St. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross Community

St. Therese House of Prayer, Carmel of the Holy Spirit, Subic, Zambales

OCDS-Subic 2012

Members of the St. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross Community.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Beginning of the Process of Beatification of Br Jean Thierry of the Child Jesus and of the Passion, ocd

Friday, February 15, 2013, towards the end of the program for the ad limina visit of the Episcopal Conferend of Lombardy (Italy), the ten bishops held a meeting in the Vatican at which presided Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Archbishop of Milan. In this meeting was arranged the canonical progress of the process of beatification of six candidates to holiness, among whom is our Br Jean Thierry of the Child Jesus and of the Passion.

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The Discalced Carmelite who could have been Pope

In these days of the conclave we want to narrate the story of the Discalced Carmelite who came closest to occupying the See of Peter. We are speaking of Giovanni Antonio Benedetto Gotti. He was born in the Italian city of Genoa on March 29, 1834. He made his first profession in the Teresian Carmel on September 21, 1851, in Loano. From that date, as was the custom in the reformed Carmel, he was called Jerome Mary of the Immaculate Conception. On December 22, 1856, he was ordained to the priesthood. He spent his first years as a professor of philosophy and from 1858 as a member of the community of Saint Ann in Genoa.

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Noteworthy Teresian dates in the coming years

In 2015 the Discalced Carmelite Order will celebrate a great occasion: the V Centenary of the Birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus. In view of this, certain important dates are brought to mind from the heart of the Order in preparation for the celebration of this grand event.

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Carmel’s Coat of Arms

Before the XV century, the shield appearing on the acts of the general Chapters consisted of an image of the Virgin dressed in the habit of Carmel, the white mantle was opened out, held by Our Lady's own hands and sheltering under it were Carmelites who looked up to her with their hands joined in prayer.

From the XV century onwards, we have a coat of arms like the one we now know.  

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Vatican City, 5 September 2013 (VIS) The Holy Father Francis sent a message to Fr. Fernando Millan Romeral, Prior General of the Order of Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, on the occasion of the celebration of the General Chapter.

Francis offered some words of encouragement and hope to all the members of the Order and suggested three elements that may guide them “in the full realization” of their vocation: “allegiance to Christ, prayer and mission”.

The Pope said that in a world that often misinterprets Christ and indeed rejects Him, they are invited to draw nearer to and unite more closely with Him. “It is a continuous call to follow Christ and to abide by him. This is of vital importance in our disorientated world, 'for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim'”.

Speaking of prayer, the Pope emphasized that a Carmelite without a contemplative life was like a dead body. “Now more than ever is the moment to rediscover the inner pathway of love through prayer, and to offer to the people of today in the witness of contemplation, as through preaching and mission, not easy solutions, but the wisdom that emerges from meditating “day and night the Law of the Lord”, the Word that always leads to the glorious Cross of Christ. And, united with contemplation, austerity in life, which is not a secondary aspect of your life and your witness”. Likewise the Pontiff mentioned that there is a strong temptation to fall into the trap of spiritual worldliness, and he encouraged them to aspire to a more austere and penitent life, according to the authentic ancient Carmelite tradition.

“Yours is the same mission as that of Jesus”, he continued. “Today, the mission poses sometimes arduous challenges, as the evangelical mission is not always welcomed and indeed is at times rejected with violence. We must not forget that, even if we are thrown into murky and uncharted waters, He Who calls us to His mission also gives us the courage and the strength to carry it out”.

Finally, Francis remarked, “The witness of your love and your hope, rooted in profound friendship with living God, is like a 'gentle breeze' that renews and reinvigorates your ecclesial mission in today's world”.


VIS - Vatican Information Service

Getting to know the Carmels of the World: The Monastery of Mount Carmel of Popayán, Colombia

The Monastery of Mount Carmel of Popayán was founded on October 14, 1729, by Doña Dionisia Pérez Manrique y Cambreros. On July 28, 1863, the 19 Discalced Carmelites of Popayán were exclaustrated from their Monastery and were taken in by the Monastery of Mount Carmel the Lower in Quito, Ecuador. In 1866 they traveled to Ibarra to make their first foundation. The earthquake of August 15, 1868, destroyed it and the afflicted community returned to the Lower Carmel in Quito. They were not able to return to Ibarra until 1876.

In 1959, under the priorship of Isabel of the Most Holy Trinity, the decision to begin the restoration of the Carmel of Popayán was made. The marked interest in this restoration shown by the archbishop of Popayán, Archbishop Diego María Gómez; the Redemptorist Fathers; and the President of the Republic of Colombia, Dr. Guillermo León Valencia, who covered the travel expenses for the nuns, pushed the project forward to such an extent that on July 28, 1963, after 100 years of exclaustration, Popayán received in its bosom these Religious.

The daring of these exemplary daughters of Saint Teresa gave new impulse to the construction of another building on the diagonal street 13 North, on August 6, 1972, where they currently live. The Church became a small Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague, where He receives uninterrupted homage.

