Welcome to Sadbhavana : Carmelite Provincialate

Provincial Circular


CKG/XIII/6/2018                                                    Sadbhavana, Bangalore
Circular, Karnataka-Goa Province                   
12th of July, 2018

Dear Fathers, Sisters, Brothers,

As the solemnity is here of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, our Queen, our Patroness and our Model, let us take time off to reflect once more on our Marian vocation and tradition in order to renew our filial and personal attachment to our heavenly Mother. Among the many examples we have of personal and spontaneous devotion to Mary, our Holy Mother St Teresa is outstanding.

IN HER INFANCY:
Teresa de Ahumada learnt devotion to Mary, at her mother’s knee. She recalls that when her mother passed away, she spontaneously turned to her heavenly Mother for comfort and protection, commending herself to Mary, who would thenceforth be more than a mother to her. “My mother had taken care to make us pray and had put into us devotion to our Lady… When my mother expired, I went in my distress to an image of Our Lady and begged her to be a mother to me. Though I did so in my simplicity I believe it was of some avail to me. For whenever I have commended myself to this sovereign Virgin, I have been conscious of her aid and eventually she has brought me back to herself” (Life 1:7).

DURING HER ILLNESS:
Our Lady seems to have repaid her devotion by drawing Teresa into her own Order. Here, Teresa, like Our Lady, would spend hours in meditating day and night on the law of the Lord and watching in prayer. Not long after her profession, Teresa fell very ill and had to leave the convent for treatment in a remote village. She tells us in her autobiography that when the August of that year had come, she desired to make her confession, before the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. This passing remark reveals her awareness of the liturgical celebrations honouring the Blessed Virgin.

ALONG WITH DEVOTION TO ST JOSEPH:
Teresa considers her cure nothing less than a miracle, and this miracle she attributes to St Joseph. Her devotion to St Joseph is so well known that it may well be looked upon as part of our Teresian heritage. But what is important at this juncture is that Teresa cannot separate Our Lady from St Joseph. “I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of the Angels during the time she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to St Joseph for the way he helped them” (Life 1:6).

AT THE REFORM:
Teresa never forgot the Marian heritage of the Order, when it came to initiating the Carmelite Reform. She records a vision in which she saw St Joseph at one entrance of her new foundation, and Mary, at another (cfr. Life 32:11). On one occasion, during Holy Mass at a Dominican church, while she was thinking of the sins she had confessed in that place, she was suddenly caught in a rapture so strong that she later doubted whether her obligation of hearing Mass had seen fulfilled. She saw herself being clothed in a dazzlingly white robe by Our Lady on the right and St Joseph on the left and she was given to understand that her past was no more, since she was cleansed of all her sins (cfr. Life 33:14-16).

When, after many difficulties, the first foundation of the reform was finally inaugurated in 1562, Teresa’s great joy was to have accomplished what she knew was “…for the service of the Lord, and to the honour of the habit of his Mother...” (Life 36:6). Before entering the new cloister, while praying in the church almost in rapture, she saw Christ “placing a crown on my head, and thanking me for what I had done for his Mother” (Life 36:24). Teresa calls the Innocentian rule “Rule of Our Lady of Mount Carmel” (Life 36:26; also the Prologue to the WP and WP 1:5). And the Carmelite habit is, for Teresa, the habit of Our Lady – a habit of which she herself is unworthy.

THE SCAPULAR:
Did Teresa by “habit” mean “Scapular”? There seems to be no indications in any of her major works that she knew about the scapular vision or about Simon Stock. Only towards the end of her life in one of her letters to Gratian, we find mention of “small scapular” precisely at a time when small scapulars were becoming popular, and the scapular devotion was spreading among the laity. Teresa, however, may have known about the Sabbatine privilege, for she writes: “Another friar of our Order, a truly very good friar, was very ill; while at Mass I became recollected and I saw that he was dead, and that he ascended to heaven without entering purgatory… I understood that since he was a friar who had observed his vows well, the Bulls of the Order about not entering purgatory were beneficial to him.” (Life 38:31). She seems to be referring especially to a document “Sacratissimo uti culmine” dated 3rd of March 1322 . But it is not found in the registers of Pope John XXII, to whom it is attributed.

MODEL OF HUMILITY:
For Teresa, Jesus is the “Son of the Virgin” (Life 27:4). Mary is a model of humility: “Let us, my daughters, imitate the great humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose habit we were. However much it seems to us that we humble ourselves, we fall short of being the daughters of such a Mother…” (WP 13:3).

Humility, like the queen in the game of chess, is most effective in capturing the King; and it was through humility that Mary captured the great King and became His Mother (CFR. WP 16:2).

