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Displaying items by tag: prior general

As called for in the Constitutions, the Prior General Míċeál O’Neill convoked the 2025 General Chapter by letter on May 16, the feast of St. Simon Stock. The meeting will take place September 9-26, 2025, at the Harris Convention Center in Malang, Indonesia. The letter was sent via email to all prior provincials, general commissaries and delegates, commissary provincials, and the prior of CISA. Copies were sent to the Carmelite bishops, the prioresses of the enclosed monasteries, and the superiors general of the affiliated congregations. A printed copy will be sent via regular mail, according to Roberto Sianturi, the general secretary.

The General Council chose You Must Have Some Sort of Work to Do (Rule 20): Our Contemplative Fraternity Discerns Its Mission as the theme for the Chapter. Building on previous work done studying the Order’s history and traditions, “the 2025 General Chapter will focus its attention on those chapters of our Constitutions that deal with our mission in the world and in the Church, worldwide, and local,” wrote Fr. Míċeál. Numbers 94, 97, and 101 of the Carmelite Constitutions are specifically highlighted.

The letter continues, “By discernment we will be able to identify clearly what apostolic work we are called to take on and in what manner we should perform that work as a way of giving expression to the gift we have received from the Holy Spirit, to be put at the service of God's reign, in other words, our charism and tradition.”

pdf To read the Letter (152 KB)

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Triennial Meeting of the General Delegation of Bohemia and Moravia

The General Delegation of Bohemia-Moravia (Czech Republic) was erected by the General Council of the Order of Carmelites on 2nd October 1984. It was the culmination of a ten-year period in which Fr. Metoděj Minařík secretly organized a group of people who took an interest in the Order, helped them spiritually, trained them and accepted their religious vows. After the erection of the Delegation, the confreres lived another five years in illegality, and after the year 1990 they were able to begin a regular religious life.

As this is a General Delegation within the Order, the Major Superior of the Carmelites in the Czech Republic is the Prior General. At the same time, general delegations are also headed by a superior called the Delegate General whom (along with two other councillors) the Prior General appoints every three years.

Once every three years, coinciding with the end of the mandate of the Delegate General, an assembly of the delegation takes place in order to meet, to strengthen the bonds of fraternity, to have ongoing formation and to discern solutions regarding the various issues that the Delegation faces at that time.

The most recent triennial assembly of the friars within the Delegation was held from 16th to 17th April 2024 in Kostelní Vydří. It was presided over by the Prior General, Míċeál O’Neill who was assisted by the General Councillor for Europe, Richard Byrne. After the Prior General’s address, the Delegate General, Norbert Žuška, OCarm, gave a report on the state of the Delegation.

During the course of the assembly, in small groups and together in assembly, the friars considered the state and health of the Delegation and identified various issues to be addressed and the concrete steps to be taken over the next three-year period. The friars also reflected on what the Czech Republic is asking of Carmelites today and gave an orientation to the new Delegate General and council. In addition, the friars shared with each other their experience and expectations for the various officials that need to be appointed within the Delegation.

A consultation was held regarding the candidates for Delegate General and for the two Councillors that will be appointed by the Prior General during the plenary meeting in May 2024 of the General Council.

On 17th April 2024, the Eucharist was celebrated with the members of the local parish and several members of the Third Order. During his homily, the Prior General spoke about privileged place that Mary holds in the hearts and minds of Carmelites.

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Thursday, 02 May 2024 07:11

May Schedule of the Prior General

May 2024

1-3:   completion of the canonical  visitation in the DR Congo

7-8:   plenary meeting of the General Council

10-12:  centenary celebrations of the foundation of the Hermanas Carmelitas del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, by Madre Asunción Soler Gimeno, 13th of May, 1924, in Malaga.

13-17 plenary meeting of the General council

15: celebration of the second centenary of the birth of Madre Teresa Scrilli,15th of May, 1825, Montevarchi, Florence, Foundress of the Institute of Nostra Signora del Monte Carmelo.

20 - 23  provincial chapter of the Polish Province, Krakow.

26 - 31 canonical visitation in the Province of Rio de Janeiro, second part.

