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25 August 2021

General Chapter 2021

It is with the words of Father General’s video message of 9th August that we would like to begin this Communication, slightly different from the usual. As you know, the General Chapter will be held in Rome from Monday 30th August. A total of 95 Carmelite friars from 5 continents have been convoked. To these friars, we must add some invitees: 4 non-clerical friars, who will have a day to testify about their daily life, and 6 young friars (whose dates of birth fall between 1982 and 1993), who will share with the Capitulars their joys, aspirations and their vision of Carmel and its future. In addition, there are 11 other friars who will be at the service of the Chapter: secretariat, translations, liturgy, communication, canon law, etc.

It is indeed the entire Order, in its international dimension, coming together to celebrate this great ecclesial event of the Chapter. It will be a matter of listening to “what the Spirit says to the Churches” (Rev 2:7), in order to “discern the signs of the times” (Mt 16:3) and then “to become witnesses [of Christ] in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1.8). That is, using the words of our Holy Mother Teresa: “I was thinking about what I could do for God, and I thought that the first thing was to follow the call to religious life” (Life 32.9).

The Covid-19 pandemic and its various restrictions have made the preparation for the General Chapter a little more complicated this year. Some friars, unfortunately, will not be able to make the trip. As for others (Brazil and India), it took a lot of energy and appeals to obtain the necessary clearance. ”La paciencia todo lo alcanza.” Some of the Capitulars are already in Rome (or in Italy) in order to carry out the quarantine required by the Italian Ministry of Health before the opening of the Chapter. The friars of the Teresianum have made available to them 40 rooms in one wing of the building.

The evening of 29th August, everyone will gather at La Salle House. As the name implies, this is a facility that belongs to the Brothers of the Christian Schools. It is a 25-minute walk from the Vatican, on the Via Aurelia. It can accommodate 180 people and has the necessary facilities to host a General Chapter. It is in this place, with its beautiful 5-hectare park, that the friars will celebrate the 92nd General Chapter.

To foster communion with all of you, we would also like to inform you that you will be able to follow the proceedings of the Chapter through three means:

The information will be available in 4 languages: English, Spanish, French and Italian. Each day (at the end of the day), we will provide you with a report of what went on during the day. We will inform you about the results of the elections as soon as they are available. NB: if you do not have Facebook or Twitter, this is not a problem. On our website, at the bottom of the page, you will find two windows that will enable you to consult all the contents.

Let us therefore continue to pray for this General Chapter and for the whole Order, that we may fully live out these words from the Acts of the Apostles: “The Church was at peace: it was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers” (Acts 9.31).




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