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

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