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.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Council Members 2012-2015

Community Council 2012-2015

Elsa R. Pineda, OCDS
Council President

(for Postulation)
Carolina E. Enciso, OCDS
Director of Formation

Jov Mark B. Felarca, OCDS
First councillor
In charge of Spiritual Growth

Rosa M. Levi, OCDS
Second Councillor
In charge of Community Apostolate

Mercedez V. Gamez, OCDS
Third Councillor
In charge of Community Fellowship

Ma. Rosie O. Geronimo, OCDS
Appointed Council Secretary

 Purificacion C. Soriano, OCDS
Re-appointed Community Tresurer

Regular Council Meeting is held every Second Friday of the Month, at the St. Therese House of Prayer, Subic, Zambales

Monday, October 1, 2012

Guide for reading The Mansions published

Rome - Italy (01-10-2012).- The Commission for the Preparation of the V Centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus has published the doctrinal guide for reading the Book of the Mansions (the Interior Castle).

Since the 2009 General Chapter, when the Order initiated the program for preparing the Teresian Centenary, the Commission has accompanied the reading of the Teresian works with a wide choice of reading guides and work sheets for each one of the books of the foundress of the Teresian Carmel.

Over the last three years, the Book of her Life, the Way of Perfection and the Book of the Foundations have been the object of shared reading by communities of friars, nuns, congregations of the Carmelite family, Lay Carmelites, and various groups associated with the discalced Carmel.

This year, the reading is centered on the Book of the Mansions (the Interior Castle). For this the Commission has published on the Web site for the preparation of the V Centenary ( the doctrinal guide for reading the Mansions. 


Comunicationes - Information Service of the Disclaced Carmelite Curia

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Inquiry phase of the miracle attributed to Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity closes

DIJON - FRANCE (03-09-2012).- In the first days of the month of September, the results of the study of the miracle attributed to Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity was forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

The closing of the “Super Miro” process for the canonization of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880-1906) took place during the celebration of Vespers in the Chapel of the Flavignerot Carmel on Saturday, August 25, of this year. The archbishop of Dijon, Roland Minnerath, presided.

The members of the tribunal, His Excellency, Ennio Apeciti of the Archdiocese of Milan, Archdiocesan Judge-Delegate; Canon Paul Chadeuf, Promoter of Justice; and Father Yves Frot, Notary, placed the seals on the voluminous dossiers developed for presentation to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in Rome.

Father Antonio Sangalli, O.C.D., Vice-Postulator of the cause, was designated to present the documents to the competent authority of the Vatican Congregation. There they will be examined by a team of experts, physicians, and theologians. Also present was the Postulator General of the Order, Father Romano Gambalunga.

This concludes a year-long investigation of the presumed miracle of healing of Marie-Paul Stevens, which took place in that same location.

Marie-Paul Stevens made a pilgrimage to Flavignerot in 2002 to give thanks to Elizabeth of the Trinity for having helped her during the course of her illness (Sjögren syndrome), knowing that there was no known treatment for that disease and that she was facing an imminent death. Right there and suddenly, she felt cured of her disease and has begun to live a completely normal life.

The members of the tribunal traveled to Belgium to undertake inquiries in several sessions with over 40 witnesses, among whom were several physicians. All declared astonishment over this sudden cure and voiced that they were touched by the message from Elizabeth of the Trinity.

Those present in the celebration included Marie-Paul herself, who attended with several of her friends from Belgium; the Chevignard family, descendents of Guite, Elizabeth of the Trinity’s sister; and friends of the Carmel. The small assembly could see the breadth and seriousness of the work, and expressed their joy by singing the Magnificat, giving thanks to God for the gift given to the Church in the person of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.

Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Monday, August 20, 2012

“Parish ministry and the Carmelite charism”

Bali-Indonesia (20-08-2012).- Major Superiors from the Philippines, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and Indonesia reflected upon parish ministry and the Carmelite charism during the annual meeting of the circumscriptions of East Asia and Oceania, which was celebrated in the Indonesian island of Bali.

The annual meeting was hosted in Denpasar from 30th July to 3rd August. Besides the Major Superiors, there were also present the Definitor General for East Asia and Oceania, Fr Peter Chung, as well as a good number of representatives from the Carmelite Parishes in the circumscriptions.

After the opening Eucharist, at which presided Fr Peter Chung, and words of welcome from the Commissar of Indonesia, Fr Feliz Elavunkal, work began on the meeting which was organized in three parts.

