Welcome to Sadbhavana : Carmelite Provincialate

Provincial Circular

CKG/XIII/8/2018                                                         Sadbhavana, Bangalore
Circular, Karnataka-Goa Province                         24th of December, 2018

Dear Fathers, Sisters, Brothers,

The Church is our Mother and we are all children of one family. As a mother she reminds her children year after year of the wonderful life of her spouse, who is none other than the Son of God.

How did the Son, wanting to make all of us one family of God’s children, appear on earth? He appeared like any one of us; He became a child, to proclaim God’s love for all the children of men. Love equalizes the Lover with the beloved, as St. John of the Cross tells us. Think how intense was God’s love even for our fallen race, that God wanted to come down in our human form and nature. He became like us in all things except sin. Our holy mother St. Teresa, desires that her daughters and sons be deeply devoted to the great mystery of the Incarnation through which the Word of God, for our sake assumed a human body.

In his self-abasement, God lifts up all who share human nature, inviting all of us -- young and old -- just by faith in his love, to become children of God. Christmas is the time for each of us to be born again and grow with Jesus in wisdom and grace. We must do our best to put off the old man, in whose heart the dust and rust of worldliness have accumulated and put on the new man. In other words we must have a new look wearing the mind and heart of Jesus, who, “though his nature was divine did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped.” He desired to grasp us in his arms and present us to his heavenly Father as his own brothers and sisters.

The Father will certainly rejoice in us if he sees in us the features of his Son. Through the intercession of Mary and of our holy parents, may the Holy Spirit mold us into the likeness of Jesus.

Wishing one and all of you a grace-filled Christmas and a happy New Year, I remain,
Yours fraternally in Carmel,

Fr. Charles Serrao OCD
Provincial Superior


I thank you for accompanying me with you prayers, as I made the Pastoral Visit to our friars in Denver – USA, Canada, Europe (Rome, Empoli, Cenaia, Milano, Austria, Prague and Spain). Their presence and ministry is very much appreciated by the local Bishops, Carmelite Superiors (in the case they are serving in other Provinces) and the lay faithful. On behalf of the Province I wish to acknowledge all that they do and request you to continue offering them your spiritual support.

The following are some important and recent developments:

  • We have been entrusted with the hospital ministry in Empoli and Fr Elias D’Cunha has been appointed the first Carmelite Chaplain. The General Definitory has approved the presence of our community in Empoli after we gave the necessary clarifications and documents as per the recent regulations that were put in place after the Extraordinary Definitory held at Ariccia 2017.

  • The parish of St Andrew the Apostle, London-Ontario, Canada, which was entrusted to the Carmelites (in the beginning to the Maltese friars), around 35 years ago, will be handed over to the Diocese of London, Ontario by June 2019. We are in the process of exploring other options of continuing our presence in the Diocese, which is now forming ‘families of parishes’ in order to overcome the shortage of priests.

  • Fr. Roshan D’Souza is the new Delegate Provincial for the OCDS in Canada. Thanks to Fr. Steny Mascarenhas who served in this position for a year.

  • We congratulate Fr John Alex Pinto, who has been appointed as Vicar Forane (Dean) of the North East Deanery in the Diocese of Calgary, Canada, by Bishop William McGattan.


  • Fr. Dominic Vas has been appointed as Spiritual Director of the Disciples of Divine Master (DDS), a Diocesan Congregation of Religious Brothers, from 1st of October, 2018 by Most Rev. K. A. William, the Bishop of Mysore. While we wish him all the best, I wish to acknowledge the role of Fr. Gregory D’Souza, who offered the same service, from the inception of this Diocesan Congregation.

  • Fr. Pius James D’Souza, has been re-appointed as Episcopal Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Mangalore, by the new Bishop, Most Rev. Peter Paul Saldanha. Congratulations.

  • According to the new feature introduced after the last Provincial Chapter Frs. Joachim Rodrigues and Rajesh D’Souza have been nominated by the Provincial Council to help the Local Community in the preparations for the Annual Feast of Infant Jesus at Mangaluru.

