From 5th-7th October, 2018, the Secular Carmel of Canada, which is part of the Province of Malta gathered together for their 8th Congress, where some members from the delegation of western Canada were also present.
The opening Eucharist was celebrated by the Cardinal of Toronto, Mons. Thomas Collins and the Provincial of Malta, Fr. Juan de Bono OCD, as well as other priests and deacons.
The days were spent in intense fraternal exchanges among the approximately 200 members present at the Congress from the 22 Secular Carmelite Communities situated in English speaking Central-eastern Canada. Also present were some Portuguese speakers and one Chinese speaker.
The lectures revolved around the general theme of the Congress: ‘“Enkindling the fire within” Carmelite spirituality for today‘s World’, which were given by Gladys McMullin OCDS, President of the OCDS Provincial Council, Fr. Alzinir Debastiani OCD, General Delegate of the Secular Carmel, Fr. Juan de Bono OCD, Provincial of Malta and Fr. Dominic Borg OCD, Delegate of the Secular Carmel.
Eight members made their promises during the closing Eucharist of the Congress and eight others were admitted from different communities. One member professed temporary vows in the OCDS.
Thanks to the good preparation and organisation of the Congress great communion and participation was experienced during the session. It was also an important occasion for sharing and strengthening the vocation to Carmel, together with an interest for vocations to religious life, which was very much present in the prayers which were raised to the Good Shepherd during the Congress.
It is good to recall that in this part of Canada, the Discalced Carmelite nuns have a presence with two convents, one in Zephyr and the other in St Agatha and the friars with a community in Scarborough.
We give thanks to God for these few days spent together and pray to Him for the presence of the Order in Canada.
Fr. Alzinir Debastiani, OCD, General Delegate to the OCDS