First of all, each circumscription gave a resume of their present situation and the pastoral work carried out in each region. Afterwards, Fr Gitoratmo, expert in Ecclesiology and Professor at the Pontifical seminary of St Paul-Yogyakarta, gave a conference concerning the need to “rethink today’s pastoral ministry” and directed reflection and the work groups concerning the topic of parish ministry.

Then, to conclude, those taking part drew up a proposal concerning Carmelite parish ministry divided into three points concerning the importance of: 1. community life; 2. The times for mental prayer; 3. Marian devotion and the feasts of the saints.

A second point concerned Carmelite Spirituality and formation through conferences, retreats and publications. Then, in third place, strengthening social ministry through help to the really poor and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. Standing out was the importance of being able to count on collaboration from the Nuns, Secular Carmel, the laity and other groups within the Carmelite family. 


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia 

Message of the Superior General for the 450th Anniversary of the Teresian Reform

ROMA-ITALIA (19-08-2012).- This year we celebrate an anniversary of particular significance: the 24th of August will see the completion of 450 years since the foundation of St. Joseph’s in Avila, and therefore too, since the beginning of Teresa’s reform. The Holy Father himself has expressed his joy and the joy of the whole Church concerning this anniversary by sending, on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a message that is rich in teresian spirituality and doctrine.

At the thought of our religious family completing 450 years of life, the first sentiment that fills our hearts is gratitude to the Lord for his fidelity and his love, together with wonder at the great things that he has done in us. Truly, if Teresa has given herself to Jesus, Jesus has given much more to Teresa and continues to give himself to her whole family. Let us mutually remind ourselves not to forget (“Remember, O Israel!”) how great a grace he has given in calling us to be part of this history, to make ourselves capable of being able to witness to it in the present and making it grow into the future, on a journey of unending foundation, which, -as Teresa herself has taught us – should never be considered to have reached an end. None of us could have reached this point, or taken on this responsibility, were it not gifted to us by God, and if in this, his merciful love and his gratuitous initiative were not manifested.

Another point for reflection comes from the consideration of the more recent stage of our history. In 1962 the Order celebrated the fourth centenary of its reform, right at the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, which in turn would have signaled in many ways the beginning of a new epoch in the history of the Church. These last 50 years are a stage of our journey which offers itself for our peaceful evaluation and spiritual discernment. We have changed a lot during these years, but the same call continues to vibrate in us and the same passion as sons and daughters of Teresa of Jesus. We are aware that not every change has expressed the creativity of the charism, nor every desire to preserve has been a manifestation of authentic fidelity. But we note especially that our reality, complex and at times contradictory, is today inhabited by new faces, by new
generations born during these last fifty years, with new sensibilities and diverse experiences, coming from different parts of the world, wishing to express what they are and what they have, fragility and strength, poverty and richness, clarity and obscurity of vision, the enthusiasm of youth and the wisdom of mature age.

Teresa was 47 years of age when the first tolls of the bell of St. Joseph’s were sounding. At an age, which at that time much more so than ours, could be considered rather advanced, she set out on a completely new adventure, which foreboded risks and the unknown. We know that two things helped her overcome every human and reasonable resistance: the power coming from her experience of God and from the strength of her passion for a Church and a world in the throes of an upheaval of epochal proportions. Today too, these are the powers that can animate and recommit us on our journey, or, open for us a way into a landscape which at times seems like an empty and trackless desert in which we feel dispersed, or alternatively, like a dense forest, in which it is impossible to find any way forward.

Teresa was not able to rely on the support of many powerful friends or great economic resources. Her very condition as a woman was a cause of innumerable difficulties and
limitations. There were times when the project of a new foundation seemed simply unrealizable, and she complained to the Lord that he was asking impossible things of her (cf. Life 33, 11). The story of the first foundation is a tangle of labors, of doubts, of persecutions and of every kind of obstacle, but at the same time of consolations, of providential meetings, of unexpected help and especially of continually renewed interior certitude. Because of this, the account of it is transformed from an autobiographical narrative into a confession of lived faith, into an account of the history of salvation, the memory of which ought be handed on from generation to generation because we can continue to draw power and inspiration from it. Teresa gave Fr. García de Toledo, who was destined to receive the book of her Life, permission to change everything, except the account of the first foundation:

I beg your Reverence, for the love of God, if you think it well to tear up everything else that is written here, to preserve what concerns this monastery. Then, after my death, it should be given to the sisters here, for it will be a great encouragement in the service of God to those who come after us and will prevent this work that has been begun from falling to the ground and help it to prosper continually when it is seen what importance His Majesty must have attached to this house since He founded it through a creature as wicked and as base as I (Life, 36, 29).

