The pandemic crisis generated by COVID-19, with the consequent confinement of millions of people on five continents, has also affected the daily service that Discalced Carmelite friars and nuns offer to so many people, in the face of the impossibility of celebrating Mass in convents and monasteries, receiving visitors, performing apostolic services, etc.
However, many of our brothers and sisters have mobilized to continue listening to and accompanying the Christian people and suffering humanity at this painful and particular moment.
The deceased and their families, the sick, health workers, governments and all those who, in some way or other, have been hit by the pandemic, as well as those who have put themselves on the front line of service to society, have been at the centre of our prayer.
In addition, from many convents and monasteries the media, particularly the internet and social networks, have been used to transmit Mass live or hold prayer meetings. Thus, both on Facebook and YouTube, it has been possible to participate, at least virtually, in Eucharistic celebrations in various countries and languages: Italian, Spanish, English, French, Malayalam, etc.
Carmelite communities in many countries have used every means at their disposal to share audios and videos – for example, through WhatsApp – with reflections, readings from the writing of our saints, etc., to encourage and accompany confined people.
CITeS in Avila has scheduled several courses at this time and has also released videos with reflections on the daily gospel. For its part, the Teresianum Theological Faculty has continued its academic work by implementing a class system by videoconference and a personalized follow-up of students through email.
At the General Curia, we try to share on our social networks all the news we have received, as well as the different messages sent by Fr. Saverio Cannistrà during this time. His letter “A Wish in Time of Tribulation” has had a special impact both inside and outside the Order.
All these pastoral actions have been united with charitable efforts reflected in the sharing of goods with the poorest and work to manufacture masks and other useful garments for protection against the disease. We have heard of a certain Carmelite community of nuns that experienced serious deprivation in sharing basic necessities – including food – with needy families who are close to the monastery. Their situation has already been normalized and they prefer to remain anonymous.