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22 September 2023

Spain: Seminar on Intellectual Life among Discalced Carmelites

From 27 to 29 June, CITeS (Avila) hosted a seminar on intellectual life in the Discalced Carmelite Order.  There were 17 participants from 6 different countries (Spain, France, England, Italy, Poland and Switzerland).  Their discussions and reflections centred on the interpretation of the fonts of Carmelite Spirituality.   The meeting had been prepared in collaboration between the OCD General Curia, the Pontifical Theological Faculty of the “Teresianum”  (Rom)e and CITeS (Avila).  This was the second seminar on this subject: the first had taken place last year at the Teresianum.

The theme of this Avila meeting was the study of readings from our Carmelite authors, Sts. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross.   Commentaries followed from five participants: Saverio Cannistra (Italy), Juan Antonio Marcos (Spain), Emilio Matinez (Spain), Jerzy Nawojowski (Poland) and Christof Betschart (Switerland).    Among the participants there were also three Carmelite nuns from England, Italy and Spain.

During the meeting the necessity of promoting a cultural change in the Order was keenly felt, with a consequent encouragement for greater application to study.  The creation of this new cultural mentality in the Order can only become a reality through the joint contributions of the General Government, our Centres of Study, the various OCD Religious Provinces and their Superiors. Our Carmelite Nuns must also take active roles in the process.  Among these  latter there is certainly a greater interest and desire to learn more about our Saints in a more systematic way but, for various reasons, they encounter greater difficulties in frequenting academic theological studies.