Our Lady’s intercession is a great help on the way of prayer (cfr. 3M 1:3). Prayer is the charism of Carmel; and Mary is its great inspiration, Mother and Patroness:
“Praise him my daughters, for you truly belong to Our Lady… Imitate her and reflect that the grandeur of Our Lady and the good of having her for your patroness must be indeed great…” (3M 1:3)

So dear Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, let us in celebrating this year the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, make very special efforts to understand the importance of humility and make every effort to imitate the humility of Mary our Mother and our Model.

Wishing you a very Feast of our Heavenly Patroness,
Fr Charles Serrao OCD
Provincial Superior

 

HIGHLIGHTS AROUND THE PROVINCE

I have just returned after my Pastoral Visitation to the Regional Vicariate of Tanzania and South Africa. It has confirmed my hope that we have a bright future in both these territories. Let me share with you some prominent features that should make us all proud.

TANZANIA:

  1. Six novices who have completed their novitiate in Malawi, will be making their simple religious profession on 20th of July, 2018 at Carmelite Community, Kola. We congratulate Bros. Antonius Longinus Mwageni, Aidanus Baleke Kobwino, Edga Charles Mbambura, Maziku Thomas Kishimba, Patrick Soffu Kassuwi and Stephen Alexander Ishungisa, and wish them a happy formative journey ahead in Carmel.

  2. In the coming year we have a record or 12 novices in the batch. Hence with the due permission of the General Definitory we are reviving our novitiate at Mbeya, Uyole. The Spirituality Course, will be suspended, as formation has to be topmost priority in this community. Fr Marlon Rodrigues has been appointed as Novice Master and Fr Jeevan Almeida, will be his socius. They will thus be forming a community of four. This year 10 boys have joined for the come and see programme, we have 5 postulants and 10 philosophy and theology students. Thus total number of local vocation is 41.

  3. We have decided to hand over Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Mateka back to the Archdiocese of Songea by December 2018. It was initially a sub-station of St Martin of Tours Parish, Mpandangindo, which we will continue to serve till we find a better place for our permanent community in the Archdiocese.

  4. In the concluding meeting we have decided to close the school at Msigani taking into consideration all the issues concerned.

  5. We have sorted out the priorities of the Mission as well as completion of the projects, rectification of the property records and a vision for our mission in the future. I must say that in general I am very happy with the mission and what they are doing there, especially in the line of formation.

  6. It is to our credit that Fr. Vivian Menezes is in charge of radio program of the Diocese of Morogoro and Fr. Stany Rodrigues is appointed Pastoral Director in the same Diocese.

  7. Fr. Stany Rodrigues will be conventual at Kola, but will continue to serve as Parochial Vicar at Kihonda.
     

SOUTH AFRICA:

  1. It was our dream to have our own Retreat Centre in order to promote our charism and special apostolate in South Africa. The General Definitory has formally approved our plans, and the Archbishop has promised all his support. I was pleased to bless the foundation stone for this project on 1st of July 2018. People are very enthusiastic and we are hopeful to start the work in January 2019 after obtaining the legal permission. Fr. Rayan Pais will join them in November-December 2018.

  2. We have signed a contract with the Archbishop of Cape Town to take 2 parishes and a substation for 10 years. All these are within 10 minutes drive. Our community will reside at St. Joseph’s Church, Goodwood.

  3. It is a matter of pride to note that Fr. Arwin Tauro is teaching 3 courses in the major seminary at Pretoria, Fr. Boniface D’Souza is appointed Director of Catechism in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Fr. Marie Joe is the Director of Charismatic movement in the Archdiocese of Cape Town.

Here are some other changes in our friars:

INDIA:
- Fr. Lancy Rajesh Lewis is appointed also the Director of our PUC students at Madanthyar
- Fr. Anil Prashant Lobo will be conventual of our Novitiate Community at Kushalnagar
- Fr. Roshan Pinto will be in Asha Deepa, Madanthyar, till he is declared fit to travel back to Tanzania.

CANADA:
- Fr. Steny Mascarenhas will be the new Pastor of Guardian Angels’ Parish, Vancouver
- Fr. Rudolf V. D’Souza will be conventual of our community at Mount Carmel Spirituality Centre, Edmonton, and continue being in-charge of our two ongoing building projects at Carmel Hill, Deroche and Edmonton.
- Fr. Roshan Pinto will be the Assistant Pastor at St Thomas More Parish, Calgary in place of Fr Godwin Pinto who will take up his new assignment as Assisting Priest at St Patrick’s Parish, Burlington.

ITALY
- Fr. Nitesh Rodrigues has reached Empoli on 10th of July, 2018 and will take over as Assistant Parish Priest.

AMONG OUR FORMEES:

  • We congratulate our new Deacons Macson Dabre and Julius Gonsalves

  • Br Frank Sharmendra Sharma and Br Jigneshkumar Solanki have reached Italy and have begun their language studies in view of their theology at Rome.