After 28 years in this small oasis, constantly cultivating liturgical and personal prayer, but in the face of scarcity of vocations to strengthen the perpetuity of Carmel in the city of Popayán, the sisters met with the necessity of asking for help from another monastery through the President of the Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Association.

It was opportune for the Sisters of the Discalced Carmelite Convent of Saint Joseph of Bellavista to come to the aid of the Popayán community, since they were living through a difficult time of not having their own monastery. The joining of these communities was approved on January 8, 2004.

It has been nine years since the communities have fused, and we can testify that things have gone from good to better, as our Holy Mother Teresa of Jesus tells us in her writings. We are now a community blessed by the INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE and warmly welcomed by the citizens of Popayán, who have shown us support and unconditional affection.

For all this we give thanks to God and to our Queen and beauty, the Sweet Queen and Mother of Mount Carmel. We are currently 21 sisters and form one body in Christ, our head; we want to be like contemplative Mary at the feet of Jesus, who chose "the better part, and it will not be taken from her.


Communicationes 223 - Generalate of the Teresian Carmel

Wednesday, June 5, 2013



Servants of God Joan of Jesus (born Joan Vilaregut Ferre) and 3 Companions from the Order of Discalced Carmelites along with diocesan priest Pau Segala Sole, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.

Heroic Virtues
Servant of God Teresa of Saint Joseph (born Teresa Toda Juncosa), founder of the Teresian Carmelite Sisters of Saint Joseph (1826-1898)


Vatican Information Service (VIS)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Message from the OCarm and OCD General Councils to the whole Carmelite family

AYLESFORD (31-05-2013).- In this Year of Faith, we, the members of the two General Councils OCarm. and OCD, came on pilgrimage to Aylesford, England. This is a significant place for the entire Carmelite Family. In fact, in this place, where we are writing this message to you on the feast of St. Simon Stock, are the remains of the ancient Carmelite house which was founded in 1242 by some of the pilgrim-hermits from Mount Carmel. Their return to Europe from the Holy Land, their gradual move from an eremitical life to a mendicant one, their experience of God and above all, their humble and fraternal trust in Mary in a period of cultural crisis, were for us all a source of inspiration. They also gave us pause for thought in rethinking our mission for today’s world – the topic to which we devoted most of our working sessions. In these we were guided by Father Benito De Marchi, a Comboni Missionary.

At Aylesford we were the guests of the local community of OCarm. friars, to whom we wish to express our heartfelt thanks for their warm and attentive welcome. This was a time of prayer, of brotherhood, of meditation, during which we also experienced two significant ecumenical events. We celebrated First Vespers of Sunday with our Anglican brothers in the ancient cathedral of Rochester (founded in 604 ad). The second event was a meeting in Cambridge with Lord Rowan Williams, emeritus archbishop of Canterbury, a subtle theologian and very considerable expert in Carmelite spirituality and saints. These two meetings in prayer and theological reflection helped us to understand that mission today has to be carried out in close co-operation with other Christian groups, in a spirit of ecumenical openness.

From our pilgrimage to the origins of Carmel in Europe has emerged the humble conviction that this epoch, characterised by globalization, by mobility in all directions, by the eruption in our lives of the “other”, by the affirmation of the value of the “subject”and by the loss of a sense of God, requires a new missionary spirit. That is, it needs a heart which is more evangelical and less sure of itself. In fact what we wish to share with others is not the world

views nor the attitudes of our old self, but a new humanity which the Father has given to us as a gift, through his Son who died and rose and which is constantly shaped by the Holy Spirit. In his much appreciated address to the Synod of Bishops in October 2012, Rowan Williams referring to Saint Edith Stein, called this new humanity “contemplative”.

Taking up this expression, with its typically Carmelite flavour, we tried to describe in our reflections a humanity which forgets itself, in silence and is free from the tiring search for personal satisfaction and from the claim to make others happy by imposing our ideas and projects on them. This new humanity, turned towards the Father, can see all people, and especially the poor, the marginalised and the suffering, with eyes full of compassion. This is a welcoming humanity, ready to undertake a continual pilgrimage together with women and men of our time in order to find the way that brings us more deeply into the heart of Trinitarian life.

It is impossible for us to imagine this new humanity without “freeing the charism for a new lease of life” (Benito De Marchi). That is, without freeing its contemplative and missionary potential from all shallowness, hubris and selfishness, which prevent it from seeing Trinitarian love and close inside a self-referential cycle.

On a more positive note, freeing the charism means experiencing the Trinitarian relations of the fraternal and community life more vividly. It means rediscovering evangelical joy and enjoying the taste of unity and simplicity which exist between the Father, the Son and the Spirit. In this way we can bear witness to them in every time and place, in every context where we are sent.