It is with this spirit that we also, after 450 years, return to that founding experience, from which we are born. If the Lord has done so much for this work to be accomplished, he will continue to do so in order that it may not go to ruin, but rather progress ever more. Teresa would like to underline for us that if all of this has been possible, it is not because of the instrument that was used, an imperfect and poor woman such as herself, but by him who wished to use it. Far from being false humility, Teresa, as usual, speaks about “things which are very true” (Life 40, 3), especially in relation to something as important as the reform of Carmel. It is the work of the Lord, to whose service she is given, but not without doubts, anguish and opposition. But in the end, his grace is the stronger.

This work willed by God, this precious jewel with which he wished to adorn Teresa, and in her the whole Church (I refer to the famous vision narrated in her Life 33, 14), is now placed in our hands. What will we do with it? What will be our response to the appeal that reaches us from the autobiographical pages of our Holy Mother? We speak so much today about the crisis of religious life, about its difficulties – especially in the West – from the lack of vocations to the ageing of communities, but also and even more about a general loss of motivation and a crisis of identity. I do not wish to minimize these problems which we experience daily, and which those called to the service of authority experience all the more. Without doubt, the crisis that we are living through is epochal and we will not be able to come out of it without new insights and profound changes.

But the question that to me seems essential is this: where can these new insights come
from? Where can we get the strength to make the changes that the times require? I have observed during this period of economic crisis that a thought of Albert Einstein written in the aftermath of the great crisis of 1929 is winning a lot of followers. It is quoted in an innumerable number of web sites and blogs; it was also quoted in a letter sent to me by one of our sisters. Einstein wrote in 1935:

A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation, for all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish, just like the day is born from the dark night. It’s in crisis that invention is born, as well as discoveries, and big strategies. Who overcomes crisis, overcomes himself, without getting overcome. Who blames his failure to a crisis neglects his own talent, and is more respectful to problems than to solutions. Incompetence is the true crisis.

The greatest inconvenience of people and nations is the laziness with which they attempt to find the solutions to their problems. There’s no challenge without a crisis. Without challenges, life becomes a routine, a slow agony. There’s no merit without crisis. It’s in the crisis where we can show the very best in us. Without crisis, any wind becomes a tender touch. To speak about a crisis is to promote it. Not to speak about it is to exalt conformism. Let us work hard instead. Let us stop, once and for all, the menacing crisis that represents the tragedy of not being willing to overcome it.

These are certainly stimulating and hopeful words that invite us to grow and give of our best, without allowing ourselves to be overcome by fear or discouragement. It is possible that for the economy and for politics these words find their mark and indicate the way out of the crisis. Notwithstanding all of this, it seems to me that we cannot say the same in regard to the crisis in religious life and in the spiritual life. It is good to make an appeal to the human will and intelligence, to request and elaborate efficacious projects and to develop a creativity that makes us capable of confronting the present challenges, all of which makes sense and is indisputably reasonable. However, we need to realize that our own projects are not going to save us. We need to drink from a fount of living water that wells up from a more profound vein, where the human person does not make anything happen but allows it to happen, does not choose but accepts being chosen, where one’s own wisdom and power are not experienced but rather one’s foolishness and weakness. The way out is not found in seeking to turn back to the situation that preceded the crisis, nor in propelling oneself forward, but by entering deeply into the present crisis, descending to its very roots, to that level where things can be seen differently, where agitation and fear are put to rest and the prayer of the poor begins to rise up, more pure, more humble and more true. From here we can take on again the journey.

This downward way that Teresa has traveled and continued to travel to the very last day of her life, the way of the Paschal Mystery, where one can enter only after experiencing that all the other ways are blind alleys or tracks that get lost in nothingness. It is a journey that has prayer as a staff and forgetfulness of self as a knapsack, and thus resembles the journey of the disciples of Jesus, called to leave everything and follow him in whom they believe and from whom they hope for everything. It is a journey in which – as Bl. John Henry Newman wrote in his wonderful poem “The Pillar of the Cloud” – one does not wish to see the distant scene, but only that small step which we are called to take every day.