  • Fr. Pradeep Pinto has been appointed as the new Vocation Promoter for Mysore Diocese (excluding Coorg District). Fr. Augustine Robert will continue as the Regional Vocation Promoter for BENGALURU – MYSURU - SHIVAMOGGA - CHICKKAMAGALURU – BALLARI.

  • Fr. Edwin Diniz is presently on home holidays. He will be joining the community at Margao Monastery on 2nd of January, 2019. We thank him for his services in our parish at Empoli for the last three years and before that as Professor of Scripture and Theology for several years at Teresianum, Rome.

  • Fr. Diogo Proenca will be the Spiritual Director for our students at Pushpashrama, Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Mysuru. He will join the community on 2nd of January, 2019.

  • Frs. Venil D’Souza and Ivan Sanctis arrived safely in Canada on 4th and 22nd of October 2018, respectively. While the former is Assistant Pastor at St Aloysius Parish, Kitchener in the Diocese of Hamilton (where Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas is Pastor), the latter is member of our community at Mount Carmel Spirituality Centre, Edmonton (along with Fr. Mario Fernandes – Superior and Fr. Rudolf V. D’Souza).

  • Fr. Joe D’Souza will be flying for Australia on 26th of December, 2018. After spending a few days in our Carmelite Community at Sydney, he will proceed to Lismore. Most Rev. Greg Homeming OCD, the Bishop of Lismore, will be assigning him to one of his parishes where he can get some pastoral experience in their context. We wish him a safe journey and thank him for accepting this new mission on behalf of the Province. Fr. Shabas Crasta will join him as soon as he gets his VISA.

  • Fr. Roshan Pinto who had stayed back in India on account of his delicate health, will be travelling back to Tanzania on 4th of February, 2019 and resume his duties as Superior at Mpandagindo, Songea. We are grateful to him for generously helping our communities in Koteshwar and Madanthyar.


  • The following friars have been permitted to pursue higher studies (correspondence):
    Fr. Kevin Fernandes: English Literature (Mysore University)
    Fr. Lancy Prakash Rebello: Sociology (Mangalore University)
    Fr. Joy Agnel D’Souza: M.Sc in Counselling and Family Therapy (IGNOU)


  • We congratulate Brs Shine George and Babusha Aaron Rodrigues, who have made us proud by obtaining gold medals in the subjects of Philosophy and Alternative English, respectively, from St. Philomena’s College, Mysuru. They were awarded for scoring the highest marks. What distinguishes their achievements was that being correspondence students, they won these medals among the regular students of the college.

  • We have two new Deacons: Jovel Oliver and Fantino Patrick Pereira. They were conferred the Sacrament by Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrão, the Archbishop –Patriarch of Goa on 18th of December, 2018. Thanks to the Margao community for hosting the event and making all the necessary arrangements for the celebration.

  • The Deacons will be exercising their ministries in the following communities:
    Deacon Julius Gonsalves at Ryshivana, Ranipura
    Deacon Macson Dabre at Avila Jyothi, Mapusa
    Deacon Jovel Oliver at Asha Deepa, Madanthyar
    Deacon Fantino Pereira at Carmelite Monastery, Margao

  • On 14th of November, 2018 the following novices made their first religious profession: Brs. Adith R. Sindhu, Livin Antony, Lestern Shaun Dias, Joyal Naveen Rodrigues, Godwin Prakash D’Souza, Melvin Fernandes, Lawrence D’Souza, Sunil Kavin Rodrigues, Nirav Pravasi Rajeshbhai and Arun Kumar. The last one is from Tamil Nadu Province, and it was nice that his Provincial, Rev. Fr. Arul Raj could be present on the occasion to receive his vows and also preach an inspiring homily. We wish the newly professed happiness in the garden of Carmel as they march forward. They have already begun their Pre-Philosophy Course in Margao.

