Sunday, 08 September 2019 17:35

Off to Rome for the General Chapter 2019

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2019GCLWeb150Frs Paul Cahill (Prior Provincial), Bruce Clark and Carlito Da Silva are the representing the Carmelites of Australia & Timor-Leste at the General Chapter of the Order. The General Chapter will be held in Rome from 10-27 September. A General Chapter involving representatives from every Province in the world is held every 6 years and elects the international leadership team.

The theme for the Chapter is: You are my witnesses from one generation to the next: called to be faithful to our Carmelite Charism.

This theme offers a continuity with the last General Chapter and the General Congregation in Fatima in 2016. Its essence is drawn from article 21 of the 1995 Constitutions. It relates to our service in the midst of the people and underlines three main ideas for the Chapter to consider with regard to the challenges that face us in the years ahead: faithfulness to our Carmelite charism; continuity with the generations past who heard the same call; and the challenge to give witness to present and future generations. As Con 21 indicates there has to be an openness and a willingness to listen to the world “ready both to meet life’s challenges and to give an authentic evangelical response based on our charism.” The prophet Isaiah (43:10) says “you are my witnesses”, my chosen servants, understanding and knowing that “I am the Lord.”

This theme underlines three specific topics to be addressed: our TRADITION, the WITNESS our lives give to the world and the CHALLENGE before us now as we move forward into the next six years. Each community is asked to reflect on this theme and these three elements. Below are presented some thoughts to evoke dialogue and discussion, personally, in communities and in provinces.

Perhaps it is time now, in year of our Lord, 2019, as we gather to celebrate the sources of our inspiration to hear once again the Lord God say to us as he did to Elijah: “Why are you here?” Our calling to Carmel is God’s choice but it is also ours in how we choose to respond! There will be a number of choices to be made during the chapter, especially with regard to modifications of the 1995 Constitutions. These must flow from the fundamental and initial responses made in our religious calling. Present choices are built on a continuity of choices made by us and by previous generations right back throughout the story of Carmel.

From the Instrumentum Laboris issued in preparation for the Chapter.

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