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Friday, 05 April 2024 09:10

April Schedule of the Prior General

Fr. Míċeál O'Neill, the prior general, has the following schedule planned for the month of April 2024:

April 2-6: Triennial Extended Meeting with the OCD-OCARM General Councils in Bocca di Magra, Italy.

April 7-10: Rome

April 11-15: Visit to the General Delegation in France. Celebration of its 30th anniversary as a General Delegation.

April 16-19: Assembly of the General Delegation of Bohemia and Moravia in Kostelni Vidri

April 20-30: Canonical visitation in RD Congo (Part 2). Conclusion of the 50th Anniversary celebrations.

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Friday, 01 March 2024 09:45

March Schedule of the Prior General

Fr. Míċeál O'Neill, the prior general, has the following schedule planned for the month of March 2024:

March 1-2: End of Canonical Visitation of the Province of Aragon, Castille, and Valencia

March 4-16: Rome: Plenary Session of General Council

March 17-31: Canonical Visitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Part 1) This visit will include the celebrations of the closure of the Jubilee year of Carmelite presence in the DRC.

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Friday, 22 December 2023 04:19

Christmas Message to the Carmelite Family

Dear brothers and sisters in the Carmelite Family,

This year we approach Christmas with a full appreciation of the fervent Advent prayer in which we have all shared, pleading with the Lord to come and save us.

On a recent visit to our brothers in Ukraine, what I could sense of the people’s prayer for an end to the war moved me deeply. Our two communities of friars are far away from the war zone. Thank God in both Włodzimierz and Sąsiadowice they have not been in danger from the war that is being waged in the east of the country. Nonetheless it is clear that they continue to play an important role in accompanying and in praying with the people of their areas, many of whom have lost members of their family in the defence of their country while others pray that their relatives who are still involved in the war will return home safely.

One can only ask, Why is this happening? Why are we witnessing such levels of violence against men, women and children in Ukraine, in Palestine, in Israel and in many other places that we do not even hear about any more? Can we who believe in the Incarnation of Christ Our Lord, whom we proclaim as the Prince of Peace, do anything more than we are doing to put an end to war and change the minds and hearts of those who promote war and violence? Is it possible to see a day when we can treat one another as brothers and sisters and live in peace with one another across the globe? The words of the canticle that we recite often in the Divine Office come to mind:

He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords in ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
O House of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.
(Is 2,4-5)

I thank God for the safety and security in which so many of us will celebrate this Christmas and I pray with all of you for that same safety and security to reach the many millions who have already been displaced from their homes and the many who live with the constant threat of war.

May the light of God, shining on the face of Jesus, seen and cherished by Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, fill your hearts and your homes this Christmas, and may that same light reach into those dark places where plans are being made for war, so that minds and hearts might be changed, and peace may be the destiny of all those whom the Lord loves.

May you all enjoy a Christmas of joy and love in your homes and in your hearts.

Thank you.

Fr. Míċeál O’Neill, O. Carm.
Prior General

Watch the Video Message from the Prior General on YouTube

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Thursday, 07 December 2023 08:39

A Reflection on the 100th Assembly of the USG

The USG, (Union of Superiors General) representing male religious meets in general assembly twice a year. Generally speaking a number of around one hundred and twenty members take part. The general assembly of the UISG, the International Union of Superior General representing women religious takes place every three years and is attended by some eight hundred leaders of women’s congregations. In planning the 100thassembly of the USG, because of the close cooperation that exists between the two unions, a decision was taken to have the two unions celebrate this 100th assembly together. About two hundred and eighty religious took part in this assembly, equally divided between men and women. That simple fact might be enough to make this a very memorable occasion, but added to that was the proximity of  the first full session of the Special Synod of Bishops that had taken place throughout the month of October, just a few weeks before the assembly. This 100th assembly of the USG was in great mood to celebrate the synod and to hear the reports of the ten representatives of both unions who took part in all the sessions. In our assembly we were given the opportunity to use the same method of table conversation, conversation in the spirit, that was used at the synod. At tables of eight, men and women together, using one another’s first names, we shared our reflections on 1) the experience of the synod as reported by our representatives, 2) the challenges we see for religious life, coming from the synod,  3) the signs of hope that we see in our society and in our Church, and the places in the world that today are crying out for hope, and 4) the call to be prophets of hope that is part of the DNA of religious life.  This fourth reflection was led by Miguel Marquez Calle, Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites and Sr. Miriam Altenhofen, Superior General of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit.  Both weaved a pattern through the good experiences of service, joy and loyalty that they have experienced in their respective congregations and in their work with the elderly and the young, helping all of us to see how religious life of both men and women today is a constant sign of hope because of its commitment to Jesus Christ and to the building of good relationships among people. 