It is perhaps “the little that depends on us”, that Teresa chose to fulfill at the time she became aware of the gravity of the situation that the Church and the world were in and of the mission that the Lord was entrusting to her. I know that it may truly seem very little, but it is precisely from the small and the little, not to mention the nothing, that God creates everything. We have a duty to be witnesses to this, with Teresa and like Teresa to set out from that far distant, yet very near 24th August 1562.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In Memoriam

We Remember our Faitfully Departed Members

Eternal Rest Grant to their souls oh Lord
Let Your perpetual light shine upon them
May they rest in peace. Amen

Veronica B. Delgado
Sacred Heart of Jesus
August 19, 202

Leoncia T. Fordan
Queen Beauty of Carmel
January 9, 2012

Cleotilda M. Sermona
Sacred Heart of Jesus
DEcember 16, 2011

Amanda Y. Gozales
Sacred Heart of Jesus
February 3, 2011

Eladia P. Pilapil
The Most Holy Trinity
February 8, 2010
Amanda Y. Gonzales
Sacred Heart of Jesus
February 3, 2011

Leonardo U. Afable
Blessed Sacrament
September 25, 2008

Vicente V. Felarca
St. Joseph
January 20, 2008 

Honorata B. Villanueva
St. Joseph
March 24, 2009

Angel V. Sermona
Holy Spirit
January 2, 2008

Teodora M. Guerrero
Our Lady of Lourdes
November 17, 2006

Conchita A. del Rosario
Immaculate Conception
April 30, 2006

Virginia Pineda
March 23, 2005

Soledad del Rosario
March 3, 2001

Cleopatra L. Corpuz

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bishop Braulio Sáez: “Saint Teresa pioneered new directions in the life of the Church”

Santa Cruz de la Sierra-Bolivia (20-07-2012).- “Saint Teresa pioneered new directions in the life of the Church five hundred years ago, and today, with the same vigor, she still pushes us on to new challenges,” noted Discalced Carmelite Bishop Braulio Sáez García in his letter published this week on The letter was published in preparation for the celebration of the fifth centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus.
The Carmelite missionary and auxiliary bishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, shared with his readers three aspects of the person of the Saint of Avila that particularly impressed him. In the first place, “the natural way in which she speaks to us of what is most supernatural in existence, of the very essence of God, and how to communicate with him, and how she draws him so close to us.”

In the second place, the Bolivian prelate focused on Teresian “determined determination” to bring our lives closer to the experience of God and abandon “mediocrity and vanities.”

In the third place, Bishop Sáez García highlighted how, for Saint Teresa, everything “was prayer, dialogue, encounter, presence, delight in Jesus Christ, friendship with God.”

In his straightforward letter, the Carmelite bishop underscores the “capacity to transmit life and ease in communicating the most sublime things” in the Teresian experience of God.


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Vatican City, 16 July 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a message to Bishop Jesus Garcia Burillo of Avila, Spain, to mark the 450th anniversary of the foundation of the Monastery of St. Joseph and the beginning of the Carmelite reform by St. Teresa of Avila. The message, ample extracts of which are given below, is dated 16 July.

"The reform of the Carmelite Order, the anniversary of which fills us with inner joy, arose from prayer and tends towards prayer. In promoting a radical return to the original Rule and abandoning the mitigated Rule, St. Teresa of Jesus sought to create a form of life which favoured a personal encounter with the Lord, finding 'a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us. Nor need we feel strange in the presence of so kind a Guest'".

"St. Teresa presented a new way of being Carmelite in a world which was also new. Those were 'difficult times' in which, according to that Mistress of the spirit, ... 'the world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again. They would raze His Church to the ground. No, my sisters, this is no time to treat with God for things of little importance'. Does this luminous and engaging call, written more than four centuries ago by the mystic saint, not sound familiar in our own times?"

"The ultimate goal of Teresa's reform and the creation of new monasteries in a world lacking spiritual values was to protect apostolic work with prayer, proposing a form of evangelical life that would act as a model for people seeking the path of perfection, on the basis of the conviction that all authentic personal and ecclesial reform involves an ever more faithful reproduction of the 'form' of Christ in our own selves. ... Today too, as in the sixteenth century, in the midst of rapid transformation, it is important that trusting prayer be the heart of the apostolate, so that the the redeeming message of Jesus Christ may sound our clearly and dynamically. It is urgently important for the Word of life to resound harmoniously in peoples souls, with sonorous and attractive notes".

"The example of St. Teresa of Avila is of great help to us in this exhilarating task. In her time the saint evangelised unhesitatingly, showing tireless ardour, employing methods free from inertia and using expressions bathed in light. This remains important in the current time, when there is a pressing need for the baptised to renew their hearts through individual prayer in which, following the guidance of St. Teresa, they also focus on contemplation of Christ's blessed humanity as the only way to reach the glory of God".

