Prioresses congregate at Sadbhavana
November 23-26, 2021, in keeping with VDQ 13, which highlights
the need of formation in cloistered contemplative life the
Federal Council of the Federation of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
India organized a formation course for the Prioresses of 9
Carmels of the Federation. Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao OCD,
Religious Assistant to the Federation was the resource person. 8
Prioresses and the members of the Federal Council took part in
The meeting commenced with the Holy Eucharist presided over by
Rev. Fr. George Santhumayor, Provincial. Mother Anna who gave
the introduction, set the tone for the meeting by highlighting 3
points namely: openness to interdependence; sharing the dynamism
of love; and call to respect. Rev. Fr. Provincial commended the
Sisters for the beauty of their cloistered contemplative life
deliberately chosen by them where they seek God alone and choose
Him and His glory as against all that is transient and material.
At the first session the Prioresses welcomed Rev. Frs.
Provincial and Charles Serrao both of whom they were meeting for
the first time. Rev. Fr. Provincial released the new Directory
of the Federation. Provincial while greatly acknowledging the
appreciation of the valuable prayers, love, care and generosity
shown by the Cloistered Sisters to the Carmelite friars
expressed to the Sisters that Sadbhavana was their home and that
the expenses of the board and lodge that they would give to
Sadbhavana could be shared to one of the needy Carmels – a
proposition that was gladly accepted by the sisters. Fr.
Provincial also cautioned them to be careful about the fine dust
that enters the cleanest of the palaces and that they need to
take care of which are the trivial, worldly things that can do
Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao in his inputs focused on Leadership –
the different systems of leadership prevalent in the Church and
the JESUS Leadership that every Prioress has to follow, that is
to be a leader rather than a manager. It was an eye opener to
many of the young Prioresses. With his vast experience and
expertise in the field Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao made a deep
impact on the Prioresses and was able to give wise and practical
answers to all their queries. The Prioresses too were very open
and candid in their sharing and questions which brought a new
horizon in their role as prioresses.
On the 25th the Prioresses were privileged to have with them the
presence of the Definitor General Rev. Fr. Pius James D’Souza
OCD who presided over the Eucharist inviting all to take
seriously the call to be true followers of JESUS. Rev. Fr.
Definitor then joined them in their first session. After
felicitating him he was invited to release the new approved
Statutes of the Federation (after the bifurcation of the
Association from the provinces of Kerala). They then had an
informal interaction where the Sisters were free to ask him any
queries. They put forward the need to have a psycho-spiritual
course for their formees and those in need for which they needed
competent resource personnel from among the OCD Friars and Fr
Definitor endorsed this proposal.
At the concluding meeting a copy of the initial and ongoing
formation programme was discussed and approved and made
available to all the Prioresses to be implemented during the
next three years.
The meeting concluded with a short thanksgiving prayer and a
hymn at 5.30 pm on November 26, 2021. All the Prioresses and
Sisters who attended were deeply grateful and expressed their
joy and satisfaction at the warm hospitality they enjoyed at
Sadbhavana, a home away from home!