  • We are sorry that 5 boys from Vasai and 1each from Goa and Mangaluru, have discontinued from the Initiation Course at Mapusa and have returned home. Hence at present we have: 7 from Mangalore; 1 each from Aurangabad, Goa, Vasai and Kalyan. TOTAL = 11. I take this opportunity to thank all the Vocation Promoters for striving hard to choose these young men for our way of life.

SPIRITUAL RENEWAL PROGRAMME:
It will begin on 17th of July, 2018 with the first group consisting of the Provincial Council, Bursar and Secretary. The finalized groups along with pertinent instructions have been circulated. While Fr Pius James D’Souza, the Provincial Councillor for Spirituality will supervise this programme, Fr Silvester D’Souza will co-ordinate and facilitate its execution.

ANNUAL RETREAT:
We are having just one common retreat in the Province preached by Rev. Fr. Frederick D’Silva SJ, a well-known director in the Ignatius Exercises. It will be held at Sadbhavana, Bengaluru from 17-22 September, 2018. More details will follow from Fr. Pius James D’Souza.

INAUGURATION OF ACADEMIC YEARS:

  • The inauguration of the academic year 2018-19 at Pushpashrama, Institute of Philosophy and Religion was held on 1st of June, 2018 with a Solemn Mass presided over by Rev. Fr. Pius James D’Souza. The Lectio Brevis was given by Rev. Dr. Ivan D’Souza from Mangalore Diocese. The present strength of our students is the following:
    I Year – 6; II – 16; III – 12. TOTAL 34 (out of these, 4 are from Andhra Pradesh Province, 1 from Tamil Nadu Province and 3 from Holy Family Congregation).

    On 11th of July, 2018, Fr. Provincial blessed the newly designed sanctuary of the Chapel, which now has become more conducive for prayer. The symbols in the backdrop encapsulate the symbols of the Holy Trinity and are flanked on either side by the statues of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Patroness of the Institute, St Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

    We wish the entire staff and students all the best for the current academic year.

  • Most Rev. Thomas Vazhapilly, the Bishop-Emeritus of Mysore presided over the inaugural Mass at Dhyanavana, International Institute of Spirituality. At present there are 37 sisters for the 9 months Diploma course, 15 sisters for 6 months and 3 sisters for 3 months. This takes the total to 55, which is a leap in number after several years. We acknowledge the hard efforts of Fr. Dominic Vas and the staff to make this Institute more profitable and known.

AFFIDAVIT:
In pursuance of the decision taken at the last Provincial Chapter, the draft for an Affidavit to be signed by all members of the Province, was presented and approved at the last meeting of Local Superiors in November 2017. We have received a no-objection from the General Definitory. Hence very soon it would be circulated among all communities and the Local Superiors will be given instructions on what is to be done. We await your whole-hearted collaboration to complete this exercise.

CONSTITUTION STUDY:
The entire province has completed Parts I and II of the Constitution. The friars from Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mangaluru regions came together recently for Part III. I request all the other regions (co-ordinated by the Superior of the main monastery, as indicated earlier), to organize the study of Part III (Government) at the earliest. Fr Clifford D’Souza OCD will be the resource person.

KINDLE VERSION OF BOOKS:
Fr Rudolf V. D’Souza has all his publications available in the KINDLE BOOKS LIBRARY. These books which are uploaded on AMAZON kindle version can be accessed through smart phones, IPad, Computers and other electronic devices globally in all the 5 continents. All of them are cheap and affordable and some of them can be read free of charge if you are a member in Amazon online Kindle books. This is the first venture of such nature in our Province and we hail this initiative by Fr. Rudy through which our Dhyanavana Publications will take a step forward. Actually this is the trend globally, since publishing hard copies is becoming almost obsolete.
Click the link below:
https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3ARUDOLF+V.+DSOUZA&keywords=RUDOLF+V.+DSOUZA&ie=UTF8&qid=1527973955

OUR SOCIAL CENTRES:
Our Province has two missions where our friars are engaged in social welfare programmes. We are pleased to give you a glimpse of the activities held since the beginning of the present triennium at Hoovinahadagalli and Jagalur.

Carmel Seva Sadan; Carmel Boys’ Home and Anti-Child Labout Residential School, Hoovinahadagalli:

  • Another Tailoring Training Centre was inaugurated at Hagurnur Village, in addition to the one we have at Hadagali, to provide free training to unemployed women and girls.

  • Legal Awareness Camps on ‘Child Education’, ‘Child Labour’ and ‘Diseases and their Response’ were conducted.

  • A Dental Camp was held at Irikollaci village, in which 380 people and children benefitted.

  • Under a Government scheme Automobile and Welding training was imparted to 30 people and Motor Driving Training for 29 people of the SC/ST group.

  • In addition to the above, three Road-rallies were organized on the importance of Anti Child Labour and Importance of Child Education. Notebooks and Education Materials were distributed freely to 350 deserving and needy children. Financial help was also provided to needy children.