"The power of Christ will lead to a redoubling of efforts to ensure that the people of God recover their vigour in the only way possible: by finding space within ourselves for the feelings of the Lord Jesus, and in all circumstances seeking to live His Gospel to the full. 

This means, above all, allowing the Holy Spirit to make us friends of the Master and to mould us to Him. It also means accepting all His mandates and adopting in ourselves criteria such as humility of conduct, renunciation of the superfluous, not harming others and acting with simplicity and humbleness of heart. Thus those around us will perceive the joy that arises from our adherence to the Lord; they will see that we put nothing before His love, and that we are always ready to give reasons for our hope".

VIS - Vatican Information Service

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Technology for Formation in Portuguese Carmels

Portugal (21-06-2012).- “Prayer and the Life of Prayer” was the theme for a course of Formation given to the Association of Discalced Carmelites of Our Lady of Fatima by Fr. Gabriel Castro OCD from the Burgos Province.

Perhaps the most important novelty of the course was in the method used. It was held simultaneously for eight monasteries of our Sisters using Skype. The six monasteries that form the Association shared the course with two other monasteries that had been invited to take part. In all, more than 80 Nuns were able to enjoy the series of lectures, thanks to this new technology.

Fr. Gabriel based his talks about prayer and the life of prayer on the traditions of Sts. Teresa and John of the Cross. The entire course was considered a great success, which comes as no surprise, given Fr. Gabriel’s vast experience as a Retreat Director and his skills in communicating. Fr. Thomas Alvarez was also present for the final conference.

Although it was a “Skype baptism” for the chief lecturer, it proved to be a very positive experience. This method of communication has the advantage of being able to address any number of Sisters while availing of different speakers, without the need of having to move from our home base.

This is not the first time that the Order has availed of videoconference to provide Formation courses for Carmelite Nuns. It has already been employed in Argentina with great success and the participation of over a dozen communities. Similar courses have been held for one or two Carmels in Spain.


Communicationes - Information Service of the Disclaced Carmelite Curia

Friday, June 1, 2012

Carmelite saints among the patrons of World Youth Day 2013

Rio de Janeiro-Brazil (01-06-2012).- Next year’s World Youth Day, to be celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will have among its patrons and intercessors two Carmelite Saints, according to Bishop Orani João Tempesta’s public announcement in the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rock located in that capital city.

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, French Discalced Carmelite and patroness of missions, will share the patronage of World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro (WYD Rio2013) together with four other saints, among who is Blessed John Paul II, who inspired this type of event.

Together with the patrons, the names of 13 intercessors or proposed role models for the youth of this WYD were made known. Among them is the Chilean Discalced Carmelite, Saint Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes.

The first WYD to have patrons was World Youth Day 2002, in Toronto, Canada. Since then, in every WYD a Carmelite saint has joined the ranks of the patrons. Saint Thérèse was present in Toronto, Sydney, and in the upcoming Rio de Janeiro WYD. In Cologne in 2005, Benedict XVI presented Saint Teresa of Jesus and Edith Stein as models of the Christian way. In the last event in Madrid in 2012, Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Jesus were also among the patrons of the Day.


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia 

Friday, May 25, 2012

“Saint Teresa, a mystic for our time”

Rome-Italy (25-05-2012).- Just a few months before the third anniversary of the web page for the V Centenary of the birth of St Teresa of Jesus,, the number of weekly letters published exceeds one hundred.

Visiting this Internet site have been Discalced Carmelite friars and nuns, members of Secular Carmel, religious of the Carmelite family and other congregations, Bishops, Cardinals and laity who, from the various corners of the world, have wanted to leave their witness, comments and reflections on the figure and personality of Teresa of Jesus.

We are dealing with an initiative open to the wide public. It offers an opportunity for whoever wants to write about or reflect upon what it has meant to encounter Teresa of Jesus in her writings and her charism and the effect it has had or is having in their lives. It is a simple way of sharing and of getting closer to this saint from Avila for those spread throughout the world.

For this occasion, has published a letter by Fr Marcos Junchem, Definitor General, in charge of Latin America and the Carribean. Under the title of “Teresa, a mystic for our times”, Fr Marcos presents the “Moradas group for Mystical Studies” led by Dr Lucia Pedrosa of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro who at present are concentrating on Teresa of Jesus as “a mystic for our time”.

“To celebrate Teresa is to rediscover also the course of mysticism in our time, in which there are so many seeking God”. 


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Father Alzinir Debastiani, new General Delegate for the Secular Carmel

Rome-Italy (25-04-2012).- The Father General and the Definitory have appointed Father Alzinir Debastiani of the Province of Saint Joseph in southeast Brazil as the new General Delegate of the Secular Carmel.

