitation of the Province

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Friday, 14 July 2023 06:58

A Video Message to the Carmelite Family

A Video Message for the Solennity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16, 2023, from Fr. Míċeál O’Neill, O. Carm, Prior General of the Order

Watch it on our YouTube channel here
Published in Announcements (CITOC)

Brothers and sisters in the Carmelite Family,

The 16th of July unites people all around the world in celebration and thanksgiving for the gift of our love for Mary, the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

In our tradition we recognise Mary as both Mother and Sister.  Under both of these titles I would like to reflect with you this year on the world in which we live, that world which God so loves and has always loved that he sent his only Son into it to be its Saviour.

Now that world is in pain, the very earth itself is in pain, and people in all parts of the world live each day without any security or hope in the future. Their conditions are determined, not by good or bad fortune, not by their own willingness or lack of willingness to work and be responsible, but by conditions that are determined by the social and economic policies of those who hold power and the greed and avarice of those who have used their talents to gain more and more for themselves and their immediate circles without any consideration for the people outside those circles. 

That is our world as it is today, or rather, that is but one dimension of the world as it is today. The other dimension is the one in which we see how individuals and organisations work hard to build a world of justice and equality. These people are many and they come from different schools of formation, from different religions and no religions, people who have a sense of equality and who act with justice in their own lives and seek justice from our institutions and governments.  We Carmelites are there. We are there because of our Carmelite calling that teach us the values for which Jesus gave his life, and which Mary and Elijah and our Carmelite saints exemplified in their openness to God and their love for their brothers and sisters living in the world.

My Soul Glories the Lord  Lk 1,46

Our life is made up of relationships. No one lives alone, and we live in a common home that has to be fully a home for all. All that we  try to do is aimed at building and maintaining a good relationship with God, with neighbour, with family, with all other human beings and with the earth itself. Good relationships are those in which the participants grow to maturity. Even God “grows” if we believe that the glory of God is the human person fully mature. The earth too grows to maturity, when it is able to fulfil the plan made for it by the Creator. Right and good relationship is a good way of understanding justice. It is what we have to build all the time in order to live in a way that respects the dignity of every human person as a child of God created in God’s image and likeness.

In Carmel, we honour our Lady as the Lady of the Place. We have understood Carmel to be a place of beauty, a garden full of beautiful flowers, pleasant odours, glorious colours and constant growth and harmony. Mary is the Lady of that place, made holy and beautiful by the lives of people who live in that place under the mantle of Mary.  Just as Carmelites are called to a life of prayer, they are called to dedicate their lives also to the cultivation of the place that belongs to Mary.

If I take a look at the world I will see where people are fulfilling that calling. It is there in all that we do. It is there in the lives of our cloistered sisters, in their monasteries, in the lives of Carmelite sisters working with the sick, or in schools, or in parish ministry, it is there in the lives of lay people who live good lives and do their best to create environments in which people can live in dignity and friendship, it is there in the lives of friars in their communities, their parishes, schools, prison chaplaincy, care for the sick, spiritual accompaniment and the list continues. It is true that sometimes we keep working without a great consciousness of the good we are doing and the difference that exists between our world and the world of the greedy and ruthless and uncaring. But the difference is there and it is motivated by our prayer and by our life in community. 

This quest for justice is also to be seen in the work of people on the margins. In many instances Carmelites around the world have reached out in a particular way, to people who are homeless, people caught up in the tyranny of chemical dependence or in the web of human trafficking, to people who have no access to education or to healthcare and need the help of those who know how to love with a gospel love. Our history speaks to us of a constant commitment to the poor. In that place that Mary watches over, the poor have pride of place. In that place the poor teach us how to hold on to hope when there is very little sign of hope other than our trust in God and our trust in people. It is remarkable that having been so badly treated by people the poor continue to hope in people.  The world of the poor, the place that belongs to Mary, is a welcoming place, the gates, security cameras, guard dogs have been removed, there is nothing to defend. That is our poverty too, that we have nothing to defend, because God is the one who defends us and all we are called to do is defend the name of God so that it is not used to justify selfish interests, and to defend the image of God on the face and in the lives of every one of our brothers and sisters.

If for some reason there are Carmelites who live in a world that is built around themselves and their own needs and ideas, a selfish world that purports to be a religious world, then the celebration of the feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel may be a moment to reflect, and to move out of the pursuit of our own selfish interests. Mary’s Yes is an example for everybody of the person who listens to the voice of God. That voice today comes to us through the Word, the Church and the world, where the cry of the poor is as strong as ever, awaiting a response from people consecrated to living in allegiance to Jesus Christ. Today Mary, our sister, makes that cry her own. She weeps for her sons and daughters who find it difficult to say no to all forms of war, to the pursuit of selfish ends no matter what the cost to others. She weeps to see so much disregard for the elderly, the offering of so many unhealthy values to the young and so many arbitrary decisions about the lives of the unborn.

We cannot any longer be indifferent to the reckless use of weapons, expensive weapons, around the world. There has to be a way of recognising that a gun has no other purpose than to injure or destroy the life of a living organism, more often than not a human person. We cannot see the talents of so many young people go to waste while they live on the streets and find their way into gangs who out of cruelty and desperation destroy the lives of their members and of others who get in their way. We cannot close our hearts to the children who are forced to grow up in refugee camps or on the banks of dried up rivers, with nothing to eat and nothing to drink and lives that only last a few days.  For all who have the kind of commitment and sensitivity that will build a just and peaceful world,  Laudato si. Let God be praised! Let him be praised in our lives and all our actions aimed at building the world that God has prepared for us. To achieve that God will continue to put forth his arm in strength, to scatter the proud hearted, to cast the mighty from their thrones and raise up the lowly, to fill the starving with God things and send the rich away empty. 

May these days of celebration be for all of us an inspiration to do all that we can, knowing that if we do more the Lord will reward us on his return.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. 


Míċeál O’Neill, O.Carm

Prior General

pdf Download the Message here (76 KB)

Published in Announcements (CITOC)

July 2 - 6 Celebrations and conference on Edith Stein, at The Friars, Aylesford. 

July 10 - 18 Canonical visitation of communities in Cameroon.

July 19 - 27 Canonical visitation of communities in Burkina Faso. 

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Tuesday, 06 June 2023 06:54

Activities of the Prior General in June

JUNE 2023
Activities of the Prior General

May 28 – June 9:     General Council Plenary Meeting

June 6:                     Meeting with the Council of the Italian Federation of
Carmelite Nuns

June 7:                     Attend reception at the French embassy to the Holy See to
                                 honor the presence of the relics of St. Therese of the Child
                                 Jesus in the City of Rome

June 9:                     Attend Carmelite Archive’s event: Travelogues of the 17th

June 10:                   Bi-annual meeting of OCarm. and OCD. General Councils at

June 12-16:              Chapter of the Neapolitan province in Bari

June 20-23:              The Chapter of the PCM Province in Darien

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