CKG/XIII/6/2018 Sadbhavana, Bangalore
Circular, Karnataka-Goa Province
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
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.
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
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the concluding meeting we
have decided to close the school at Msigani taking into consideration all
the issues concerned.
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.
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.
Fr. Stany Rodrigues will be
conventual at Kola, but will continue to serve as Parochial Vicar at Kihonda.
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
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.
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:
- Fr. Lancy Rajesh Lewis is appointed also the Director of our PUC students at
- Fr. Anil Prashant Lobo will be conventual of our Novitiate Community at
- Fr. Roshan Pinto will be in Asha Deepa, Madanthyar, till he is declared fit to
travel back to Tanzania.
- Fr. Steny Mascarenhas will be the new Pastor of Guardian Angels’ Parish,
- 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.
- 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Click the link below:
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
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.
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
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
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
Planting of saplings to foster
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
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
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
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
With fraternal wishes,
Fr. Charles Serrao OCD