Father Alzinir was born in 1962 in Abdon Batista, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. He pronounced his first profession in 1984 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. He studied philosophy in the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte), theology in the Pontifical Theological Faculty "Teresianum" in Rome, and the Teresian-Sanjuanist Spirituality course in the International Teresian-Sanjuanista Center of Ávila (CITeS).

In his province, his assignments have included pastor, formator, provincial counselor, regional superior and OCDS delegate. In 2008 he was elected provincial superior, an office he held until the chapter celebrated in 2011.

Father Aloysius Deeney has been assigned to the Commissariat of Indonesia to assist the Commissariat. From there, he will help the new General Delegate as OCDS Delegate for the Asia-Oceania region.


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Monday, March 19, 2012

“By living as he did, in the service of Christ Jesus”

Rome-Italy (19-03-2012).- Fr Saverio Cannistrà, the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelite, today addressed a letter to all the members of the Order on the recent death of Fr Camilo Maccise.

Throughout his letter, Fr Saverio mentioned the qualities of Fr Camilo who had been Superior General of the Order from 1991 to 2003. Among the qualities which stand out are his capacity to welcome others and his impressive command of languages. As Fr General pointed out, “Fr Camilo spoke the most important language: that which comes from the heart, which is capable of breaking down barriers of all kinds.”

The renewed impulse he gave to the expansion of the Order; mutual knowledge and collaboration between the separate Circumscription and the centre of the Order; his dialogue and closeness to the nuns, the Secular Carmelites, and the congregations of Sisters are some of the points Fr Saverio pointed out among the immense work achieved by Fr Maccise during both periods as General, work which “would not have existed, or if they did exist, would have been done in a different manner had not the Lord, in his infinite mercy, given us the gift of this person”.

The “deep experience of God” which Fr Camilo lived is, without doubt, the most important aspect which Fr General pointed out about his person. It is an aspect which issues a real challenge to us all. As Fr Saverio said, “It is up to ourselves to follow his example... By living as he lived, in the service of Christ Jesus, fixing our eyes on the ideal which the Teresian charism presents us, we will be finally able to die as he did: accepting all, even sickness, as God’s gift...”


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Sunday, March 18, 2012

“Camilo was a beacon of radiant light”

Mexico (18-03-2012).- Funeral rites for Father Camilo Maccise were celebrated yesterday at the parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, La Sabatina, Mexico City. Father Enrique Castro, Provincial Superior of Mexico, presided over the Eucharist. Those present included the family of Father Camilo; members of the Carmelite family; and many representatives of other religious orders, congregations, and laity.

In his homily, Enrique Castro referred to Father Camilo as a great traveler who took the Gospel message to all the corners of the earth and who on this occasion began the definitive journey to the Father’s bosom. The Mexican Provincial noted that “Camilo was a beacon of radiant light that illuminated many persons – friars, nuns, religious from numerous congregations, and laity – with his wisdom, mental clarity, and intelligence, always inspired by the teachings of Christ.”

A teacher to many generations of religious, “Camilo Maccise always placed great importance on helping each person follow his or her vocation; he left many writings to help religious renew fidelity to their calling, but he also always valued in a significant way the vocation of the laity,” affirmed Castro.

In his address Father Enrique remembered the pleasant manner, disposition for dialogue, and conciliatory and simple character that adorned the life of Father Camilo. “All our dear Father Camilo’s life was gift to Carmel and the Church,” he remarked.

On ending the homily, the Father Provincial noted that words could not adequately express the greatness of the life of Father Camilo Maccise, and he invited those present to approach his abundant written works as a legacy for all Christians of today.


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Saturday, March 17, 2012

“The death of Father Camilo is a great loss for all the Carmelite family”

Rome-Italy (17-03-2012).- The Prior General of the Order of Mount Carmel, Father Fernando Millán, expressed his condolences yesterday on the death of who for 12 years was the Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites, Father Camilo Maccise.

In a heartfelt message addressed to Father Saverio Cannistrà, the Superior General of the Carmelites made known his “most heartfelt condolences” and “our fraternal affection in these sorrowful moments.”

Fernando Millán underscored the great loss for all the Carmelite family that Father Camilo’s demise represents. He emphasized Father Camilo’s “powerful sense of evangelism, of prophetic valor and true spirituality.”

“I have always greatly enjoyed his optimism and sense of humor, his sensitivity for the poor, and his love for Carmelite spirituality,” said Father Fernando Millán.