  • On the previous day the following five brothers entered the Canonical Novitiate:
    Br. Mahim of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus
    Br. Sachin Dias of the Little Flower
    Br. Riksan Moras of the Holy Spirit
    Br. Stelvin Lobo of Jesus and Mary
    Br. Mattes Noronha of the Passion

  • The following brothers have decided to discontinue from our way of life and have not renewed their religious vows:
    Vilton Avinash Pasanna and Shine George, who were given special regency for work experience
    Gladwin Simon A and Gasper Sanjay J. (third year philosophy)


  • It was a jubilant atmosphere at Xellim on 21st of December 2018 due to the four-fold celebration:

    • The Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee of Fr. John Sequeira and his 55th birthday

    • The Sacerdotal Ruby Jubilee of Fr. Charles Serrao (Provincial) and

    • The inauguration of the New Block of Divine Springs: A Centre for Contemplative Prayer, Youth Animation and Family Life.

    Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrão, Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa and Daman, said the prayer of blessing and Fr. Provincial inaugurated the new edifice of Divine Springs, which is a block consisting of 18 self-contained rooms and a Chapel. The Solemn Mass of thanksgiving followed. At the end there was a short felicitation programme. Fr. Archibald Gonsalves was the toast master. In his vote of thanks Fr. John Sequeira recalled all those who those worked in Xellim and those who contributed to this project of Divine Springs. We acknowledge all the efforts of Fr. John Sequeira and his community members to realize this dream of the Province.

    The centre now has 40 self-contained rooms with 100 bed facility. Please make it known so that many may avail themselves of the spiritual ministry of our friars.

The Plenary Council for this triennium was held from 27-28 November, 2018 at Sadbhavana and over 40 friars participated in the deliberations. You will find the summary of the discussions in the attached report prepared by Fr Vinod Lobo, who was appointed Secretary along with Fr. Rayan Teeshan Pinto. There was an input session on the first day by Mr. John Marshal on the history of the Old Goa foundation. It helped the friars re-discover the important and significant contributions of our Carmelite friars in the Church and also prepare us for the forthcoming fourth centenary of our presence in India.

Some of the suggestions or proposals that were made during the Plenary Council were taken up by the Provincial Council held on the following day and will be implemented as soon as possible.

Once again, the Local Superiors are reminded to facilitate the signing of the AFFIDAVIT by the friars in their communities. The final date for submission is extended to the end of January 2019.

Please note the following:

  • The name of the friar in whose name the Stamped Paper is bought should tally exactly with the name at the beginning of the Affidavit (as found in your passport or any other identity card)

  • The address soon after your name, should be of your home (and not as found in your identity card… because many have passports or other identity cards with the address of the monastery)

  • In religion…... (here you can give the name as you are known today, followed by the address of the monastery you are presently residing in)

Please call either Fr. Arun Sunil Lobo or Fr. Silvestre D’Souza if you need any further clarification and avoid the task of re-doing the AFFIDAVIT, in case it is not found in the approved format. Those in Karnataka, can even get it done through Fr. Arun Sunil Lobo, provided you furnish him with all your personal details (as required in the Affidavit).

As announced during the Plenary Council, Our Definitor General Rev. Fr. Johannes Gorantla will be conducting the Pastoral Visitation of our Province on behalf of the Superior General. The dates are as follows:

April 1-15, 2019: Tanzania (along with the Definitor General Rev. Fr. Daniel Ahigie)
April 22-27, 2019: South Africa
April 30 - May 14, 2019: Canada
May 22-24, 2019: Denver, USA
July 2 – August 30, 2019: KG Province, India

The itineraries for each of these visits will be circulated among the communities / friars concerned. Here attached is the itinerary we have prepared for our communities in India. Though approved by the Definitor General, there might be some minor changes (even at the last moment). However, you are requested to keep the dates around those fixed for your community, free.

The Definitor General wants to have a Plenary Council of the Province at the conclusion of his Visitation, during which he will present the report. It is fixed for 30th of August, 2019 at Sadbhavana,Bengaluru. After the next session of the Provincial Council we will inform you about the composition of this Plenary Council (who are to attend it).

We will be celebrating the Feast of the Infant Jesus at our Shrine in Mangaluru on 14th and 15th of January, 2019. Many of you must have been already contacted for preaching or other priestly ministry during the Novenas. The theme this year is: Put on Christ and be holy. It is based on the recent Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis on the call to holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate.