To crown this memorable event we were invited to the Vatican in the middle of the assembly to spend time with Pope Francis. In his usual style he welcomed all of us and talked openly about his hopes and concerns for the Church, answering a well prepared series of questions posed by the participants. At the end of the session he stayed to shake hands with every single participant, individually. 

The assembly confirmed us in our support for what the Holy Father has given to the Church in the form of a rediscovery of the value of synodality. The closeness of our contact with the Synod allowed us to appreciate what is being proposed by the Holy Father, which is not always the same as we read in the newspapers or as we hear from people who seem to be more interested in the controversial questions that in the essence of this movement towards full participation and communion in the life of the Church, sharing all the gifts that are necessary for the mission of preaching the Gospel and  building up the Body of the Lord.

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Wednesday, 06 December 2023 11:42

The Prior General's Schedule for December

Fr. Míċeál O'Neill, the prior general, has the following schedule planned for the month of December 2023:

December 1: Return from visiting Carmelite communities in Ukraine

December 4-14: Plenary Meetings of the General Council

December 18-28: Holidays in Ireland

December 31: Travel to Perú

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Wednesday, 06 December 2023 10:18

Visit to the Carmelites in Ukraine

A Reflection on a Visit to the Carmelite Communities in Włodzimierz and Sąsiadowice in Ukraine

Ever since the Russian Federation, under its leader Vladimir Putin, invaded Ukraine, people around the world who have connections with Ukraine have longed for this war to end, and for the people of Ukraine to be safe again in their own homes. Tragically, many have had to leave their homes and seek safety in other countries, while terrifying numbers of young men and women have lost their lives as a result of this senseless and meaningless aggression. The Carmelite connection with Ukraine is in the form of two communities of friars from the Polish province, living and working in the West, as well as the communities of Discalced Carmelite friars and nuns, living and working in the East. In normal times, our brothers in Włodzimierz offer a prayerful and unifying presence in a place where Orthodox Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics live in close contact with each other. In Sąsiadowice our three brothers occupy a house with a long Carmelite history, offering the normal spiritual and pastoral care to people in their own area and in the neighbouring parishes. 

On a recent visit, Fr. Richard Byrne and I were struck by the way the people in the West live their lives as if everything was normal. At the same time we could not fail to sense the tension and worry that are part of the reality of every day for people. There are numerous families who have already lost relatives and friends in the war, or who pray fervently for their loved ones who are caught up in defending their country, to return home safely. Local cemeteries bear witness to lives that have been lost on account of the war. 

In our conversations, we heard how grateful the friars are for the very generous aid that they have received from many parts of the Carmelite world. This allowed them to supply and transport food, clothing, medicines, torches, bedding, thermos flasks and military first aid kits to the areas that need help and well as to give assistance to refugees who pass through their towns on their way of safety elsewhere. The greatest concern is to care for soldiers, and that was impressive, as if to say that the soldiers were the ones who had taken on the task of defending and protecting their country, at great risk to their own lives.  I will always remember the Mass we celebrated with a full church in Sąsiadowice. There was an atmosphere of fervent prayer in the Church throughout the celebration and at the end in what the people call their Supplication, we prayed for many minutes for peace, safety and forgiveness for the world and for the people of Ukraine. May all these fervent prayers be heard, may the hearts and minds of the aggressor be turned away from war, and may all of this happen very soon. Maránatha, Come Lord Jesus, Come!

Fr. Míċeál O’Neill, O. Carm

Prior General

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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)

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