“It is best to let ourselves be guided by the Lord”

“The Lord has called me to an order of fraternity, love, communion, and peace,” as Camilo Maccise himself recognized in one of his last public appearances before his death in a video published on the website of the Mexican Carmelite province.

Visibly fatigued and in declining health because of the progression of the disease, Maccise emotionally shared the teachings with which the Word of God and the saints of Carmel guided and maintained his life as religious and priest.

In the manner of a public confession he stated that, “when, a little over a year ago, they discovered my cancer, the first thing I did was thank God for the 73 years of health he had given me, and then I placed myself in his hands.” Father Camilo stated, “It is best to let ourselves be guided by the Lord.”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Father Camilo Maccise dies at age 75

Mexico (16-03-2012).- Father Camilo Maccise, Superior General of the Order of Discalced Carmelites from 1991 through 1997 and 1997 through 2003, died today, March 16, at 75 years of age in the provincial house of the Mexican province of Saint Albert. The cause of death was colon cancer, which he endured for over a year.

Camilo Maccise was born in Toluca, Mexico, in 1937. He attended the Discalced Carmelite preparatory school in Toluca for several years and in 1954 entered the Novitiate of the Order in Queretaro.

In 1958, on the eve of the Second Vatican Council, he was sent to Rome to study philosophy and theology in the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum. His priestly ordination was on April 29, 1962, in the Eternal City.

From 1963 to 1965 he was professor of dogmatic theology and spirituality in the philosophical-theological college of the Carmelite province of Mexico. He obtained a degree in Sacred Scripture after completing studies in Jerusalem and in the Biblical Institute of Rome from 1968 to 1971. In 1988 he earned the degree of Doctor of Theology from the Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia. His thesis was titled, “Word and Community in Saint Paul and in the ecclesial communities based in Latin America.”

Father Camilo was professor of Sacred Scripture and Spirituality in several centers of study in Mexico, Latin America, and Europe, such as the Ibero-American University in Mexico City, the Latin American Episcopal Council in Medellin, Colombia, and the Faculty of Theology of the Teresianum in Rome.

He particularly explored the theology of consecrated life in depth, becoming Vice President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious of Mexico (CIRM), and from 1975 was a member of the theological team of the Latin American and Caribbean Conference of Religious (CLAR) as a biblical scholar.

Superior General

Father Camilo Maccise held several offices of responsibility and jurisdiction in the Order. He was elected Provincial Superior of Mexico in January 1978. He had held this office for only one and a half years when he was named Counselor General for the 1979 to 1985 term during the first generalate of Father Felipe Sainz de Baranda.

In 1991 he was elected Superior General of the Order during the General Chapter of Ariccia, a town near Castelgandolfo. He was reelected in the General Chapter celebrated in Lisieux, France. He was at the forefront of the Order during an especially sensitive period.

During this time he was a member of the Union of Superiors General (USG) and the Council of the Sixteen. He was elected President of the USG from 1994 to 2001. In 1998, Pope John Paul II named him member of the Pontifical Commission for the celebration of the Jubilee Year of 2000. He participated as a member of the IX Ordinary Assembly General of the Synod on Consecrated Life (October 2-29, 1994). He also participated in the Assembly of Bishops for America (November 16-December 12, 1997) and in the X Ordinary Assembly General of the Synod of Bishops (September 30-October 27, 2001).

After finishing his terms as Superior General of the Order in 2003, he returned to the province of Mexico where he was elected Provincial Superior. He held this office from 2005 to 2008. Now heading to the community of Alba de Tormes in Spain, Father Camilo traveled all over the world giving courses and conferences and as an advisor to general and provincial chapters of several orders and congregations.

In his last year a tumor was discovered on his colon. Father Camilo returned to Mexico for medical treatment in a respite home near the community and his family.

Gestures of affection

News of his death has traveled quickly thanks to the Internet. Several Web pages have already been updated with obituary notices on the death of Father Camilo. Likewise, many messages of support and fellowship have been received.

Father Saverio Cannistrà, Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites, having received the sad news of Father Camilo’s death this same day, sent affectionate condolences to the Provincial Superior of the Mexican Province of Saint Albert. Father Cannistrà remarked, “I thank the Lord for the gift he has given our family in a man such as Father Camilo, who with his bearing and work has made a mark on the history of Carmel.”