According to our tradition, we will be celebrating the CARMELITE FRATERNITY day on (Sunday) 13th of January, 2019 at 6.00 p.m. I cordially invite all of you to join the Novena Mass on that day. It is my earnest desire that at least one friar from each of our communities be present, so that it becomes a visible sign of our fraternal bonds in Carmel.

You are aware that the Extraordinary Definitory will be held from 3-11 February, 2019 at St Joseph Vaz Spiritual Renewal Centre, Old Goa. There will be around 75 participants. Some of them may stay back and visit some of our monasteries. If we get any specific information, we will pass it on to you.

Fr. Archibald Gonsalves is the local in-charge for all the preparations and he is being helped by Fr. Mark Furtado. During the whole Extraordinary Definitory the following friars will be offering their services at the venue: Frs. Silvestre D’Souza, Ajith Rodrigues and Regan Paul D’Souza.

We will need the help of other friars during the arrivals, departures etc. and I am happy many young friars have already volunteered to assist us. If we need more, either Fr Archibald Gonsalves or Fr Silvestre D’Souza will contact you directly. Please oblige.

On 8th of February, 2019, Fr. General along with all the members of the Extraordinary Definitory will be celebrating Mass at the ruins of our Monastery in Old Goa at 7.30 a.m. I encourage the friars from our Province to join this Eucharist.

These days a lot of work to strengthen the existing walls of the erstwhile monastery has been undertaken under the able leadership of Fr. Archibald Gonsalves. So also the whole surrounding area is being cleaned. We also thank Deacon Macson Dabre who is supervising the ongoing works at the site.

In the evening, Fr. General will bless two altars dedicated to Bl. Denis and Redemptus at our Church in Margao Monastery at 6.30 p.m. This will be followed by Vespers, a Goan Cultural evening and Dinner. All the friars of the Province are cordially invited to this function.

All the formees from our Province (except the Novices) and representatives of formees from other Indian Provinces (mainly from philosophy, theology or regents) will be gathering from 8-10 February, 2019 in Goa. Fr. Ronald S. D’Souza, with the help of the formators, is preparing their detailed programme, which will be circulated among the formation communities soon.

On the 10th of February 2019, we are organizing a Public Function at the Cathedral, Old Goa for the entire Carmelite Family.

Most Rev. Aloysius P. D’Souza will be the Guest of Honour at the inaugural function beginning at 9.00 a.m. The Seminar on Carmelite History will be organized from 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. There will be three panels comprising of experts, who will be presenting papers on the contribution of the Indian Carmel.

His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias will preside over the Solemn Eucharistic celebration beginning at 4.00 p.m. and Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrão, Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa and Daman will break the Word of God. Our Fr. General will be the Chief Guest at the programme to follow from 6.30 p.m. onwards, and we will be joined by His Eminence George Cardinal Alenchery. The climax would be the ‘Light and Sound’ display on the History of Carmel in India. We intend to serve supper by 9.30 p.m. Please make arrangements for your departure after that or on the following day.
Fr. Archibald Gonsalves is trying to accommodate all our friars together. Once we know the number, we can give you further details. Hence, I appeal to the Local Superiors to give the names of friars from their community who will be attending this programme at least by 28th of December, 2018.

The entire Definitory along with Fr. General will be visiting our Province on 12th of February, 2019. The programme is as follows:
09.00 a.m. Breakfast at Dhyana Sadhana, Bogadi
10.00 a.m. Visit to Cloistered Carmel, Bogadi; Eucharist.
11.15 a.m. Visit to Mysore Palace
01.00 p.m. Lunch at Pushpashrama, Mysuru
03.00 p.m. Visit to Dhyanavana, Mysuru (tea)
04.00 p.m. Departure for Bengaluru
08.30 p.m. Vespers at Sadbhavana, Bengaluru followed by Supper

I invite all the Friars from the neighbouring communities to join them. Do inform the Local Superiors about your presence.

With fraternal regards,

Fr. Charles Serrao OCD
Provincial Superior




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