  • Our Boarding this year has 44 boys and the Anti-Child Labour School has 45 children, which is the highest we have had so far.

Our congratulations to all the friars of the community, especially, Fr. Denzil Veigas who is spear-heading these social works in our mission station.

Prerana, Jagalur:
Jagalur Taluka which is in Davanagere district has around 197 villages. The mission was entrusted to us in the year 2003. The present monastery was inaugurated on 13th of September, 2006. Since then many activities were conducted by our friars. Now, Fr. William Miranda, the present mission in-charge, with the active collaboration of his community members has initiated a number of programmes and our centre is well known in the area. While congratulating them on the success and positive results so far, we wish them all the best for the future. Here is a list of the activities conducted over the last year:

  • 4 eye camps (around 251 people operated for cataract); 2 dental camps; general health camp for eight sicknesses (doctors’ team brought from Yennapoya hospital, Deralakatte)

  • 2 senior citizen camps (help given to procure senior citizen I.D Cards)

  • 3 seminars on inter-religious dialogue

  • Youth empowerment; seminar for Asha workers; distribution of books for the poor children

  • 2 legal awareness camps

  • 1 tailoring center where 17 village girls are undergoing the training; taluka level world women’s day celebration

  • Planting of saplings to foster environmental awareness

FORTHCOMING EVENTS:

  • The annual meeting of Superiors of Formation Houses, Formators and the Dean of Pushpashrama along with the Provincial Council will be held from 24-25 July, 2018 at Sadbhavana. The report prepared by the Commission appointed by the Provincial Chapter to review the stages of formation in our Province will be discussed so that the Provincial Council can take an appropriate decision.

  • The annual meeting of the Dhyanavana Publications’ Board is to be held on 27th of July, 2018.

  • The annual meeting of Correspondents (Joint Secretary) and Principals of all our schools along with the Provincial, Provincial Councillor for Apostolate, Secretary for Education and Treasurer of Carmel Jnana Education Trust will be held from 28-29 July, 2018.

  • The bi-annual Infant Jesus Shrine Commission meeting will be held on 14th of August, 2018 at St Joseph’s Monastery, Carmel Hill, Mangaluru.

  • Deacon Regan Paul D’Souza will be ordained a priest at Infant Jesus Shrine, Bikarnakatte on 14th of August, 2018 at 4.00 p.m. The Holy Mass as a thanksgiving in his hometown will be on 26th of August, 2018 at 10.30 a.m. at St Anthony’s Church, Bazarghat, Hyderabad. Please keep him in your prayers.

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL GATHERINGS:

  • Fr. Pius James D’Souza represented me at the national CRI Assembly for Major Superiors held at SRM University, Chennai from 27-30 May, 2018.

  • Fr. Oswald Crasta will represent the Province at the KRCR Annual Meeting to be held at Prabhodhana, Mysuru from 3-5 August, 2018.

  • Fr. Ronald S. D’Souza will participate in the meeting organized by the Karnataka Regional Commission for Vocation and Formation on 9th of August, 2018.

OUR CLOISTERED NUNS:
We rejoice with the Carmels of Pune and Chicalim, as they witnessed the Solemn Profession of Sr. Pooja of the Trinity (23rd of May, 2018) and Sr. Santana of the Merciful Love of God (8th of June, 2018). The Province congratulates them on embracing this way of life definitively and wishes them happiness in the days to come.
As we recognize the need of such communities of sisters in our circumscription, let us pray for good vocations especially to the Carmels that are having a reduced number of nuns.

New team at Bengaluru Carmel:
After passing under the jurisdiction of the Order, Fr. Provincial conducted the elections on 8th of July, 2018 and here are the results:
Prioress : Mother Anne Therese of the Holy Face
1st Councillor : Sr. Shantha of the Immaculate Conception
2nd ” : Sr. Marie Yvonne of the Holy Spirit
3rd ” : Sr. Mary Anne of Jesus
4th ” : Sr. Jacintha Therese of the Infant Jesus.

PRAYERS FOR THE AILING:
Fr. Peter D’Sa is recuperating after operation of the prostrate. Presently he is in St Joseph’s Monastery, Bikarnakatte. He will join his new community at Matadakeri, Honnavar, as soon as he is fully fit. We wish him well.

Sr. Marie Celine of the Divine Heart (Extern Sister at Bengaluru Carmel) underwent surgery of the hip. After being discharged from the hospital, she is now being nursed by the sisters inside the cloister. Please pray for her speedy recovery.

THANKS:
I sincerely thank you for co-operating with Fr Pius James D’Souza, the first Provincial Councillor during my absence. May the Lord continue to guide us in his ways.

With fraternal wishes,
Fr. Charles Serrao OCD
Provincial Superior

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