The Father General received the news in Cracow, where he is on a canonical visit to that province of the Order. He brought to memory Father Camilo, who was his predecessor in the generalate of the Discalced Carmel and commended him to Divine Mercy in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Father Flavio Caloi, one of Father Camilo’s closest collaborators during his terms as Superior General of the Discalced Carmelites, said, “Father Camilo has been a great gift from God to the Order and to the Church.” Caloi underscored the surrender to God, the great capacity for work, clarity of thought, and enormous drive that Father Camilo’s leadership represented in many matters of consequence for the Order.

Upon hearing that Father Camilo passed away, Julia Garcia Monje, Secretary General of the Spanish Conference of Religious (CONFER), said, “Religious life has much for which to thank Father Camilo. We are sure that he will continue to encourage us in his dream of a prophetic religious life, impassioned for Jesus Christ and for those least favored. His life’s testimony will always accompany us.”


Communicationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fr. General encourages expansion of Order’s presence on all fronts

Nairobi-Kenya (09-02-2012).- During the week’s celebration of this Congress for Africa and Madagascar in Nairobi, Fr. General spoke of the need to project the Order’s presence throughout Africa.

Provincials, Delegates and Representatives of each of the African regions in which the Order is present took part in this Assembly with Fr. General and Fr. George Tambala, General Definitor for Africa. The focus of the meeting was to discuss the present day reality and the future of the Order in the continent of Africa.

Fr. General, as he outlined the history of the Order in Africa and its gradual expansion, reminded the delegates that they had gathered “in the name of the Lord and for the good of the Church”. He appealed for cooperation among all the circumscriptions in the various enterprises undertaken by the Discalced Carmelites throughout the continent.

On the same note, Fr. George Tambala spoke of “A Possible Shared Project for the XXI century” in which he called for a new collective incentive that would help in sharing challenges.


Communicatones - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Monday, January 23, 2012

A website allows virtual access to the manuscripts of Saint Therese

Lisieux-France (23-01-2012).- It is now possible to quickly and comfortably access documents about Saint Therese from the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux.

Thanks to the website, any researcher, fan, or devotee of the Carmelite saint will be able to consult the Lisieux Carmel’s Theresian treasury without leaving home.

Digital technology provides easy and free access to high quality documents ranging from autobiographical manuscripts of “The Story of a Soul,” the foundation of the monastery of Lisieux, the posthumous history of the writings of the Patroness of the Missions, to letters to relatives, pictures, and all texts written by this young Doctor of the Church.

This site ( is the product of several years’ work by the Carmelites in collaboration with academicians and Theresian researchers from several countries, to present the texts, documents, images, and other objects relevant to the study of Saint Therese.

The website has four sections. All the writings of the saint along with pictures of their facsimiles and the originals of her poetry and pious recreational works can be found in the first section titled, “Works of Saint Therese.” Also included are reproductions, drawings, and artwork painted by her. The content is enhanced by a powerful search engine that enables quick query results.

An album including photographs of each family member, more than 1,200 letters written by them, as well as the places where they lived, constitutes the second section of the Web portal, which is dedicated to “Family Life.”

“In Carmel” and “After 1897” are the other two sections. They encompass the foundation of the monastery, the community’s way of life, and the development wrought after the death of Saint Therese in 1897.


Comuncationes - Information Service of the Discalced Carmelite Curia

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fr Tomás Álvarez: "Saint Teresa is a loud and clear prophet for modern times”

Rome-Italy (15-01-2012).- "Never has Saint Teresa been read with such topicality as today. Saint Teresa is God’s witness, a loud and clear prophet for modern times”, pointed out the Discalced Carmelite, Tomás Álvarez, in referring to present day reception of the work and message of Saint Teresa.

In an interview granted to the magazine “Teresa de Jesús”, of which he has been an assiduous collaborator, the Teresian specialist acknowledged that the coming centenary of the birth of saint Teresa would have greater pastoral impact than the one in 1982, since the preparation has been more intense. “Within the Carmelite family, there has been a much closer drawing together around the Saint since the beginning of the continuous reading of Teresa’s works, one after the other”, expressed the prestigious Teresian expert.

The magazine “Teresa de Jesús”, which presents a new image in this year of its three decades of life, afforded Father Tomás Álvarez the opportunity to discuss his life’s work concerning the foundress of the Teresian Carmel. It is a work that goes back to 1938 when there came to hand the book of the Mansions, during the time of his noviciate.

In the interview, Fr Tomás referred to the declaration of Saint Teresa as a Doctor of the Church as “the greatest of the Teresian events”, and stated that the great wealth we possess is to have Teresa’s own hand-written books in which is discovered “the excitement the saint had in writing”.


Coomunicationes - Information Service of the Discaelced Carmelite Curia

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