In all this Mary the Mother of God, and our Mother, accompanies us. For Carmelites she is a sublime model of humanity listening to the Word and of contemplating the living God. She is the supreme contemplative, who nonetheless approaches each one of us to be a pilgrim with us. She embraces us with her maternal and fraternal love and lights in our hearts the flame of love. Poor and humble, with the simple sign of the scapular she protects this flame in our fragile human bodies and changes it into burning passion for evangelisation and mission. Her discreet but eloquent presence in our life means that those who wear the scapular are called to commit themselves to loving their neighbour. In this sense the Virgin of Carmel has been called “Missionary to the people”. (Oscar Romero)

Dear brothers and sisters, we leave Aylesford with a renewed awareness of the gift of our vocation and of the mission that is connected to it. The Risen Lord invites us not to be afraid of the difficulties we will meet and not to be discouraged when faced with the inevitable trials and possible failures. There is in all of us, insignificant and poor as we are, a stronger force which has conquered the world. It is the force of the Father’s love for us, the force of his Word and his Spirit which drives us towards the world and opens us to all those that the Lord puts in our path. Many women and men are waiting for us, expecting that the family of Carmel will show our God’s tenderness to them. May the Lord help us not to dash their hopes!


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Vatican City, 6 March 2013 (VIS) - “At the fourth General Congregation, which began this morning at 9:00am with the prayer of the Liturgy of Hours, 153 cardinals were present. This number includes four additional cardinals who arrived and were sworn in today, three Cardinal electors: Cardinal Antonios Naguib, patriarch emeritus of Alexandria, Egypt; Cardinal Karl Lehmann, bishop of Mainz, Germany; Cardinal John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, China; as well as Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, archbishop emeritus of Munich, Germany who is not an elector,” said Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office during his daily news conference with journalists.

To date, there are 113 Cardinal electors present. Tomorrow the two remaining Cardinal electors are expected—Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, archbishop of Warsaw, Poland, will arrive this afternoon and Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Thanh-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam tomorrow morning.

“In the fraternal spirit that characterizes the Congregations,” Fr. Lombardi reported, “Cardinal Dean Angelo Sodano wished a happy birthday to Cardinal Walter Kasper (who turned 80 yesterday), Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio (who turns 75 today), and Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, C.SS.R., (who turns 77 tomorrow). Cardinal Kasper continues to be a Cardinal elector—he will be the oldest to cast his vote in this Conclave—because the Apostolic Constitution regulating the procedure for electing the pontiff establishes the age limit for cardinals entering the Conclave to be determined from the beginning of the period of the Sede Vacante.

This morning 18 cardinals addressed the gathering. Without going into details, the director of the Holy See Press office gave a general overview of their nature. “The major theme,” Fr. Lombardi said, “was the Church in the world, the New Evangelization. Other topics included the Holy See, its Dicasteries and relations with bishops. A third theme was a profile of expectations for the next pope in view of the good government of the Church.” 

“There have been 51 speeches since the beginning of the Congregations,” he added. Given the large number of cardinals wishing to address the gathering, a five minute time limit was established but is not strictly enforced. It was decided that tomorrow they will meet in a morning as well as an afternoon session.

Regarding the cancelling of the press conferences that some of the American cardinals were giving in these days, Fr. Lombardi observed that “the Congregations are not a synod or a congress in which we try to report the most information possible, but a path toward arriving at the decision of electing the Roman Pontiff. In this sense, the tradition of this path is one of reservation in order to safeguard the freedom of reflection on the part of each of the members of the College of Cardinals who has to make such an important decision. It does not surprise me, therefore, that along this path there were, at the beginning, moments of openness and communication and that afterwards, in harmony with the rest of the College, it has been established whether and how to communicate.”

Also brought up in the press conference was the date of the opening of the Conclave. “The College has a great spirit of preparation that is serious, profound, and unhurried,” Fr. Lombardi clarified. “Perhaps that is why it still did not seem opportune to take a vote on the date of the Conclave, which a large part of the College could sense as something forced in the dynamic of reflection. It also needs to be kept in mind that some cardinals are still arriving and it would be a sign of respect for them to wait until the College is complete.”

In conclusion, the director of the Holy See Press Office confirmed that “the Fisherman's Ring has been scratched over,” that is, rendered unusable. 


VIS - Vatican Information Service


Vatican City, 6 March 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon in St. Peter's Basilica, on the occasion of the General Congregations proceeding the Conclave, the College of Cardinals will pray for the Church.

The celebration, which will be held at 5:00pm at the Altar of the Cathedra, will begin with the recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary in Italian and Latin. Following the Rosary will be the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and a brief time for Adoration. Then simple recitation of Vespers (the Church's evening prayer) will be presided over by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica. The rite will conclude with Eucharistic Benediction offered by Cardinal Comastri.

The prayer booklet for the celebration can be found online at the website of the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff:

The regularly scheduled mass at the Altar of the Cathedra will be moved to another altar in St. Peter's Basilica.


VIS - Vatican Information Service

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