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
Yours fraternally in Carmel,
Fr. Charles Serrao OCD
HIGHLIGHTS AROUND THE PROVINCE
PASTORAL VISITATIONS ABROAD:
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
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.
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
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
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.
AMONG OUR FORMEES:
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
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
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
Vilton Avinash Pasanna and Shine George, who were given special regency for
Gladwin Simon A and Gasper Sanjay J. (third year philosophy)
A NEW SPRING IN
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
PLENARY COUNCIL 2018:
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
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
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
PASTORAL VISITATION BY THE DEFINITOR GENERAL:
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
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).
INFANT JESUS FEAST, MANGALURU:
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.
EXTRAORDINARY DEFINITORY 2019:
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.
MASS AT THE SITE OF THE RUINS AT OLD GOA:
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
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.
SEMINAR AND PUBLIC FUNCTION:
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.
VISIT OF THE GENERAL DEFINITORY:
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