The 4th conference organized by the Latin American Association of Carmelites (ALACAR) was celebrated in Santo Domingo from November 6th through 11th. The Fathers General of Carmel, Saverio Cannistrà, OCD, and Fernando Millán, O.Carm., were present. The theme chosen to inspire the reflections was: “Yesterday’s martyrs for today’s Latin American Carmel: Archbishop Romero, Edith Stein, and Titus Brandsma.”
Approximately 120 participants – laity and religious, male and female – from almost all Latin American countries, met in the Santa María of Altagracia Retreat House to allow themselves to be enlightened by the lives, witnesses, and messages of these three persons, whose martyrial offerings surpasses the frontiers of space and time.
The Carmelite Missionary, Sandra Henríquez, opened the conference with the topic, “Edith Stein, by the sign of the Cross: The Christian martyrdom of a daughter of Israel.” Father Saverio Cannistrà followed with a presentation titled, “The participation in the love of Christ in the martyrdom of Edith Stein.” The Salvadoran Carmelite bishop, Oswaldo Escobar, prelate of the diocese of Chalatenango, presented the figure of Archbishop Romero, the Saint of the poor. And lastly, Father Fernando Millán presented the figure of Blessed Titus Brandsma with the topic, “Sanctity from the starting point of humanity.”
These have been providential days to re-create the fraternity of Carmel at the same moment in which we renew our commitment to be witnesses of Jesus who suffers in the dehumanization of those who are persecuted and marginalized, but who triumphs at the same time by the surrender of our martyrs.